Greetings All —
With Memorial Day weekend upon us, it’s that time of year when our recreation takes on a whole new dimension. Don’t you just love how everything seems more fun, more meaningful, more like engaging life, when we do it outdoors? It feels special to simply walk to the farmers’ market or sit on a park bench with a book.
If you find yourself scoffing at those notions because you’re too busy to enjoy the sunshine, drop me a line and let’s set up a life coaching consultation. You may just need to develop your non-work life and create some balance.
Please scroll down for this month’s message.
You draw a picture that clearly isn’t your best effort. Someone tells you it’s a work of art. Does it suddenly have value to you?
You write a terrific book. An agent tells you it’s lacking mass appeal. Do you go back to the drawing board?
If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, there’s a good chance you’re relying too much on exernal validation. The question is, what do you think of your drawing or book? Or for that matter, your home decor or the outfit you’re wearing? Or the career decision you made or the spouse you picked?
Here’s a thought: Create your own reality.
Truly, if you don’t, sometimes you’ll find yourself wondering where it ends. If a prospective client thinks your fees are too high, do you lower them? If your significant other thinks your hair is too long, do you cut it? If your mother thinks you should be a secretary because your singing voice isn’t good enough to make it big, should you pull out the steno pad?
The idea isn’t to disregard all outside opinion to the exclusion of your own. That would be arrogant and, in some cases, ignorant. But if you do something or buy something or treasure something that you are proud of and can have that feeling undone by someone else’s opinion, there’s something to examine there.
For a variation on the theme, try filling in the blank here: I would be happy if ___________.
Of course this is sort of a trick. If you fill it in with some external circumstance or thing, you’ve answered incorrectly. Happiness, inner peace, joyful existence — they don’t come from the outside in, they emanate from the inside and extend out. That energy can be felt in the way you treat others, from your children to the cashier at the local store. Your level of peace is palpable in every interaction you have, including how you receive a critique or a compliment.
I recall a Dr. Phil show where he explained that after his son played in a football game, he’d ask, “Were you proud of your performance?” That allowed his son to assign the value to his own performance. Anyone who has spent any time watching youth sports knows what a refreshing approach that is. He was developing his son’s ability to think critically about what he did. Imagine the impact of that after not one football game, but 10 or 20.
The idea here is to learn to look at our need for external validation. We don’t have to have our day or our week or our life dictated by someone else’s positive or negative opinions, good or bad moods, rude or courteous actions.
It’s up to us, and only us, to live from the inside out.
CALLING ALL CONTACTS: If you haven’t already, please drop me a line with your up-to-date contact info. My database will love you for it.