Do You Quit When It’s Easy?

Have you ever noticed just how much a little thing can affect you?  It has to be a very specific little thing, probably something no-one else would even notice.  And yet, it gets to you.  Gets deep inside you and starts gnawing away.  And if you’re not careful, it can leave you feeling flat at best, or worse make you angry.

Language is very powerful as I explained in “The Mind Altering Power of a Word”.  The right words can whip a crowd into a baying frenzy of excitement, make individuals achieve more than they ever thought possible, invigorate or they can chastise, belittle and demean perceived subordinates.  And words can de-motivate. 

I believe that most people say what comes into their heads at a moment’s notice without giving much or even ANY thought to what it is like on the receiving end.  I often lock proverbial horns with my other half about a careless, even totally inaccurate word or phrase he’s used.  He has never needed to learn the subtleties of language for his career in the City and is certainly no loss to the Diplomatic Corps.

Nontheless, I don’t think I would have been so badly affected had I not felt tired this morning.

The porridge packet simply said “Easy to Open Tab – Just Pull Here”.  After I’d narrowly missed stabbing myself with scissors trying to lift the permanently glued tab, ripped a gaping hole in the side of the box and scattered handfuls of oats all over the counter top, I had to disagree somewhat with the manufacturer’s assessment of the box opening ease.

And this really is my point.  Just because YOU find something easy, doesn’t mean it IS easy.  It simply means YOU have the necessary skills to make you confident that you will be able to do that something easily.  But we all have different skills.  What I find easy, you may not.  Turning cartwheels is easy for an acrobat.  Speaking French is easy for a French National.  Riding a bike is easy.  LEARNING to ride a bike most definitely is not.

If you take the time to learn the necessary skill you will become more confident in more areas and over time, find more things easy. But don’t be fooled by thinking learning is ever easy.  It isn’t.

For everyone online, the words “easy”, “simple” and “just” appear everywhere. These words CAN be very destructive to maintaining a positive mental attitude if you don’t happen to have the precise skills needed to make the task simple. Be aware that whatever is said, YOU may need to LEARN new skills to complete the “easy” task.

So bear that in mind next time you see “So simple to use – my eight year old was up and running in just 5 minutes”.  Consider whether you actually have the same skills and today’s average eight year old before you take the plunge!  Don’t get downhearted.  Decide to keep your positive attitude.  You will need it to get over the learning curve!

Do You Need To Ignore Your Lover?

I believe a positive mental attitude is key in achieving success, however you define success.  But getting and maintaining a positive mental attitude in the face of doom merchants and naysayers can be hard, even downright difficult.  One of the commonest blocks to success has got to be the negative attitudes and projections of the very people you would expect to be your strongest supporters.

Your spouse, your parents and your best friend.

Don't ListenThink about it. If you are trying to make a change in your life, improve yourself in some way, change career, start an online business, lose weight, stop smoking, write a book, or anything at all, there will be a time when you need to change the way you think and move outside your comfort zone. This can be scary and is the time when you are most vulnerable. It is the time when you need the support of your nearest and dearest.

And it is exactly this time when your loved ones can pour doubt and derision into your brain instead, sabotaging your positive mental attitude and with it, any chance of your success.  Why would they do this?

Simple. Your success affects them in a negative way.

Every relationship can be thought of as a see-saw in equilibrium. Both sides are balanced. It doesn’t matter how unequal the relationship is. It is what it is. And for as long as the people in it keep doing whatever they usually do, it can be thought of as “in balance”.

But when you decide to change yourself and do something different, this alters the equilibrium of every close relationship you are in. The see-saw becomes unbalanced.

This feels odd, uncomfortable and scary for the people in the relationship. To regain the relationship balance, or to get the see-saw back into equilibrium, the OTHER person must ALSO change, and they may just not want to. After all, THEY didn’t want to change in the first place. So they do the next best thing.

They try to stop you from changing. Instead they force you back into the box you are trying to get out of. They sabotage your chances of success by filling your mind with doubt.

Unless you are very strong, you listen to your loved ones. You listen as they tell you how worried they are that you will fail. You listen as they explain it isn’t for you and isn’t it just better to stay where you are? You start to believe them. You bury your dreams and go back to living the way you were.

OR you realise they’re scared for you, for themselves and what the new you will mean to your relationship and home life.  If it will help, talk excitedly about your project to drum up their enthusiasm if you can.  Show them your resume if you’re changing jobs.  Explain how much time will be involved if you’re following a course.  Reassure them you will still have time for them.  Do everything you can to explain how you’ve minimised your risk of failure.

But accept that sometimes it’s just too hard for your loved ones to accept the changes in you.  That’s why friends and family members “grow apart”.

If it’s your spouse who is the doom merchant and naysayer, you need to tread more carefully.  If you KNOW that what you are doing will improve the lives of you both, then do NOT seek their approval.  If it’s a big thing, like moving house to get a job, or stopping smoking when both of you smoke, then fight your corner but be prepared to compromise on things like timing. However, if you’re trying to make a success of a personal goal, like losing 30 lbs weight or learning to write poetry, find a support group and just go for it.

Sometimes your nearest and dearest just do NOT have your best intentions at heart, however much they think they do. Sabotaging your positive mental attitude by sowing doubt is one way to keep you from ultimately forcing change on them.

And vice versa.

So remember that next time YOUR loved one asks YOU to support a life change!