What’s Stopping You?
April 12, 2012 | Posted by Guy Ferdman | Tags: Personal Development, Perspective | 3 Comments
I think this is one of the all-time great questions. Why are so many people stopped? Why can’t we [humans] seem to stop procrastinating? Why don’t we follow our dreams and passions like our life depends on it? How come we don’t treat every day like it’s our last? Do I have your attention yet? I’m guessing you’ve asked yourself these questions in one form or another. You probably have a thought while driving, reading or doing some activity and in some distant part of your mind you hear yourself making resolutions and affirmations that tomorrow will be different. Then tomorrow gets here and – well – tomorrow ends up being like yesterday, right? You start feeling guilty, sorrowful, resigned, and helpless to affect or make any real changes. Different Day, Same Shhhhh – You get the point.
You may have heard or read this quote before “Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some; it is in everyone. And, as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Amazing quote, isn’t it? (Nelson Mandela is the source.) I would say I have found this to be quite accurate in my coaching with people. They rather fall from 3 feet than 50 feet so they remain small, play small games in their lives, all to not have to feel the sting of failure.
What is the best teacher you have ever had in your life? Besides your first grade, teacher I mean. What has taught you more than any other experience? If you haven’t gotten it yet – FAILURE!
Yes, Mr. and Mrs. Failure have taught you well. Just look at your own life. Which lessons really stuck, and under what circumstances? We call it the “School of Hard Knocks”. If you were certain that failure would take you to exactly where you wanted to go in life, wouldn’t you fail fast and fail often?
You would learn from your mistakes, keep moving forward, and gradually success would follow.
If you would choose to alter your perspective on failure not as something that is upsetting, but rather a gift or an opportunity
(if that suits you better), then I assert it would not be something you would choose to shy away from, but rather choose to attack it like a bull.
See if you can re-distinguish failure for yourself and you will begin to alter the auto-response that so many of us have to towards it. It will make you feel alive and accomplished. It will be the start of much success and forward momentum in your life!
The second part of this equation is also just a matter of re-distinguishing a few words. When I tell people that they aren’t being responsible for something, the response is hardly if ever positive. Over time, I’ve come to understand that almost all human responses for the most part are automatic. The response is to some past experiences or stories that one has been telling themselves or others for a long time and usually have little to no basis in reality. Here’s the secret. Read carefully. The reason people respond this way is because people see responsibility as an admission of guilt. They see it as being blamed for something. I’m here to tell you – these two words (Responsibility and Blame) are very far apart from one another
. They have been collapsed together somehow and thus allow for almost no one to be responsible for their lives or anything else. (A perfect example is the political community in this country.)
Blame for the most part is self-inflicted. It leads to feeling of guilt and shame. These two emotional responses are the ultimate way to punish oneself and be responsible for nothing. If you are already punishing yourself, then you don’t really have to be held accountable or listen to anything anyone else has to say. You will always be your worst enemy in these situations. If someone tries to contribute something to you, you’ll think “I already feel guilty enough; I’m not going to listen to this”. Even if that person is offering you gold wrapped in platinum delivered to you on a plate made of diamonds, you will not hear a thing. The blame will take hold and that’s all you get – your guilt and shame. You’ll learn nothing and probably repeat the same mistake over-and-over, wondering why this keeps happening. (I call this the hamster wheel effect.)
Responsibility, on the other hand, is putting oneself at the source of all causality.
Responsibility is what happens when you stop walking around with your finger pointing at everything and everyone else. Responsibility is power.
People who grow quickly grow because they are willing to always put themselves at the center of responsibility for their own lives. They say and think things such as, “That relationship that is broken, I’m responsible”. “That small paycheck, I’m responsible”. “That fear inside, I’m responsible”. “My happiness, I’m responsible
”. If you take the blame, guilt and shame out of it, these seemingly incredulous statements can quickly become statements of power! Responsibility is the starting point for transforming that relationship, that paycheck, that fear, and your happiness.
You have to put yourself at the source.
At the end of the day, we are all human, and we are not perfect. When you are responsible, when you are willing to put yourself at source, you begin taking new actions in life (you choose and accept what you get), you clean things up, you make amends for your mistakes. You take on that you are fully responsible for your relationships. Not 50/50, but 100/0.
This is one of the biggest lessons I can teach anyone. “Uncollapse” responsibility from blame. It will revolutionize the way you view and live your life. The game is this: how much are you really willing to be responsible for? Every time you have an urge to blame someone or something for your current circumstances, resist that urge, and look at it from this vantage point: how can I be responsible for this situation, this relationship? Instant transformation will occur!
In conclusion, many people want to see proof before they are willing to take action. I challenge you to try this on yourself. If it doesn’t work for you, great! You can always have your way of doing it and your opinions back. You want proof, live it, and you will be the proof.
I leave you with a quote I learned a while back. “When you find yourself angry at someone, it’s like you are drinking poison and hoping they die”.