Rising up in the face of opposition...what it really means to stand your ground and sharpen up in life, business & personal relationships
You say to your friend, "I'm trying to lose weight, but I just can't and then your friend tells you why....
You are in your work place and it is pointed out that you or your team dropped the ball...
You are not meeting the standard you or someone else has set for you and you cry out for help, or not, but it comes anyway just not how you expected...
Life just gives you lemons and you can't bare to taste the lemonade...
Have you ever been in a similar situation where the words come at you, you see red and just start flailing your sword? I think we all have. Our tongue is the strongest muscle in your body and when we think we are using it as defense in actuality it is often being used as a weapon. Here is the money question. In your life is this reaction the exception or is it the rule?
These are the opportunities that can shape and sharpen our character. Maybe this is not what you were hoping to hear, but you should hear it anyway or maybe you are perfect at this and don't need to read further. If you are hungry for growth, this is for you. If you are not and read on anyway, leave your narcissism out of your inner dialogue for the next few minutes.
The first opportunity to sharpen your character is when in the face of opposition, examine yourself fully, even when you "think" or perhaps have done no wrong. This is our chance to learn and grow into the people we want to be. This is where the pursuit of excellence comes in. Are you living in pursuit of personal excellence or personal protection? A person pursuing excellence will welcome the critique, while a person pursuing protection will automatically turn their sword or sheild which they think is being used for defense into a weapon to ward off the enemy dressed as a threatening invader.
If you see yourself as a person who is in the pursuit of personal excellence check yourself with the following exercise. Seriously get up and get a piece of paper and a pen if you have to.
Write down the last 5-10 of these situations that you can remember and evaluate your reaction. What do you think the underlying motivation/intent was for the person who abraised you? What do you think the underlying reason for your reaction was, whether positive or negative? Are you happy with your responses and the feelings involved, if not what could you have done differently? Did your response move you closer or further from a solution or goal?
How did you do? I know I have not mastered this, though I will never give up trying to improve. We can not continue in our strive for excellence if we despise rebuke.
I had a few points to discuss when it comes down to situations like this. The Four Agreements has some good basics, and of course we need to kick pride to the curb, but when it comes down to it, as corny as this sounds it is acting in LOVE that is the most active ingredient necessary for this journey of empowering yourself and others.
This definition of LOVE simplifies and trumps everything that my earthy wisdom could possibly say.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8New International Version (NIV)
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
I could be wrong...but it just seems to take care of so much. Books like The Four Agreements are a great start, but LOVE literally covers all things. In regards to our pursuit of excellence, while all of these attributes are important, one of these stand out to me in particular in today's world of mass distortion. As many things change around us, it seems one of those things that has gotten disregarded in our society as part of Love is that Love rejoices in Truth. In today's sugar coated world correction is not construed as a sign of love, yet it clearly states that Truth is part of the definition of love in this context.
Today, disciplining or correcting a child, a client, employee or....wait for it.... your spouse is borderline construed as abuse. Do I believe it should done kindly, yes, of course..."Love is Kind. ", but it should be done.
Have you ever found yourself saying...."You could have told me that" ? There have been so many things I wish someone had told me or corrected me on over the years. Do you have any examples from your own life that you can think of, where you would have preferred correction?
It is true that on the outside, we can certainly mask that we are patient , kind, not jealous etc. We can mask all of these things, so my challenge to you is to work on developing these on the inside to a higher level than you already are composed of . If we want to do more, be more and lead more we have to start on the inside of ourselves. It doesn't start with Why, It starts with Love.
Keep the scope of each situation in perspective when coaching and when being guided whether in fitness, business or your personal relationships. We all have moments of un-lovingness and un-loveableness. You need to commit and engage in growing your love. Your pursuit of excellence depends on it. If love isn't excellent, than I don't know what is.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another Proverbs 27:7
Go deep this year and be sharpened as a person so that you can continue to grow in your pursuit of personal excellence, help to sharpen and empower one to another & change the world. The world is counting on you.