Shifting gear (DW #875)

Moving away from victim to s/hero mode, turns out is not complicated.

We simply need to change the questions that we ask ourselves.
Victims ask:
  • Why me?
  • Why is this happening?
  • Why is this happening to me?
  • Why does this need to happen?
  • Why am I like this?
  • Why is he/she/they like that? (Good luck trying to figure that one out!!)
(all the time we are asking this question, we are blaming of course. God, ourselves or others).

What do s/heroes ask instead?
They ask: Now what needs to be done? They plant themselves firmly in the zone of action.
The question immediately changes the focus from problem to solution.
Or to put it another way, we can ask: What’s Important Now = W.I.N
Try going for the W.I.N next time you notice yourself complaining.
Ask W.I.N for small things and big problems.
Go for the #WIN and become a s/hero.
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Growing roots (DW #874)

Another thing that complaining does is that it "grows roots" for the problem. It solidifies it somehow. Makes it seem un-changeable. Fixes it in our consciousness as something permanent.
After all, our focus is on the disastrous nature of the problem in all its glory.
So try it: set a timer and complain for 60 seconds.
Describe all the ways the problem is a problem.
  • How about the weather? That’s a great thing to complain about, isn’t it
  • Because we have lots of opportunity to this.
  • The weather in Canada, you know, awful.
  • The winters are so long.
  • It is sooo cold (it really is!!)
  • Winter lasts half the year.
  • The days are so short.
  • The nights are so long.
  • The roads are so icy.
  • The traffic is so bad.
  • It just snows and snows and snows ALL the time.
Feeling better yet?
No? Then how come we keep doing this?
Complaining about reality.
When we fight with reality, how often we lose?
Only 100% of the time, as Byron Katie puts it.
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Victim versus s/hero (DW #873)

We have been discussing the differences between victims and "owners" or as I like to think of them s/heroes.
What is a quick way to move from victim to s/hero?
Quit complaining.
Quit complaining about things which are outside your control (which is most things!)
The problem with complaining is this: it takes much energy, it is always about others and not yourself (therefore there is nothing you can do about it – so very disempowering) and it may feel good in the moment.
When we complain, our brain may start thinking that we are actually doing something about it. After all, we are discussing it and bringing it into the forefront of our attention right?
Wrong. Nope. Nada.
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It is noisy in here. Where do I begin? (DW #872)

As we become aware of our self-critical voices, we can get overwhelmed with the amount of chatter inside our heads.
So if we are to understand and master our self-talk, where exactly do we begin.
Start by noticing how many times you "should yourself".
  • "I should be better at this"
  • "I should exercise more"
  • "I should not be so silly"
  • "I should not be so emotional"
As Steve Chandler reminds us, "There is one word that does more damage and creates more victims than any other. It is the word ‘should.’ And you should never use it! (Oh my gosh I just did it. I should be more careful.) ‘Should’ actually reduces your motivation every time you use it. ‘Should’ is the most self-defeating word in the English language. It’s like a tranquilizer to the spirit."
We surely don’t want to take too many "tranquilizers for the spirit".
Once you start noticing how much you should yourself, you will most certainly begin to notice...
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Noticing your self talk (DW #871)

Are you aware of the judgy little (or big) voice inside your head?
Which voice, you ask? The voice that is telling you right now: What on earth is she talking about!
It is one thing to be judging others and quite another to be CONSTANTLY judging oneself.
It is exhausting and unproductive.
And so, "Understanding and mastering how you speak to yourself" says Chandler, "is the most important project you could ever take on. Get hooked on it like a hobby."
I love how he says to treat it like a hobby. A hobby is interesting, something you enjoy, some that is fun.
And so, beginning to become aware of our judgy little judges can be that too: interesting and fun.
As long as we don’t get all judgy and self-critical about the fact that we are judging ourselves.
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Lighting the fire of your soul (DW #870)

Ever been to camp? And had a campfire in the night? What happened to the fire by the morning? Chances are that it had burnt out. And if you wanted another fire the next night, you had to make another one, right?

Steve Chandler likens our human motivation, inspiration and growth to this campfire. It is an apt metaphor in many ways.

Here is how he puts it: "The human spirit, like a campfire, must be lit again each day.

Unlike the spirit, a campfire is easy to observe and understand, because we can step back from it and observe it. After a night of camping, we can emerge from our tents the next morning and notice with satisfaction that the campfire has gone out. We don’t curse the campfire for going out, and we don’t think life is unfair because we have to start another fire again the next night.

Yet we don’t have that same simple understanding of the spirit. We are confused by the human spirit. We think there is something wrong with the universe in which the...

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Courage is a reward not a requirement (DW #869)

Let us explore the idea of courage a little bit further.
"Victims become passive when they can’t find faith, or confidence, or courage to do something. Then they tell themselves they don’t have the power to do it. Owners know that faith and courage only appear later in reflection. Action comes first. Action comes before the courage to act. Faith and courage are rewards—not requirements—for action. The power to do something often shows up halfway into the doing of the thing, not up front. ‘Do the thing,’ said Ralph Waldo Emerson,’ and you shall have the power.’"
What an amazing way to think, isn’t it? Imagine how much we could achieve if we were not waiting for faith, courage, motivation, inspiration and all sorts of other feelings that we believe are prerequisites for action. Imagine taking action despite the absence of any or all of these motivations and inspiration and recognizing with delight that they are, in...
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What would you do? (DW #868)

Continuing our conversation on fear, courage and action, here is a question for you:
What things would you would do in your life if you had absolutely no fear, hesitation or self-doubt?
  • Start a business?
  • Teach?
  • Quit your job?
  • Make that phone call?
  • Have that hard conversation?
  • Confess your feelings?
  • Apply for that position?
  • Make that request?
Write down a few of them.
Now please
pick one of them to do. And go do it.
Yes, I get it. The thing you’ve picked to do is probably making you afraid right now just thinking about it. That’s okay. Let those thoughts be as they as they are. You don’t have to believe all your thoughts (or any for that matter but that’s for another day ;)  or let them stop you from taking action.
"You will find", as Steve Chandler puts it, "you’re feeling your fear while you are in action conquering it. And as you continue in action, the fear dissolves, like a fist full of salt in the river....
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Distinguishing feeling and action (DW #867)

Do you want to hear a top secret about super successful people?
From what I have heard, read and studied, super successful people also have fears, self-doubts and anxieties - just like you and me.
Yup. The only difference is that they don’t let these feelings get in the way of taking action.
I like how Steve Chandler puts it in Reinventing Yourself:  "Somehow, as grown-ups, we have talked ourselves into assuming that we can’t do anything we’re afraid of doing; that being afraid to do it is the same thing as being unable to do it. But a little practice just doing it shows us that this was a false assumption".
Being afraid to do something is not the same thing as being unable to do it.
Feeling fear and taking action are two separate things.
And those of us who wait till fear is over before we take action need to know this: that taking action can cause a change in feelings. The only...
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The power of language (DW #866)

Continuing with our series on Reinventing Yourself, Steve Chandler emphasizes how important language is in the way we conceptualize "problems" or "challenges".
Here is how he puts it:

"Owners use the words ‘I can’ a lot, while victims favored ‘I can’t.’ Owners had goals, projects, and challenges, whereas victims had problems, hassles, and nightmares. Owners said they were busy, and victims said they were swamped. Owners were ‘designing a life,’ while victims were ‘trying to make a living.’ Owners were psyched and excited about changes in the workplace, while victims were worried and ticked off. Owners looked to see what they could get from an experience, while victims tried to get through it. Owners would plan things and victims would wish things".
In other words, people who take charge of their lives talk about the inevitable bumps of life as challenges to be faced and overcome as opposed to...
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