Thursday, June 28, 2012
I’d been in a foul mood all week and it wasn’t getting better. Starting today our temperatures are supposed to be in the triple digits. We had planned to attend a three day blue grass festival starting this evening and now are plans are in a state of flux. That makes me angry!!!!Does that rant make me feel better; hardly? I was investing in something I had absolutely no control over – the weather. Like everyone else in my neighborhood I took every opportunity to blame the woes of the world on something so inanimate it couldn’t even defend itself.
I sat down and pulled out my frayed and dog eared legal pad to make a list of all the things I THOUGHT I could control but couldn’t. It was pretty long. It’s the proverbial flight of fancy. I asked myself how much time I devoted to things I had no control over. It was a lot more time than I had imagined. I started another list, the things in my life I could control. If I stopped stressing out over stuff like the weather maybe, just maybe, I could attack the real issues in my life, the beliefs that are barriers to my success. But, ah-ha, they have faces and names and OMG they can fight back and they require moderate to severe introspection and the dirty and nasty H word --- Honesty. There are three things I know I can control
1. I deserve to be successful.
Please note I am not entitled to be successful. My success depends on my perception of myself. Nothing about my age, my gender, my education, my race or sexual orientation has a hoot to do with my success. I can stand here all day and go toe-to-toe with you about people I know who looked at those things as being challenges to their success, not obstacles or reasons to give up. No one, parent, partners, friends or employers are going to believe in your value until you believe in it. What can I control? I can start with the perception I have of myself. No one owes me anything, except me. I owe myself the honor and dignity of believing I deserve.
2. I am worth all the effort I put into myself.
I have a nephew who runs in marathon races. He told me that just about anyone can run the first twenty three miles of a marathon if they train correctly. He went on to say that it is the last three miles or so that require maximum effort. How often do I reach the point in my development whether it’s personal or professional and pull back in fear or anxiety? How often do excuses abound? Excuses like “lack of time,” “bad weather,” not enough support.” What excuses do I use to not push those mental last three miles?
Don’t believe me? Here’s a challenge. The next time you walk into a bookstore notice how many books have been published on self-help and on dieting. Next time you clean out your spam folder notice how many “miracle weight loss” e-mails you receive. How often do we gravitate towards the quick fixes in lieu of the positive and often painful effort required to assure long lasting success?
3. You are who you hang around with.
Years ago a boss of mine gave, me a pearl of wisdom I’ve not forgotten. “There are two types of people in this world, People that make things happen and people that let things happen!”
There is nothing wrong with imitating positive, successful and healthy behavior. We are largely a “monkey see, monkey do” society. Imitating and mirroring positive behavior in another person only raises us to their level of excellence and performance. Who do you associate with and why do you associate with them? Coaching and mentoring professions are growing rapidly because we are identifying with people who practice positive behaviors that can help us reach our life goals. You can apply them to any aspect of your life. I use them with my coaching clients and now, I’ve found the magic of applying them to myself as I weed out the worries and cares I have no control over. It’s a lifelong practice, but if I eliminate worrying about the things I can’t control, I should have plenty of time.