Fighting Back

Fighting Back…what does that mean? My sister simply “hates” the word fighting. For me, it is all about how you apply the word and the content around it.

As I was working out in the gym tonight, A Sunday evening right after the holidays, I felt determined as I went through my workout…even though I challenged myself to get in there on a Sunday evening. It would have been very easy for my inner critic, you know the one who sabotages you whenever it has a chance, to win and for me to listen to the voice saying “ it’s Sunday night; it’s late; just get up early and start Monday morning.”

Fighting Back to me is saying “No” to that inner critic. I have been in a slump for about 5 months. I had a surgical procedure that slowed me down and then my mother became ill and passed away.

Exercise to me is my sanity, my stress relief and my foundation to good health and eating healthy.

You probably agree that exercise is good for you. In fact, I am sure that you would agree that you too feel better when you do something like walking, yoga, strength training or any cardio gift to yourself.

Why do we stop? What makes us get in a rut? Get stuck?

Was it a bad interview and you did not get the job you wanted? A relationship that does not feel the way you want it to? You did not make the team or get the role?    

Next thing you know, you are in a slump. It is a spiral.

What can we do to get “unstuck”? What can we do to fight back?

It starts with your mind. 

Fear of Failure Can Destroy Our Dreams

“Remember that failure is an event, not a person.”  Zig Zigler

What a great quote! All too often we look at failure on a personal level, and then we “hold onto it.” Instead of thinking of failure as a singular event, often we let it sneak into our subconscious. It can define us or limit us.  We remember the failure; the hurt, embarrassment and or pain it caused and we never want to go back there. It then becomes the fear of failure that holds so many of us back. It stops us from dreaming big or acting on our dreams.

Author Steven K. Scott in his book “Simple Steps to Impossible Dreams” defines Failure: “an event in which you did not achieve your desired outcome.”  That does not sound so bad; read his definition again.

He goes on to write, Failure’s role: “Any failure you experience can be: (1) a great teacher; even a powerful mentor to your future success, or (2) a tyrannical dictator that can drastically limit or even destroy all hopes of future success.”

The lesson here is: We have a choice! We can decide how we want to view failure. What did you learn from your last failure? How has it made you act differently? Has it changed your behavior?

What lesson did you learn from that failure?

I prefer to look at failure as my teacher and mentor. I was a young newspaper editor who had recently graduated college. I was asked to give a 20 minute speech on my industry to a local civic club. As a cocky kid, I did not prepare for the talk. I thought I could just wing it and I did not even bother to research the target audience. I was terrible! I started with an inappropriate joke and it went downhill from there. After about 3 minutes, I was done and mortified.

That failure became my best teacher. I now enjoy speaking engagements. I am always well prepared and I always know my audience. I could have shunned away from public speaking after that fiasco. Instead, I made the choice to look at that failure as a single event and learn from it. The failure became my best teacher.

“You cannot climb the ladder of success dressed in the costume of failure” Zig Zigler

So remember that failure is just an event. Fear of failure should not limit us. It should just make us ask:

What is the worst that can happen if I try this?

How can I minimize the risk?

How will I feel if I never try?


Getting "Unstuck"

Small Steps in Getting Unstuck

We all get stuck at some point in our lives. It can be in a job where we are not fulfilled or happy, but too afraid to leave. It can be in a relationship that makes us feel “stuck” and we stay for many reasons, some more valid than others. Most of us get “stuck” in much smaller ways like in our eating habits or exercise routines…or lack of.

My son shared a good story around exercising and how he made a few small “tweaks” to get back on track. Most of us agree that exercising in the morning, before work, is the best for many reasons…it is the gift to yourself before you start your day. Most of us also would rather sleep that extra hour too. What do we do? We either say yes to exercise in the morning or no.

What about just making a small change? Like give yourself the extra 30 minutes sleep in the morning; however, save time in the morning by making your lunch at night and laying out your clothes. The half hour you did at night allows you the extra half hour to sleep in the morning. Now, see if you can also go to bed just 15 minutes earlier……small steps and you get to where you need to be. That is the small changes my son made to get back on his morning exercise routine.

Rarely is life all or nothing. It is the small “adjustments” we can make that makes the big differences in our health, our outlook and ultimately our happiness. How long do we want to stay in “stuck” land before we make some small changes that will get as “unstuck” and on the road to where we want to be?


Your Reaction is Always Your Choice

Subject: Your Reaction is Always Your Choice

“A life of reaction is a life of slavery, intellectually and spiritually. One must fight for a life of action, not reaction.”  Rita Mae Brown
Love that quote! Here is a story about my 21 year old son who, I must say, is a good looking young man with a real style for fashion. Since he was very young, his clothes, hair and shoes were important to him. When he feels he looks good, he is happy, at his best and confident.

We all are like that to some extent, right?
He is allowed to dress in business casual to work. He arrives to work and shortly after he arrives, I receive a text on how upset and embarrassed he is. His $45 Oxford fashion designer shirt had bleach stains on it!

He is working hard to control his reaction, put the situation in perspective and not let it ruin his day! 

We all know that how we choose to react is always within our power. It is always our choice. It may be difficult to do. However, being mindful that it is always in our control is a powerful emotion and as Rita Mae Brown alludes to, it is the opposite of being a slave to our emotions. It is our freedom and worth fighting to overcome.
We have all had a boss, spouse or child who has said something to us that sets us off or causes us to “react”. Often it sets us in a tailspin and then you over react.

My goal for myself is to control my reaction. Sit in the space for a bit and then choose how to respond.
And you?

Envision a tennis court. You are on one side (reaction), the other person or event is on the other side. The Net is in between. You want to be the net and sit in that space....breathe and determine if the energy, anger, frustration or hurt is worth it.

What will those feelings do to me? How will it help me? If you see no upside.....let it go!  Close your eyes, inhale and let it go as you exhale...or as a very good friend of mine would say, "erase it"!    
“If You Can Dream it, You Can Do It!” – Walt Disney

Walt Disney spent his life “making dreams come true,” for himself and many, many others. Turning “dreams” into reality often takes a lot of hard work and discipline, but it also requires the “desire” to achieve.

Dreams of winning the lottery rarely come true, but most dreams are possible, if brought into the realm of realities.

The first step is to challenge yourself to see if you have what it takes to achieve the dream.  For instance, a young girl may want to become a concert pianist when she grows up. In order to achieve her goal, she must discipline herself to practice regularly and develop her skills. But practice alone won’t assure her dream. She may need a better teacher that is farther from her home, and may have to give up other activities that fill her life. And then she has to determine if she has enough talent to succeed.

But as Mohammad Ali said, “The ‘will’ is more important than the ‘skill.’

So the young girl continues to practice, and travels far for her lessons, and even though she may not be as “talented” as some others she knows, she finds her way to playing in a concert hall.
More talented students may look at her as “lucky,” and wonder why she succeeded while they failed.