Ahh February, the cool heart of winter. It’s also the month of romance, bringing out the flowers and thoughtfulness as we celebrate love on Valentine’s day. Sometimes, though, the person we need to love most is ourselves. It’s easy to get lost in self-absorption, which can be derailing. Caring for Self- so healthy and empowering!– is the right path, the right priority.
But we can be difficult to manage, can’t we? After a career-ending injury, while playing baseball for the Kansas City Royals, Mike Robbins pursued his other passion: helping people and organizations succeed via his work as a motivational speaker and author. He recently spent a week with us at The Ranch for a series of well-attended workshops that were as fun as they were eye- and heart-opening.
During one workshop, “Be Gentle with Yourself and Get out of Your Own Way,” Mike talked about dealing with ourselves in relation to what we’re trying to accomplish. “Most of the things we want to accomplish, even the really big stuff,” he said, “ they’re not that hard in and of themselves. The hardest parts are dealing with ourselves in relation to what we want to do or accomplish.”
How do we lovingly and compassionately get out of our own way so we can accomplish the change, goals or experiences we want in life? Talking about our dreams and goals can leave us feeling very vulnerable. What if I get laughed at or “they” think it’s stupid? “New things can make us uncomfortable,” says Mike. “One of the biggest things that can get in our way is fear of failure. We all have strategies we’ve developed to protect ourselves from failing. But even more than failing we don’t want to look bad. It’s risky stepping out of our comfort zone.”
It’s tough getting momentum. The critic in our head sometimes trips us up before we even take the first step. This is where a trusted friend, mentor, or someone who can help can really be a big benefit to our success.
Maybe it’s time to give yourself the biggest Valentine ever and allow someone else a chance to help. It feels good when someone asks us for help. Why not return the favor?
But how many of us like asking? It’s easy to get stubborn. We’re afraid of judgment and afraid that people will think us weak. We’re afraid of rejection. We can be controlling because we’re afraid that people will “help” us in a way that doesn’t work, and or it isn’t the method we’d use ourselves. Why ask for help when you know you can do it better?
“The importance of feedback,” says Mike, “is to gain support from someone outside ourselves. They see things we can’t see.” He asked us to picture a scenario where we had all the support for the goals or changes we wanted to see in our life. Are there people in your life that can help with that change or reach that experience? If not, are there people who know people who can help?
“The irony,” he reassured us,” is there’s way more support around your lives than you think there is.” He also put up a verbal yellow flag of caution. “When we focus on what we want or don’t have, we lose track of what we have. And then it creates a disconnect in our lives. The paradox is this: we can come from a place of gratitude and yet still go after things we want.”
“It’s dangerous,” he went on,” to compare our insides with other’s outsides. Comparison is the death of joy. The relationship we have with ourselves is the most important relationship we have and we get very little training how to manage that.”
“We have a tendency in our culture to obsess about where we’re heading and we forget to appreciate where we are now. You’re never going the right here in this moment again, ever. We can choose: what do we appreciate? Do we appreciate ourselves? Do we appreciate others? Are we grateful for the life we have? It doesn’t mean your life is perfect, but if we have compassion for ourselves we’re not only more likely to create what we want, but also find peace in the decision. Right here. Right now!”
Simple,” he says with a chuckle, “but not easy!”