Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Keep Calm and Stop, Look, and Listen

In my last post, I talked about why you should Get Off the Self-Pity Waterslide. It’s one of the tools fear uses to incapacitate some of the best and brightest. I also said you could stop, look, and listen to avoid the clutches of fear and self pity.

It’s easy to quit trying. It’s easy to listen to the voices that say "You can’t." If you believe you can’t, you don’t feel guilty if you stop trying.

I'm your voice of reason saying, "PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN! The buck stops here!"


Stop believing the voice of fear. He’s wrong. (I.e.. There IS chocolate cake, and you CAN make it to the top of the stairs. See THIS post if you’re confused.) The second you let him start his sales pitch, he’s got you like the lotion ladies at the mall kiosk. Walk the other way and don’t let him into your head!

Look at how far you’ve come. You’re making progress! When people worry about the future, they often forget or belittle past successes. Look back at an old journal or some work you did years ago. Pull out an old award. Hey, you weren’t half bad back then! Now compare work from back then with where you are today. If you’ve been working, you HAVE made progress! If you haven’t been working, don’t be surprised at lack of progress. Use it as incentive to get busy. :)

Listen to all the other voices telling you how awesome you are! In my last blog, I wrote about a concept called “critic’s math.” Let’s review: 1000 compliments + 1 insult = 1 insult. Suggestion: LISTEN TO THE 1000 COMPLIMENTS! These are the voices you block out because you WANT to take a dive down the self-pity chute. (See my self-pity post if you’re wondering why on earth you’d want to do such a thing.)

I've learned recently that some of my good friends—some of the best, brightest, kindest, most good-looking people I know—are full of fear and insecurity because they'd rather listen to the voice of fear and make a quick exit than listen to their friends, family, and the word of God, who are all shouting that they are AMAZING PEOPLE and should KEEP CLIMBING!

If I sound like an expert on this phenomenon, it's because I am. I am the queen of dismissing compliments. As hungry as I am for approval, when someone says I've done well, it's like it bounces off a steel-plated shell I've built around my opinion of myself.

And so I fear the future. I fear that I will never be good enough. I fear, not because of what people tell me, but because of what I see in myself and what fear says my future will be like. I hop on the self-pity slide and erase my progress.

All because I listen to the wrong voice.

And it’s not just me. In fact, if you’re listening to fear and indulging in self-pity, you’re not alone. You actually keep company with some of the best and brightest. Because when fear picks its targets, it aims high.

How high? Well, that’s actually the topic of my next post. But suffice it to say, the voices of fear are wrong. And you’re not the only one they go after.

You’re not alone.

Stop being fear’s puppet. Look at the progress you’ve made. Even if it’s just an inch! Listen to the voices of truth cheering you on. You have a fan section. So why you keep hangin’ with the haters?

God loves you. He has not brought you this far to let you down now. He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion!

Now you go carry on, soldier.

Carry on.

But please, check your fears at the door.

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