Jul 17, 2013

I Give Up!

Grief_Transformative_Thinking

How many times have you said those three little words, “I give up”? It’s amazing to watch the body language when a person say those words. Their head slumps down, their shoulders roll forward, their back arches, their face elongates, and their intonation is one where you can hear the hopelessness. People give up on many things. They give up on their job. They give up on relationships. They give up on love. They give up on life having any meaning. And, they give up on themselves.

How does this happen? The answer could be quite simple. Many times, the people that give up are simply asking the wrong questions. For instance, when a person is going through divorce, loss of a job, loss of money, etc., they ask questions, like:

“Why is this happening to me?”
“Why wasn’t I good enough?”
“What’s wrong with me?”
“Why can’t I find true love?”
“What is going to happen to me now?”
And, many more questions like these
These questions are the very thing that cause people to allow their negative emotions to take over and begin to snowball. When a person’s brain is distressed it begins to spin in a circle, the circle then becomes a spiral, the spiral gains centrifugal force and this then takes on critical mass, which leads it to going out of control and into depression, anger, resentment, and worse!

Every time a person asks questions like these, they have started on the journey to self-fulfilling prophecy of a negative outcome, because the person has given away their personal power to someone else, something else, or to their circumstances. Before I take you to the other side of self-fulfilling prophecy, the positive side, I want you to take a closer look at these questions and the possible answers behind them.

1) “Why is this happening to me?”

As a question that makes the person inquiring become a victim, it immediately says, “I have no power, no strength, no options, and this situation was thrust upon me without me contributing to it in any way”. Will it make the person feel better knowing that at least in some way they played a role in the circumstances? Yes! How can that be? Just suppose they open themselves to understand that they had the power to create the circumstances, which means that they have the power to change them. Instantly, they regain personal power! Consider the following points, as well. Because a person is experiencing change, they may assume it is “bad”. But…

If things were really that good, then why is the divorce, loss of job, or other circumstance, taking place? If things went on another 10 years, what would it be like? 10 more years of the same “stuff” going on with your significant other. 10 more years of the same job and same boss. Just imagine that, if you think it’s bad now, what it will be like in 10 more years! Even if you think things were “OK”, can what is happening now, this change you are going through, be an opportunity for things to be better? For every challenge there is a door of opportunity that is opening up…right NOW! And, you’ll only miss out on the opportunity if you keep your head down and aren’t looking for it! This happens both from a very literal standpoint of missing out on opportunities by not looking for them, and from a mental standpoint, where the mind refuses to see opportunity because it is so focused on the negative!

2) “Why wasn’t I good enough?”

Unlike the first question, this question squarely places all the responsibility, accountability, and blame on the person asking it. It’s as if a situation in and of itself defines the value of the person, that they lack of some intrinsic value because of this one situation. First, I want to share with you that you never lose value. Imagine having a $100 bill held out in front of you. How much is it worth? $100, right. Now, imagine wadding it up into a ball and then open back up all wrinkled. How much is it worth now? Still $100. Wad it up again, step on it and throw it into a mud puddle and have a bus run over it. Pick it up and open it. How much is it worth now?. Once again, the answer is “$100″. Just because the $100 bill gets wadded up, trampled on, and abused, it doesn’t lose its value. And, just like the $100 bill, nothing that happens to you in life will change the value you have as a person. So, what happened that causes you to ask the question, “Why wasn’t I good enough?” The loss of a job can be due to numerous reasons that are out of your, and many others’, control. A significant other may have their own head-trash they are dealing with and made decisions that badly affected your relationship, etc. It’s not a matter of not being good enough, many times it’s a matter of things being beyond your control.

3) “What’s wrong with me?”

In order for you to have a wonderful relationship with your significant other, or anyone else, you must love yourself, first. If you have gone from relationship to relationship and can’t seem to find the “right” person, it’s probably you. Not that there’s anything wrong with you (see my comment on question #2), it’s how you see, value, and love yourself. When you truly love who you are when you’re being just you, then you will naturally attract the “right” person into your life. The same is true for other areas of your life. If you’re not having the success you want, then first fully consider what thoughts are going on in your mind each and every day. if you keep a diary of your thoughts for a week, you probably won’t be surprised that your life isn’t what you want it to be.

Let’s move on to the positive now and ask the question, “What are the questions you should be asking?” By the way…Great question!

“What else can I accomplish?”
“Who else can I help?”
“What opportunities is this change in circumstance opening up for me?”
“How can I change to get the results I want in life?”
“What resources do I have within me that the challenges I’m facing is wanting/requiring me to show now?”
It’s amazing that asking the right questions makes all the difference in the way we look at life and our current circumstances. So, get your mind in the right place by re-framing how you look at life and the journey it takes you on and start asking the questions that will get you to your goals!

Dr. Edward Lewellen is a Master Executive Coach, leadership and sales expert, and keynote speaker for some of the largest global organizations.

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