DEFEATED by EXCUSES
So far my morning has consisted of nothing going right. My whole day plan has fallen apart for various reasons and I have had to rescue my nearly 1 year old multiple times from putting yuk things in her mouth.. A drawing pin (!!), small crystals, rocks, unidentified tentacle floor yuk, dried up rice, my shoe, dirt and a spider (I have wooden floors and vacuum daily but even that isn’t enough). I’m struggling to be optimistic.
When things don’t go RIGHT, or as PLANNED, it’s easy to feel DEFEATED and DISCOURAGED. And why does it always happen when things just start getting really good? Is it that your on such a high that something can bum you out more than usual. Or is it that when things go good there needs to be an equilibrium? When one thing happens, it seems everything else takes a turn for the worst and follows.
For me, one of my biggest let down’s is; other people not meeting my expectations. If you think about it, I bet it’s similar for everyone. You throw a birthday and last minute your friends tell you they “can’t” make it. You make a nice dinner for your partner, who doesn’t tell you they are coming home late. You cancel your plans for an event which in turn gets cancelled. So many times I’ve gone through this and for example take the dinner.. I made a beautiful and expensive to prepare meal, full of health benefits for my partner at the time who never turned up. When I called he was still 2 hours away even though he said he would be home. I was really upset at all the effort I put into the meal and was told “Don’t cook for me in the future then”. It was so confusing, partly because that was how I showed I cared, that was how he wanted to be cared for, and I wanted for us to be able to share a special meal together.
If you really think about it and break it down. The issue wasn’t the meal. I made it about the meal, but the issue was the way I felt about the situation. I was let down by someone which was completely out of my control. It was easy to feel like I wanted to give up and NEVER make a meal again. NEVER cook again or go out of my way to make someone feel special. Maybe the meal didn’t even convey what I was feeling, it was just a meal to him.
But it got me thinking, back then, I was the one who CHOSE to put in the effort. He didn’t ask for it, so even though he could have told me he was going to be late, it was MY CHOICE. Accepting RESPONSIBLITY for my CHOICES doesn’t necessarily mean accepting all blame. But it does give me power back.
I find many of my friends in business struggle on the daily with clients not turning up to appointments and devaluing their time and energy. It’s so easy to cancel an early morning gym appointment with a trainer when you don’t feel like it, without consideration for the trainer having got up and ready to be there FOR YOU.
The only way around the conflict in expectations is to be clear in the first place. Find out what is IMPORTANT to someone as everyone has different INTERNAL DRIVERS and MOTIVATIONS. Why is your client coming to the gym? What are the repercussions if they don’t show up with late notice? Is the REASON to go to the gym GREATER than the lower frequency thoughts they might experience at the time. It is a constant battle, for the water will always take the easiest route down a hill. Everyone has EXCUSES.
It’s easy to get discouraged and disheartened when you feel let down. It’s easy to dwell and to blame others or be upset about matters you cannot change. BUT you CAN CHANGE them. This world is only a grounds for our creation. What can YOU DO that is in line with your VALUES, to bring your expectations in line with those of others?
It would be sad to never cook another meal for a partner. It would be helpful to understand that their drive to do well at work is what drove them to be late and forget time, and that you feel the same way about having a meal ready for them at the end of the day. There are 2 main compontents here. Communication about what is IMPORTANT to you and EXPECTED from them is key. And as my friend Adam Nesbitt says; “Guiding people to CHOOSE based on their WHY, rather than EXCUSE gives them huge power to ACT in line with their VALUES.”
One thing is certain.. I don’t have the answers. Especially in the moment when all you feel is discouraged and low. What I do know is it takes time to process feelings. I know I stress this a lot but my favourite thing I can do WITH kids in tow, costs no money and is an immediate solution to help get unstuck is to go for a walk. Clear my head and think in a different way. You CANNOT solve a problem with the same MINDSET that got you stuck in the first place. You NEED a new direction.
Life is only a playground to try different tacks and if something doesn’t work, change your view, reaction, game plan, whatever it might be. You and only YOU are in CONTROL of YOU. That’s all you can be.
Everything is TEMPORARY.