It takes a person with great courage to look inward and figure out why life isn’t going according to plan. Maybe there’s a measure of success but you know it could be marginally better. Okay, a lot better! Circumstances can be harsh, attitudes can tank and energy can be sucked right out for a period of time. At some point though, you must know that it’s up to you to improve your life, your direction, your everything. If you’re waiting for a genie in a bottle or a magic potion or expect someone to give you a break, look in the mirror. YOU are that person.
I was in a relationship several years ago with a guy who figured it was someone else’s responsibility to provide an opportunity, to give a hand up, to make things better for him. As you can well imagine, that didn’t fly with me. Of course there are times in life we need a pick-me-up or some intense encouragement, but it’s not up to others to make our lives easier. As the saying goes, you get out of it what you put into it.
If any of the following apply to you, you are reading this because you’re ready to do something about it and you’re being challenged to do just that. I can speak boldly because I’ve been there/done that, and it really does suck to be stuck in any one of these modes.
1. You Play the Blame Game
When I was in my early twenties I worked for someone who’d had enough of my moodiness and blame-throwing, so he finally hauled me into his office and addressed it with me. It was always someone else’s fault that I didn’t get something done, made a mistake or that I was in a bad mood. As hard as it was to hear, I knew he was absolutely right and that this was a defining moment in time for me. I could ignore his input or do something about it. The choice was mine.
It was hard. It took time. There was inner struggle and it didn’t happen overnight. It took an awful lot of lip-biting for a period of time. But I knew. You know too…the gig’s up, you’re being called on to make a change.
I respect a person who admits his/her pitfalls and is willing to do something about them, don’t you?
2. You Hold a Grudge
Resentment and bitterness infiltrate every fibre of our beings. It’s easier sometimes to hang on to it, to allow the pain to become too close a friend, so close that ending the friendship seems an insurmountable task. There are all kinds of stats about how unforgiveness affects our health, nevermind the example we’re setting or the legacy we’re leaving for those who watch and follow us. At the end of life, being an angry person is a good thing, said no one ever. It doesn’t matter if you’re a parent or not, someone watches you and sees how you handle things. The “Somebody Done Me Wrong” song may ring true for you, but you’re the only one who gets to decide how much power you hand over to that poor, poor, pitiful me mentality.
When the aha moment kicks in and you realize that the person being impacted by the life-sucking blood of anger or hatred is ultimately you and that the ‘guilty party’ probably has no clue what you’re holding on to, life gets a whole bunch better. Instantly.
I respect a person who’s been hurt in life (Lord knows we’ve all experienced it), and chooses to work through the pain to forgiveness as a self-productive measure. Don’t you?
3. You Make Excuses
“I’m a single mom with 3 kids, 2 pets, 2 jobs and a business I’m trying to get off the ground.” That’s my go-to excuse when something seems too hard for me to accomplish. Then I think about single moms (particularly a good friend who has 3 kids the same ages as mine) who work full time and go to university to further their career and create a better life. It removes my excuses in pretty short order. If that’s the story I keep telling myself, then that’s my story and it’s not going to change. “You’re dream won’t work until you do.” I’ve seen that quote enough recently to recognize it as a direct message.
I respect a person big time who doesn’t allow limits or excuses to keep them from their dreams, but jumps through hoops and squashes those excuses to accomplish their dreams. Don’t you?
Are you ready to take a courageous step – admit to yourself that only you are responsible for you – and take some massive action towards a new future? You don’t get your yesterdays back, nor do you get a do-over. Give yourself the gift of life, the gift of taking it upon yourself to create space for accountability, forgiveness and action.
Sometimes You Win Sometimes You Learn ~ John C. Maxwell
Forgive for Good ~ Frederic Luskin
The Compound Effect ~ Darren Hardy
Lean In ~ Sheryl Sandberg
Stop Looking for Excuses to Not Be Awesome ~ Jeff Goins
5 Ways to Keep Moving Forward When You Hit a Wall ~ Michael Hyatt