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Holding on; Letting go; Changing

October 25, 2008

Picture your sweet 6-month old infant in her crib. You play peek-a-boo and she giggles. You scrunch your nose up and she giggles again. You pick up this tiny, sweet bundle of joy in your arms. You hold her to your face and you say, “OK kiddo, today you are going to go jogging with me. Put on your shoes. No more carriage rides for you!”

Preposterous? Of course. But isn’t that what we do to ourselves? Isn’t this what we are asking of our employees, our co-workers, our leaders? We learned to walk one step at a time. We got into whatever mess we are in, one step at a time. We can get out…but it will take some patience; some practice; some perseverance. We aren’t going to jump directly to the solution any more than our 6-month old baby is going to run the marathon today.

I’m working on changing some things in my life. I’ve discovered a lot of it is about my willingness. Am I willing to change? Am I willing to let go? What is worth the holding on? What requires the letting go? Whenever I run into an obstacle, I first have to work on being willing to do what I need to do.

More importantly, I need to figure out:  what am I holding on to? And why? Where’s the ‘juice?’ Where’s the benefit for this stubborn silliness? How the hell did I get here? We talk about addictions to cigarettes or booze, but methinks most of what we won’t release comes from some level of addiction. We say we want to change. We are sure we could be less miserable. But we are comfortable in our misery. It gives us a familiar song to sing: “Woe is me. Poor Me. Feel sorry for me. See I can’t do anything for you because I can’t do anything for me.” Or worse, we wallow because we want / expect someone else to rescue us from the mess we created all by our lonesome.

I’m finding it interesting how many people and how many companies are using ‘the economy’ as an excuse. “Oh, we were fine until THE ECONOMY tanked.” Really?   OK -I’ll buy that the economy has really affected some sectors- especially the tourism markets. But many economists are saying a lot of this is the result of a collective belief that “things are bad.”

Yes, the boys in Washington; the CEO’s heading up big investment and oil firms should all be sent to their rooms without supper — for the rest of the decade. Personally, I think they should all be forced to sell all but 2 of their homes and put the money back into the US Treasury. That goes for all our politicians, too. Now THERE is a Bailout Plan.

But WE each need to be accountable, too. To take a look at our own lives and ask ourselves:

  • What can I let go of? Why?
  • What do I need to hold on to? Why?
  • What changes can I make in my life, my behaviors, my relationships? How?
  • What baby steps can I take to move forward – today, this week, this month?
  • If I had it to do over, what would I do differently?
  • How can I implement that strategy now?

There’s no benefit in beating yourself up for the past. Just take that first step. I realized that was what kept stopping me. I’d see something I wanted to change, then spent the better part of the day being angry with myself for “letting it get this far out of whack.” Doesn’t do much good to do that! Now I just say, “Stop. Just DO something. Anything!” That helps.

Just like the infant in the crib- we will have to build up some new muscles to walk before we can run. That may mean taking a class; learning a new skill; letting go of one little bad habit a month.

We learned to walk when we were babies. That was a HUGE transition. Think about it: we went from horizontal to vertical in one day! We had feet suited for dragging along behind knees and figured out how to bend them so we could walk on the bottoms. Our little diapered butts were way out of proportion to allow balance. And our tummies hung over the diapers like beer bellies. Yet- we walked.

We can make the right transitions to deal with whatever it is that challenges us today. Ready? One – Step – at- a – time. Good Luck!

Happy trails,



© 2008 Beth Terry Seminars, inc.

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