I have a disease. It effects many of us, and most of us wish that we never had it. And then because we do, we worry about it. It effects almost all of our life choices – what we eat, how we eat, who we spend our time with, what we say, the jobs we take … I could go on and on but I will spare you. We worry if others can see it. and if it does – how it changes how they view us.
Now that I have got you properly stirred up and contemplating what on Earth of the literally 87 million diseases I am talking about and for some of you extreme worriers out there, identifying the symptoms and then even further worrying if – oh God – you have the disease that I allude to as well. Thing is, I’m almost sure that you do. It’s the disease of …”should of, could of, would have”.
For some, it is the momentary wave of regret and reconsideration that we slightly consider but then it washes up over and past us a bit like a breaking wave as we stand in the tentative surf of life. For others, they shove the disease in their mental closet like it’s a monster neatly contained by the white door that we have convinced ourselves is impenetrable. As long as we are on the outside and they are stuck on the inside right? If we can’t see it, it can’t see us. For even more of us, it cripples us beyond the point that we are willing to admit, but we live great portions of our lives like a bug on a pin. We are literally trapped by the invisible barrier somehow expertly created on three sides by our frenimies should have, could have, and would off. We don’t need the 4th side of the box because I’d bet money — to even get there you were learning against the wall to stop the room from spinning a bit. This has been me more than once. It has stopped my forward motion in relationships, in daily life and most especially and pronounced in professional successes. I have admittedly taken positions far beneath my education or experience for fear that I might botch the job, not be able to rise to the expectations or other silly fear that I cant seem to nail to the paper at the moment (funny considering how many months and years I blew obsessing over this stuff turning it over and over in my mind.)
Up until a few days, this was still a noose around my neck. Last week I went for a job interview. Before I left for it, my “pit crew” (as I lovingly call them) stepped in and gave me a rousing “go get em” that spoke to me in a different way than ever before. Every once in awhile we have something that speaks to us, even if we’ve heard the sentiment a hundred times before – suddenly it was clear. They reminded me to remember where I came from and who I am a child of. I am a child of Him. He gave me so many tools I don’t use daily because I refuse to believe that I have them. Value, honesty, the ability to learn, leadership abilities, resiliency, the ability to think on my feet. The more I believe that I am a product of Him, equipped with a greatness beyond my own understanding – the greater my potential suddenly becomes. Suddenly the challenges that seems so scary and crippling – impossible even — aren’t so much. Things that seem damn near impossible suddenly seem like an opportunity to grow and learn new things. It is all a choice and the act of re-framing. but the Hardest part of this new opportunity and mindset is to push through the fear and see the learning opportunity. To believe that you are worthy of it and to claim it the way that so many others seem to do do breathlessly. Shut out the voices that attempt to talk and stop you in your tracks. TALK LOUDER. Refute all of the negative arguments before the poison of darkness seeps in.
Find a time that you were successful and/or conquered something you thought you never would. Meditate on how that success happened and how you felt in that. Know this – you were an active part in that success. It was no accident that things happened. It wasn’t an accident that was just thrust upon you – success or failure as it was. **A special note about failure: Give yourself permission to fail once in awhile. Also, give yourself permission to feel the pain of the failure, the miscalculation, the challenge gone askew – but whatever you do – DO NOT LIVE THERE. This used to be my total problem. I’d put on the hare shirt and beat myself silly with the regret of the failure. Before I knew it, the actually failure was far dwarfed by the monster that I’d whipped it into. Suddenly the one mistake at a job became the reason that I should never work away from home again (true story of thoughts).
We achieve the victory over these challenges by cutting them back down to the size that they really are. By removing the panic and catastrophic characteristics we’ve associated with it. The barking dog that we’ve imagined to be a rottweiler, suddenly is the Yorkie that somehow managed to bark into the abyss and scare the shit out of us. In reclaiming our power, we determine where the wind in our sails takes us.
When we are controlled by the should of, could have, would of the brain power that we could devote to developing our power and learning to stand in it, instead goes to the brain power consumed with worry and regret. We worry about how badly we will fail and we are sure that failure will cause the rest of the world to *possibly* fall in. If you have the capacity to worry, you have the capacity to learn. If instead we turn our minds to envisioning how well we will do in our successes, we have the potential to do so many great and wonderous things that just might – and for some of you – will – quite literally change the world.
The next time you have the opportunity to change your life big or small – seize it. Today is a new day and you have a new chapter to write. Your story is yours to craft and if you stay stuck in this moment it may be the shortest story ever written. Breathe through the catch in your throat. Close your eyes and imagine your “pit crew” whoever they are. You have teammates you don’t even know that have been cheering for you since before time was put into swing. They know you can do it. They hope you figure out you can do it so they can stop holding your breath and throw the congrats party they’ve been hoarding decorations for years now.