Let me just cut to the chase, this week I had writer’s block like nobody’s business. When I can’t focus it is usually because I have multiple priorities vying for attention and my plate runneth over. I shared this with a sister-friend and she said, “Love yourself enough to deprive yourself of the things which depreciate your personal greatness.” Excuse me, what?
My vision is pretty good, but I had to reread the text message several times. Now I could have dismissed it, as I have other advice that I’ve received over the years. Not because it wasn’t good advice, but because it was self-serving or came from an “eye witness”. Eye-witness advice usually starts off with “Well, I heard that if you….”, “I read somewhere that…” or “I feel that you should…” Insert eye roll to the heavens. Whereas “life witness” advice comes with no pretense and no introduction. Life witness advice has the uncanny ability to gut punch you and take your breath away. In a good way. Life witness advice is what the little birdie has been telling you and you REFUSE to listen. Life witness advice isn’t condescending or cruel. It feels like a hug and a hot meal at the end of long day.
Life witness advice comes from an authentic place. The person providing it didn’t read about it or hear about it…they lived it. And while you may be hurting when you receive the advice, because it comes from a place of love, it has the ability to heal a wound that has been open for too long. That type of authenticity requires the type of bravery that only life experience can give you.
Think about the advice you have given lately. Was it superficial or did you think about your life experience in order to give life witness advice? Have the courage to be authentic. You never know who you might impact.
An author and radio personality, Earl Nightingale said, “We become what we think about.” Take a minute a to think about that. When you have pleasant thoughts, typically additional positive and optimistic thoughts follow. Conversely, when you are pessimistic, you tend to have a negative outlook and before you know it, you are stuck in the muck of negativity. InspireYourPeople.com came up with the top 11 thoughts that can get in the way of having a positive outlook and should eliminate from your day:
1. Defeatist (accepting, expecting, or being resigned to defeat)
2. Cynical (contemptuously distrustful of human nature and motives)
3. Vindictive (seeking revenge)
4. Blame/Fault (who cares?? what are we going to do now?)
5. Wishful (do what you can to influence the project/situation/deal and keep moving)
6. Self-pity (get over yourself … no excuses … no drama…no complaints…)
7. Worrisome (it won’t help, costs time, and can drag you down)
8. Jealous (want it? earn it)
9. Pre-argumentative (the imaginary argument you have to prepare yourself for the argument that may NEVER happen)
10. Post-argumentative (the imaginary argument you have where you’re quicker than you were in the actual argument)
11. Procrastination (if you’re going to procrastinate, it makes sense to do something fun instead of thinking about how bad it is that you’re procrastinating)
The article goes on the say that eliminating wasteful thoughts might be impossible to avoid but it is completely possible to minimize them and their impact. Here are three ways to do just that:
• Recognize the thoughts when they come up.
• Remind yourself negative thoughts are a costly distraction.
• Redirect your thinking (and/or doing) to something positive.
Challenge yourself to think positive. I’m not saying that life is all peaches and cream but you can control how you respond to the inevitable disappointments of life.
When we face uncertainty, we often try to convince ourselves that we should be confident in our abilities to overcome any obstacle. The problem is depending on the obstacle, your confidence level can take a beating and it can take days, weeks or in the worse case, years to recover. Think about the last time you tried something and failed. How long did it take you to try again? Have you tried again? Courage is something that is deeply rooted in your heart. Courage allows you to have difficult conversations. Courage allows you to stand in your truth. Courage opens the door for you to pursue your passion and try something new. Courage is the pillar of which constant confidence is built. Being brave isn’t the absence of fear, it’s having the courage to do “it” anyway.
One of my favorite quotes by Aristotle is, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” I found this quote years ago and made it part of my email signature so that I could see it on a regular basis. It resonates with me because I have a bad habit of wanting things to be perfect.
The Perfectionism Trap is an ugly thing and can be a downward spiral. It can cause you to procrastinate and remain stuck in one place. But here’s the rub, you can’t be successful if you don’t try and you don’t try if you are worried about being be perfect. It also fosters negative self-talk and unnecessary self-doubt.The quest for perfection diminishes the opportunity to have joy in the acting of “doing”. Don’t let the trap of perfectionism keep you from an opportunity to do something in a different way. It’s that difference that will lead to growth and new ideas which then fosters your creativity and pushes you forward to trying something new beyond your comfort zone.