Isn’t it true that we are our own worst critic? We have all heard a little voice in our head when we are trying to motivate ourselves. The important question is what does the voice say to you? Or better put…what are you telling yourself when no one else is listening?
Is your critic an encouraging voice, cheering you on to improve, re-assuring you to get up after a recent knock-down? Or is it a constant reminder of how you always come up short so why bother, pushing you to give up? What we tell ourselves matters. Do you realize that the way that we think about ourselves determines our course in life? Perhaps you don’t believe this to be true, but I dare you to find a successful person that you admire who constantly thinks negatively about who they are and what they are capable of. I bet you can’t find one. That isn’t to say that successful people don’t struggle. But the truth is that the battles we all face, whether in our career or personal life are not fought in public. It’s a battle that is won or lost in our mind. And we prepare for battle with the choices we make.
Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. That’s the advice Matt Damon’s character in the ‘We Bought a Zoo’ movie told his son when they were discussing his budding romance with a girl. He promised him that if he had could just muster up enough courage in that 20 seconds, something great would happen. I love this scene for the simple truth it portrays… that a choice made in an instant has the potential to drastically alter our life. Our life is the culmination of all of our choices after all. But fear and/or negativity is something that interrupts our decision making process and holds us back, or takes us down a less beneficial path. And isn’t it funny that we don’t fear the big things, like jumping out of a plane or running into a cage of alligators, things that may actually have life and death consequences. It’s the fear of small things that hold us back daily. Fear of what people will think about us; fear of rejection; fear of success; fear of talking to someone new. It seems strange to me that we allow these small things to control the life we are trying to create for ourselves. But we are all guilty of it!
For some of us, maybe we didn’t pick up the phone to call that person back and have always regretted it. Or maybe you never sent in your resume for that dream job because you never thought you had a chance anyway. These are simple examples of fear altering our choice, and therefore changing our life. If you think about it, we are constantly faced with little choices that can alter our direction. Those little decisions compounded over years is what our lives become. Your career may have been altered by one never sent resume; your personal life may have been changed by one missed “Hello”. It’s a simple but profound truth.
Later in the movie there’s a beautiful scene where Matt Damon’s character is explaining to his children where he met their mother (who had since passed away). He explains that it took him 6 seconds to get into the diner where she was sitting, so he still had 14 seconds of courage left at his disposal. He used his 14 seconds and it changed the rest of his life.
It’s true that not every decision is going to have the same impact on our life. Does it really matter whether we get the Hawaiian or the Pepperoni? Probably not. But the point is that we can choose what’s going to occupy the space between our ears, fear or optimism, and in turn have a better chance of making wise decisions. There’s a great quote I heard once: “If you don’t like the way things are, change them, you’re not a tree.” I love this because it’s a silly way of considering the choices we make, but it is absolutely true. Don’t get stuck because of limiting beliefs you place on yourself. If you’re going to get stuck in life, and sometimes we all do, may it be from circumstances outside of our control. Sometimes you’ll get caught in unexpected traffic, but cutting the gas line to your own car is on you. Give yourself the best chance for success. Fight for the space between your ears.
The above post are some thoughts from my Son. Thanks for the post.