“I feel like walking away from my marriage” someone shared with me last week. Other comments people share like “I feel like leaving my job” or “ Maybe I should just let go of my crazy dreams” make me curious. Curious and committed. I’m curious about what’s possible, and committed to encourage people to “hang in there!”
Not just hang in there either, but come out the other side of the challenge victorious. Possibly bruised, but triumphant and grateful.
Tenacity is my middle name. Well I hope so. It’s landed me in trouble sometimes, but the majority of the time it’s helped me succeed in areas I would have given up on. (My real middle name is Louise – meaning Defender of Mankind, or Warrior Princess, so there’s a bit of tenacity involved there I think).
Tenacity and Courage tend to go together… As do Courage and Encouragement… You know I’m passionate about cheering people on. It’s because I’m still standing, still in business, in relationships and loving life because I’m a product of encouragement. To encourage means to “put courage in” and it’s something we can do for ourselves and especially each other.
We need courage to live bravely, purposefully. Courage helps us hang on when it feels like we should just let go. Of course we need wisdom to know when to let go, and clarity to look around and see the truth of our situation. The truth, not the feeling.
Things to let go of … micromanaging, unhealthy habits, pursuing ‘shallow goals’ – the ones we didn’t think through very well, or that we designed to make us look good in someone else’s eyes… you can think of other things to let go of.
Things to hang on to… those things you’ve committed to with a sense of purpose, like worthy goals you know deep down you’re on the planet to accomplish. Things you knew were absolutely the right decision when you made a clear-headed decision. Know when you’re clouded by discouragement and refuse to give in to that. Find ways to encourage yourself and ask others for encouragement. Ask for help. Nobody expects perfection from you. We all live on the same planet and have crises from time to time. We’re human.
When we’re discouraged we need to take notice of our thinking – not to obey it, but to take charge of it. When you’re aware and honest about how you feel you can create a new focus.
I asked someone what they’re thinking when getting up to speak publicly and their answer was “I don’t want to embarrass myself or those who invited me” – I recommended turning that around to create a new focus of what you DO want. For example “I want to inspire/encourage/empower these people”
If it’s a marriage you want to walk away from because you just can’t stand looking at the person you married – start thinking about their qualities – and write them down. Acknowledge their positive traits. What can you be grateful for? If you hate your house, start noticing what you can be grateful for. We expect a roof over our head in Australia, so we forget to be grateful for it, but start there. Grattidue for little things will start opening your eyes to more things you can be grateful for. And the little things actually really, really matter.
I’m writing this as I help clients turn their thinking around, and learn how to notice and change their thinking – which has lifelong impacts. I am overjoyed at the results people get, and I’m so grateful that I’ve learned this myself and can share it with others.
Please break the cycle of downward thinking and ask for help. From me, from another coach or trusted friend who will help you develop healthier thinking.
Thank you for reading all this way. You can see I’m just getting started – I could write and speak on this topic for days. Please write down something you’re grateful for today. Dwell on it. You can change your brain.
Cheering you on,
PS. The one who felt like walking away from their marriage? Choosing to focus on gratitude, and being coachable, honest and committed to new thinking has returned the focus from despair to hope, appreciation and clear thinking again.
By Kerrie Phipps