Thursday, December 31, 2015

Can you let go or stuck holding on?

Can you let go or stuck holding on?

Can’t let go of something – a possession, relationship, career or a mindset or attitude?  Welcome to the “I want to change something in my life club”.

You would be amazed at how many people are stuck in circumstances, relationships or careers that are invalidating, destructive or lack the things that they want in their lives - who accept them and settle and refuse to let go and move on or make positive changes.  Why?  Is it fear, insecurity, a give up mindset or something simpler? Or could it be a combination of the above and more?

First let’s look at what holding on looks like and then the advantages and yes benefits of letting go.

Holding on – First let me state that I have been guilty many times of holding on to something that I should have let go of so I am not preaching here as someone above the fray.  But I have learned, painfully I might add, the consequences of holding on.

Holding on is similar to hoarding or the failure to release – anything, something or everything.  It’s often an obsession that controls a person’s life in a negative way.  We convince ourselves that what we have or desire is what we need, deserve, want or are worthy of regardless of its impact on the quality of our life – negative or positive. This is a form of denial and justification.  It prevents us from stepping out and seeing what could be and accepting what is.

However, having said this there are times when God tests us to test our faith, resolve and courage.  Having survived four recessions during my career and often been advised to throw in the towel in my career – I didn’t and I will never regret sticking with my decision years ago that speaking and writing as my calling and destiny.  Having said this, I am not suggesting that holding on is always the best choice.  Would I have been more successful at something else? Made more money than I have in my career?  Who knows, but what I do know is that this decision always felt right no matter the circumstances.

Holding on can be both right or wrong or it depends.  It’s never an easy choice or decision but in the end ask yourself – does holding on give me peace, joy and contentment or create stress, fear and other negative emotions?

Letting go is also never easy – memories, possibilities, unknowns and possible consequences as a result of starting over.  Doesn’t matter whether it’s a relationship, career, business or where you live – you will never know what could have been if you don’t let go.

There’s an old saying – when a door closes another one opens however just because it opens doesn’t mean we should go through it or it is the best choice.  Again letting go can be filled with uncertainty and opportunity but we have to be ready to deal whichever life gives us.

What I can tell you is that during my life, looking back, there were times when I wish I had let go and times when I wish I had held on – who knows.  But there were also many times when letting go created opportunities for something better that I would never have experienced had I not had the courage to let go and face the unknown.

How about you?  Holding on to something that it’s time to let go of?  Afraid to let go due to a comfort level and some attitude that you are too old, too inexperienced or some other rationale that prevents you from starting over?

You will never know the consequences of holding on or letting go and that’s life folks.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Resolutions or change – that is the question.

Resolutions or change – that is the question.

Tim Connor

Well folks – another year under the belt (not literally – unless you ate too much).

A suggestion – make this a period of reflection and not resolutions and why?  Well over 90% of resolutions are not kept - again and why not?

Lack of discipline?

Lack of focus?

Lack of purpose?

Lack of passion?

Lack of action?

Lack of commitment?

YES, to all of the above. So why not try something different this year – spend a few hours in reflection and get to the root of your need for change, improvement or at least finding better excuses. 

I’ll give you a few questions to get you started, then it’s up to you to add more depending on your personal circumstances, dreams, goals or life purpose.

1)    What were some of your poor or bad decisions last year? Why did you make them? How did they turn out?

2)    How about the good ones? And why? And what were the results?

3)    Goals that were not met?  And why?

4)    Goals met and how? Or why? 

Getting sick of the why’s? Well nothing will change unless you answer the why’s.

5)    Mindsets or attitudes that need change, elimination or improvement.

6)    Circumstances you didn’t expect that you were not prepared for.

7)    Unexpected blessings or gifts (not stuff) you received.

8)    Behaviors that may be sabotaging your success and or happiness.

9)    Something you need to let go of or surrender to.

10) New people in your life that are getting in the way of your journey.

11) New people in your life that are accelerating your journey.

12) Personal habits that are having a negative impact on your life.

13) Relationships that need to be re-evaluated and why?

14) Disappointment’s and why?

15) Decisions not made and why not?

These should get you started. 

Have a prosperous, healthy, happy and successful 2016.

Learning vs. unlearning – which will speed your journey to success and happiness?

Learning vs. unlearning –

which will speed your journey to success and happiness?

Tim Connor

I’m guessing that to achieve greater success and or happiness you believe you need to learn more. But how about unlearning – stuff that may be getting in your way.  

That’s what the experts on finding success and happiness finally tend to admit that to unlearn is often a better approach that gaining new knowledge.  Now please keep in mind that I’m not referring here to education, professional skills or necessary talent in specific disciplines like – medicine, technology or transportation etc. I am referring to some basic and fundamental mental attitudes, traits, mindsets and philosophies that could be holding you back.  Let me explain.

From our first day of birth the mind started taking in information – lots of information - some valuable and necessary, but a lot that can over time inhibit our self-esteem, personal growth, maturity, behavior and decision making.

Let me give you a common example.

Let’s say that as you were growing up your parents sent you a message that you just were not good enough in some way.  Now, maybe their intent was not to permanently damage you but they still passed on a message of insecurity, unworthiness or some other negative self-worth message.  Well the way the mind works, that message became a permanent part of your brain/mind physiology and has had varying degrees of impact on your life as it progressed.

Now you are in your 30’s or 50’s and guess what – that message is still there and in some way may be affecting your thoughts and or actions and yet you are a totally new and different person.

Do you think learning to unlearn this mindset might benefit you in some way?  Well, yes. But, the problem is that it often takes more energy, purpose, discipline and effort to unlearn something than to learn something new. And why?

Not wanting to give you a long lesson here in your mental makeup and how it impacts your life let me just say that everything you have heard, thought, said and learned is stored in your over 300 billion brain cells just waiting to resurface when an internal or external trigger brings it into your now moments.  The only way to change this behavior or mental process is to unlearn but the problem is – you can’t unlearn – I know that sounds contradictory to this entire message.  Again, let me briefly explain.

It's called the law of displacement or overriding.  It’s easy to override or replace a software program – just hit a few keys but with your brain you have to create what are called new neural pathways or ways of thinking.  This is accomplished by learning to replace existing thought patterns with new ones – not an easy or quick path which is why so many people struggle with old emotional and mental baggage that causes pain, fear, disappointment, impatience, regret, anger and any other negative emotional response to certain circumstances or people.

So what can you do? Here are a few suggestions.

1)    Spend less time with people who reinforce or validate the thoughts you need/want to eliminate.

2)    Spend some thoughtful time in paying attention – present awareness – observing your thoughts and thought patterns.

3)    Start a thought journal and write down common thoughts that you tend to repeat and start asking – why – where did they come from – are they helping or hurting me?

4)    Start exposing yourself to more people and information (books, seminars, courses etc.) that represent who you want to be and how.

5)    Stop making excuses for behavior or actions or decisions that are contrary to how you want to behave.

6)    Give someone in your life you respect and trust permission to hold you accountable telling them how you want them to aid you.  For example, if you tend to be negative or pessimistic give them permission to point out every time you act this way and without getting defensive.

Well these should get you started but a word of caution – if you are not serious about change – unlearning – you will tend to quit or feel it is too hard or taking too long.  It is both – it won’t be easy and it won’t happen fast.