Self-Defeating Or Worth Repeating?

There is but one cause of human failure. And that is man’s lack of faith in his true self. William James

This Cross Coaching™ event had a race of a pace! It had to. I had over twenty members eager to toss the topic in the imaginary crucible in the middle of the table and heat it up.

The topic: Self-defeating or worth repeating? Share lessons learned when you dared to change what was not working in your business, or career, to something that did.

I asked members to dig deep fast and verbalize and emphasize the levels of lessons learned or realizations made when a self-defeating behavior became clear enough and irksome enough to force change.

I shared an example. In the past I had a challenge being on time for appointments – for almost anything; work, social events, church. Years ago, I even missed my plane from London to Singapore; the first leg of my six month around-the-world trip.

In business, I arrived at several appointments late enough to prompt the other party to leave! After looking into this self-defeating behavior I realized it was about respect; respecting me and others too. I wasn’t doing either! The short version of this story is that I am no longer late; I may arrive a few minutes early to something I would have liked to get to 15 minutes prior, but I’m not late.

Mark followed the respect theme to leverage on his recent shift from wanting to respect how much he enjoyed working for himself to the realization that accepting an offer from a reputable company to represent them was okay too. What may have served his ego didn’t serve his respect for how he wanted to serve his family’s needs.

Mark realized he was ready and willing to put more effort into the demands representing a company would make on him than working for himself did. He shifted from what may not be perceived as a self-defeating behavior to a more productive position that his family and friends can see make him happier.

The key word is ‘willing’. I read a great book, years ago, that left a lasting impression on me. The Ultimate Secret To Getting Absolutely Everything You Want, by Mike Hernacki, reveals the secret that every ‘success’ book is striving to uncover – you have to be willing. A worthwhile book; read it to get the rest of the story!

Ted dared to declare that the respect issue had the opposite impact on him. It was self-respect that drove him away from the corporate job to a franchise; away from decisions that didn’t respect the employee toward decisions he could make that did.

That struck a nerve with Beverly and Frank too, who continued this frequently emerging ‘working for self or others’ theme. Frustrated with the lack of respect their jobs gave them they both became independent contractors instead.

Now the topic is heating up! The statistics tell us that over 65% of people are frustrated with their jobs; Beverley and Frank at least took time to mine their minds; to dig below the surface act required to keep their job and discover other levels of restrained talents they could express better working independently.  They were unwilling to keep repeating what was self-defeating, willing to look at how to shift, give their lives a lift, heal the internal rift and discover constant self-development as the gift!

Cathy stressed that point by talking about validity. Let go of what others think, discover your core beliefs and base what you do on those truths.

Mark turned up the heat by prodding everyone to remember my re-occurring theme: that self-discovery and self-improvement are critical; yet, whether you work for others or for yourself, it’s your self-identity that matters; your core.

I agree! You must learn how to retain it, not restrain it, in any environment. When it becomes impossible to express the identity you have mined from your mind and dug deep to carve, then it’s time to move on to a place where you can!

Steve shared how he had to learn to live at better levels by an allegiance to core values – discovered by turning the heat on himself, not the influence of ego at work that appears to make you good at what you do while burying your true identity.

You can take a lot of heat for daring to discover your core values and then committing to cover how much they matter with others; at work or at home. Steve’s core value is service to others and children around the world benefit from how he applies that truth to the work he does.

Robert echoed Steve’s thoughts. Yes, once we dare to look at a deeper level, we all strive to influence our community and feed common human need to interact with others by doing so; yet the work we do, for others or for ourselves, will take us off track. Constant clarity is required, otherwise we inadvertently go through the motions and practice repeating self-defeating behaviors that in later years we realize kept us from contributing more to that community.

Ana Maria kept the heat high with one word: discipline. An essential element to maintain that level of constant clarity Robert mentioned. When you have discipline you won’t get derailed no matter who you work for, yourself or others, because you have a mental system, or manual, to return to at all times. You keep the heat on yourself!

Mark agreed but reminded us that there are two levels of discipline required to plan your personal and your career path. Master both!

Dennis shifted the heat toward a different burner with another word: happiness. Any self-respecting individual should seek to overcome repeating, self-defeating, patterns by striving to be content – with their profession and their personal life.

Dennis turned the light on the company he represents. He enjoys working for them more now than he did when he first started the job. The realization that some of the systems his company pursued were outdated inspired him to change the model! Now Dennis is happier working there.

Peg shared how her mind constantly bounces thoughts around that she knows we all hear; thoughts that are not worth repeating because they are self-defeating! She trains herself to use a trigger to change the channel and – like Dennis, choose content that makes her content; to have courage and do what Peg, as a Health Coach, loves: help others learn how to eat like their life depends on it.

Larry said that it’s critical to continually keep the heat turned on yourself and by self-analysis know where you fit best; this can – like Peg, get you to where he is – enjoying his business to the point where getting paid to do it is a bonus!

Jean applies a similar approach in her business; when she counsels clients to get to the root cause of any self-defeating behaviors by ‘tapping’ into the underlying issue that undermines them and their business. Clients are capable of doing this by themselves, but few dare to, know how to, or take time to tap into what deserves to be put under the light and the heat of the lamp.

When I was a teenager, I asked my favorite Aunt why I couldn’t keep a girlfriend. She wisely shared that there was only one common denominator – you! That stirred me to take a long hard look at my behaviors and change them!

Chris added another word to the fire: authentic. Being authentic mattered too. He has recently taken the leap into business ownership because it’s a natural next step for him. Not an easy one, but one he’s willing to tackle because it acknowledges his authentic self.

That triggered Andrew, a young entrepreneur who – unprepared and unexpectedly, had to step in and run the family business, to share that he is tackling a lot of self-defeating – not worth repeating – behaviors. He knows that he must shed his video game habits; change the company and the mindset he keeps. He’s grateful that this open, honest, Cross Coaching™ environment exists to help him see where he must apply the heat.

Several members offered to support Andrew later. It’s what we do!

Betsy, one of several guests today, echoed Andrew’s observation. She loved the transparency and supportive intention of members. She was self-employed at 18 and recently stumbled into her current business because she sees how it can make a difference.

Betsy has the ‘fire in the belly’ but her business isn’t where she expected it to be. After revealing that it’s her first year in business members reminded her that it took several years for them to reach the success she wants.

A self-defeating pattern is letting defeat be your mental beat; you beat yourself up mentally by demanding more of yourself, when others see you on a success track. The ‘committed conversations’ that I demand of Cross Coaching™ members alerts them to see it as others see it, and hear it as others hear it, in order to look at it in less self-defeating ways.

Keep the fires burning, Betsy!

And, finally, Greg kept the fire in the crucible burning when in response to Lauren’s positive experience of moving out of a job that no longer challenged her, to her own business that did. Greg applauded Lauren for not listening to the self-defeating language telling her she didn’t possess the ‘how’ skills or experience to go it alone; instead she honored the strength of her ‘why’ to open her business and learn how!

The heat is now on you! Go and master those self-defeating behaviors that are not worth repeating.

Peter Gibson, Creator of Cross Coaching™, Speaker, Author, Harry Norman Realtor

















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