It is almost the end of the year! This is the season for holiday fun, family frustrations, gifting madness, resolutions, and an internal inventory for the new year. I typically make it a habit to not have a hard list of new year’s resolutions, but more of a continuation of a working bucket list for the upcoming year. I pick 2-4 things off of my master list, and get more specific about how I can contribute to getting those things to come to fruition in the next 12 months. Since no one is an island, some of my “how dialogue” includes the assistance of others – mentors, peers, partners, and the like. As a bit of an introvert, (insert shock here!) I try to do as much as I can on my own, but the more wise I become, the more I know that is not possible. I acknowledge my limitations, forgive myself for the source of them, and I move forward.
This morning, this end of the year conversation took me to a deeper thought process than I usually have about this. I was shocked that I didn’t really discuss it before, and I knew it needed to be covered. Disappointments and frustrations that I have either created or acknowleged as my own I no longer have a challege identifying and accepting. My new question is what do I do with the frustrations and disappointments that come from others?
Whatever your lists look like, I suggest a few things.. have a “to do” list, but you should have a “cut that out” list as well. Some people call it my add/remove, and I’m ok with that too! Whatever you call it, have a list of things, people, or behaviors that must go, because the presence of it or them is stifling the development of the things you can accomplish. The tough reality is sometimes difficult things and people are on that list, including former versions of ourselves! It’s time to face that in our growth there may be an earlier you that just won’t do!
I can remember a few years back when I was dating a guy who shall remain nameless. Smart, funny, educated, and handsome. Those are all traits that can hangout on my add list, but he did not respect me. At all. I remember him telling me on our 1st anniversary after my VERY difficult work day that he wasn’t attracted to me, and he didn’t know why. Ouch. That hurt, but what hurt more is that I stayed. I stayed long enough for him to continue to prove his statement to me through his absence, lack of support, and bringing me to events where he couldn’t so be bothered to introduce me to anyone. I stuck around hoping that he would prove himself wrong. That was never an initiative of his….it was a hope of mine. The issue is not really his…the responsibility to clear that space of the negative bookmark and energy that he was putting on my life was my own. It colored my thoughts and goals in a way that was not beneficial to my own positive opinion of myself and subsequent courage for a better future. As long as I let him stay, I restricted the mentor, fan, and cheerleader that could have been in his space. His words should not have inspired me to fight for him, but to fight for me.
Are there disappointments in your life that need an adjustment? Don’t ignore them or be diminished by them. Allow the disappointments to fuel you! Fill up on better intentions, different practices, and the changes that yield better results on your behalf. Do you love someone or something that is not able to love you in the same way? Take inventory of the real circumsatnces of the connection, and be fueled to change or remove it for the better. Feel rejected in your professional life? Be fueled to work smarter and not harder! Are you tearing yourself down in a way that requires an external pick me up? Be fueled to retire that version of yourself. It doesn’t attract the goodness you need to go higher, and it gives an extended invitation to circumstances that limit you. The approval that we seek should be within, so that the situations on the outside that don’t feel us, heal us, or support us can be done without.
Disappointments and frustrations happen. They are a regular part of life, and they stretch our wisdom, endurance, and resolve. The good news story is that we always have the opportunity to change our perceptions on the situations that need to stay, and change our courage for the ones that need to go. Every tough day, hard challenge, or difficult person is a teacher. Our goal is to decide which situations are educational requirements, and which ones are electives. Choose well, love better, and fuel up for the amazing journey of you.