On Self-Respect

"Self respect is a discipline, a habit of mind that can never be faked but can be developed, trained, coaxed forth." Joan Didion

A while back, I had a conversation with a friend who said she had trouble loving herself just as she is. Well, she liked most of herself but not some parts of it. This makes me so sad. Not loving yourself in the very moment you're standing is just no way to go through life. While you may love everything about yourself except for your thighs that's still a problem. Um, because they're a part of you and you're a whole person. It's not like you can just take them off when you want to right? This is a clear lack of self-respect.

Unfortunately my friend is not alone.  Many people I suspect feel this way. I'll be happy with myself when I'm x lbs. I'll truly accept and love myself when I meet the person of my dreams. I'll be lovable when I have that killer designer wardrobe. I'll feel ready to make a big move when my revenue reaches x. It's so easy to fall prey to the someday illusion.

Admit it. You've done it right? I know I have. The thing is it's just an illusion. Once you get there you'll discover another plateau while staring off at a new mountain to climb.

The answer is not waiting until you're perfect to be present to your present, to love yourself, to have happiness. Appreciate this moment exactly as you are and exactly as things are.

Perfection is just a perception problem. That's right I said it. Your perception is off. You're not seeing the world through the right lens. Rather than rose colored lens' you're seeing it through more like a murky shade of brown. Perfection is in the moment, not in some far off artificial landmark you create.

It breaks my heart to hear someone hating on themselves. It breaks your heart when you do it too. Every time you resist this moment of you a little tear develops and weakens you. Please don't break my heart or yours.

If all of this hasn't convinced you yet, consider this:

When your parents had you they didn't think, "This baby kinda sucks but wow he or she will really be great when they're an adult. They'll be perfect when they stop pooping and eating and crying." They thought: Look at this perfect, beautiful creature we just brought into this world. He (or she) is perfect in this moment. All shriveled up, crap all over you, screeching so loud you could break some dogs ears.

Remember that the next time you want to hate on yourself or the current moment. Again, I call on the wise Joan Didion:

"To have the sense of one's intrinsic worth which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything: the ability to discriminate, to love and to remain indifferent."

Don't wait to respect yourself. Self-respect is the foundation for success and happiness. Do it today. Actually do it right now in this moment. Just appreciate who you are and what you have in the moment you find yourself reading this little ditty.

I'll wait.

There.

Doesn't that feel much better?

Are Beliefs Really Just Masquerading as Excuses?

We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are.

Anais Nin

In my work I spend a lot of time with entrepreneurs and wannapreneurs. Either one can fall victim to the problem of seeing the world from a particular lens. The ones that are successful are aware of their lens. They're careful to let go of perceptions that get in their way. The least successful ones can't see that there's a lens in front of their eyes.

Perception is Everything

There are plenty of things we see as truths that aren't. A truth is really just a belief. We just *think* it's the Truth with a capital T. But really, it's a belief. And that means it's changeable. Why is this important? Sometimes what you think is a truth is really just masquerading as an excuses. Here's the thing.

I'm tired. Really F*&%ng tired.

I'm tired of people (including moi) using the something masquerading as the truth as a shield for an excuse for not living up to themselves. All of that potential that we keep dammed back, held hostage by beliefs. Yes there are limitations but they're not nearly as restrictive as our beliefs would have them seem. There's a whole lot more space there.

Does this sound like you? Some of these sure have sounded like me on occasion.

I'm too old to start a business. To date. To start over in my career.

I'm too weak to complete a marathon. To end that toxic relationship. To be brave.

I don't have time to write that book. I don't have time to take care of myself.

I could never bring in enough money on my own. Ask for investment funding.

I don't have enough money to properly market my business. To take that international trip.

I can't market myself. I can't save money. I can't do what I love and make money.

Cut it out.

Just stop telling yourself, your spouse, your investors anyone these "truths."

They're just excuses.

That's all they are.

I know I'm not the first to say this. I'm just the one saying it to you now. The next time you think something is a truth check to see if it's really just an excuse in disguise.

Now go get cracking on living up to your potential.

You're welcome.