Updated: Aug 1, 2019
Life changes every single day, and so can we. Sometimes the changes we seek breed uncertainty, and life can be hard to navigate when we’re uncertain about things.
I remember getting a scholarship to play college basketball. A few months after my freshman year of college I had a huge burden I was carrying. No one other than myself knew. I no longer wanted to play basketball anymore. What would my friends and family think? I remember thinking they will all be so disappointed if I stop playing. Well, after my freshman year of playing basketball, I stopped playing...I quit. Oh, the dreaded "Q" word. I was officially a QUITTER!
Most certainly some were disappointed. My stepdad was really sad that I quit. I felt a bit confused and displaced, and I began filling my head with a few stories about how my life was now and how I had become a bit of a failure. Yikes!
"Hello 911, we have a person here named Michael Brown who is currently filling his head up with a lot of head-trash! Hurry and get here fast!"
It's the stories we tell ourselves which often do us more harm than good. I was saying things to myself like, "I can't believe you quit. You were an all-state basketball player. Michael, you scored 52 points in a game once and you quit?! Dude, you quit?" On and on the negative self-talk went on for years.
Wait! What if we change the story up a little bit and say something like, "Michael, great move by no longer playing basketball. You became tired of the grind. Now, you are going to go into a bit of a new world. Yeah, uncertainty but that's kind of the reality of life. You will do well, just be brave and move forward." I've been doing a lot more positive self-talk over the past several years.
I love J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings! So much courage and sacrifice! However, could you imagine if this happened in the story:
Frodo Baggins gives the One Ring back to his cousin and heads back to the Shire, because he believes the quest ahead of him is far too risky. I mean that Gollum dude...scary! Then there are Orcs...nope don't want any part of those crazies. Oh, and then there are those Ringwraiths aka The Dark Riders...freaky. Did I mention Trolls? They are huge, crazy and they like to smash hobbits with giant clubs. I'm headed back to the Shire and be a gardener!
This would be an awful story!
Sometimes we try to push forward in a positive manner and we fail. "What happend", we ask?
And then we begin to say to ourselves:
“I’m not good enough…”
“I just wasted my time…”
“It doesn’t matter that much anyway…”
“It’s not worth the time or risk…”
“I’ll do it tomorrow instead…”
So what can you do if your story is hurting you more than it’s helping?
Change the darn story you’re telling yourself!
Be the hero of your story.
Here are 5 Things You Must Give Up To Move Forward:
1. Letting the opinions of others control your life.
I've wasted so much of my life worrying about what others have thought of me. People know my name, not my story. So take people's opinions of you with a grain of salt. In the end, it’s not what others think, it’s what you think about yourself that counts. Sometimes you have to do exactly what’s best for you and your life, not what’s best for everyone else.
At the end of the day it's my face that I'm looking at in the mirror and 99.9% of the time, I'm pretty darn pleased with who I'm looking at...me.
2. Procrastinating on the goals that matter to you.
There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they are, or accept the responsibility for changing them.
I have shared with you about my very challenging childhood. I chose to do some things about it and and not become a victim of my circumstances and as a result, I chose changes. See my blog article,
3. The shame of past failures.
You will fail sometimes, and that’s okay. The faster you accept this, the faster you can get on with being brilliant. You know something I discovered a few years ago? My past does not equal my here and now and someday, my future. Just because I failed yesterday; or all day today; or a moment ago; or for the last six months; doesn’t have any impact on the current moment. All that matters is what I do right now. Trust me, live in the NOW. Now is all we have. I'm not guaranteed the future and the past is, well...in the past.
4. Making excuses rather than decisions.
Life is a continuous exercise in creative problem solving. A mistake doesn’t become a failure until you refuse to correct it. Thus, most long-term failures are the outcome of people who make excuses instead of decisions. Remember, excuses are lies!
5. Choosing to do nothing.
I have no idea of how long I will get to live on the planet. I do know I have an expiration date and I will pass. I can only decide how I am going to live, right now! Every day is a new chance to choose. Choose to change your perspective. Choose to flip the switch in your mind from negative to positive. Choose to turn on the light and stop getting freaked-out about insecurity and doubt. Choose to do work that you are proud of and it's meaningful to you. Choose to see the best in others, (I know, sometimes this is hard) and to show your best to others. Choose to truly LIVE, right now!
Now, it’s your turn…
What was helpful and why in this blog. Share with me so that others and myself can learn and grow deeper.