Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Life Chapters – Respect

Rude People

Have you noticed how increasingly rude some people seem to be these days?  When driving in the car, shopping in the grocery store, in the movie theater, at sporting events, where you work, and even at church there seems to be so many more rude people than when I was growing up.  When you encounter a rude person, how do they make you feel?  Do you feel annoyed?  Do you feel angry?  Or, do you just chalk it up to the perceived notion that this is what our world has become?  I suggest that rudeness may stem from a lack of respect.

Respect Yourself and Others Will Respect You

Respect begins with you.  Do you respect yourself?  If not, don’t expect others to respect you.  Wearing sagging pants so everyone can see your underpants, using foul vulgar language, yelling at people or being insulting or making fun of others is not being respectful of yourself.  Growing up my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles all taught me to “do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”  Living by this rule makes the world a more civilized place.

The world we live in is very diverse with many different types of people all coming from many different cultures, languages and races.  Our diversity enriches our lives and who we are helping to make the world more interesting, but only if we all get along.  The only way to enjoy life in a diverse world is to have respect for one another.

Showing Respect

Respect can be demonstrated in many ways.  The way we speak to each other plays a big role in a respectful diverse world.  Speaking politely in an unhurtful manner shows respect to the person you are speaking with.  Simple things like yes, no or thank you go a very long way.  Having tolerance for different beliefs demonstrates respect.  A respectful person views everyone as a person with rights, regardless of their gender, age, ethnicity or race.  Respecting others in our diverse world is a necessity of life.

Respect is defined as the acknowledgment that someone or something has value.  Considering the definition it is easy to make the connection that respect means we may not always agree with what someone may say, but we must always respect what it is they say and their right to say it.  Respect is earned through showing respect.  If you have no respect for yourself you will never gain the respect of others - you must walk the walk and talk the talk.  Those individuals who are most respected are those who inspire others to achieve their best by enabling them to unlock their highest potential through an understanding of mutual respect.

“Respect yourself and others will respect you.”―Confucius, Sayings of Confucius

“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”―Albert Einstein

“How would your life be different if…You stopped making negative judgmental assumptions about people you encounter? Let today be the day…You look for the good in everyone you meet and respect their journey.”― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

Friday, June 7, 2013

Life Chapters – Your Negative Inner Voice

What would you miss?

If you were to die today what would you regret not being able to do?  Write your answers down.
  1. Are you doing the things you wrote down now?
  2. If not, why not?  Especially, if you would regret not being able to do them why are you not doing them now?

What are you waiting for?  If what you wrote down are important things, why are you not doing them?  It’s funny how we say one thing yet do another.  Why do so many of us listen to our inner voices of doubt and fear?  The voices we make up in our head to help run our lives keeping most of us stuck at average nowhere near awesome.  Why do you accept average and not awesome?

Your Inner Voices

Our inner voice tells many of us that it’s okay.  The voices say “Why try for awesome if we are doing okay at average?”  As one gets closer to taking the first step towards something new or awesome their inner voices of doubt and fear get louder and louder until they stop the individual in their tracks.

Think about what has stopped you in your tracks. Were you listening to your inner voices of doubt and fear telling you “Don’t do it; why are you doing this?” and many other reasons not to do whatever it is.  The voices go on and on, louder and louder until you stop in your tracks.  The problem with this is that it’s your own self, your own inner voices that are telling you that you are not good enough to take the step.  Your inner voices are telling you things without even knowing the facts as though your inner voice is the absolute authority.

Your inner voices of doubt and fear provide the excuses you need to avoid difficult situations or decisions.  In some cases this might be a good thing especially when you want to ring someone’s neck however; many times those voices are detrimental if you let them be. 

Trusting Your Inner Voices

How many times have you heard “Trust your inner voice,” or “What’s your inner voice telling you?”  Time and again my inner voice has helped me.  The difference is I don’t let my inner voices of doubt and fear have a voice.  By shutting down my doubt and fear inner voices, I don’t let them control my life or what I do.

Over the years I have talked with hundreds of people about business.  I have started a few small businesses with a few failures and a few successes.  Many of the individuals I have spoken with stated they were unhappy with where they were in their career or life.  I would ask “Have you ever thought about starting your own business or why not find another job or career that makes you happy?”  The common response I receive every time is “Oh I can’t do that” or “I could never start a business” or “I am not trained for…”  With each I would respond with “Why can’t you?  Have you already looked into it?”  My questions would open the floodgates of excuses almost always ending with “I just know inside it’s not right for me.” 

When you stop accepting the difficult challenges and take the average path you disengage with the world around you and engage your inner voices of doubt and fear using them for control and comfort.  If left unchecked your inner voices will become self-deprecating, chipping away at your confidence, self-esteem and self-worth.  Allowed to happen long enough over time they will become habits which become very comfortable and hard to break.  If allowed to persist, no matter what people say to help build you up, your inner voices will not go away.  I leave you with this from authors David Molden and Pat Hutchinson:

“We all have a tendency to judge, speculate and compare, as your inner voice describes what you see and hear in terms of good/bad, right/wrong, small/large, perfect/imperfect, must/mustn’t, can/can’t, should/shouldn’t’, etc. If this type of thinking leaves you feeling anxious, angry or sad, your self-confidence will take a knocking. Whilst most people make judgments, confident people do so the least; they are more inclined to be curious about the world and seek to understand it, not judge it. When you understand, you can be confident.

Confident people often have a code for how they engage with the world, like a set of principles to live by, such as ‘trust what people do, not what they say they will do’, or ‘help other people along the way whenever you can’. This is what their inner voices used for – to keep life-principles at the forefront of their mind. This helps them make quick decisions and feel certain about themselves.”

So stop shooting yourself in the foot by allowing your negative inner voices to run your life.  Start today; listen to what you are saying to yourself.  Shut down the negative voices - ask yourself a simple question “Is that thought helpful or hurtful to me?”