Breathe

Sometimes it is my best friend’s job in life to tell me to breathe. 

Today is one of those days.  For some reason things culminated this morning.  It started with my smallest dog eating two baby bunnies right in front of me while I was trying to save the nest. 

I do not do well with bad things happening in nature and especially to baby nature so this was horrific for me.  Let’s just say I would have never made it on the farm. 

The rest of the nest is fine, I have relocated and I believe momma bunny has found them and they are still alive and doing fine.  Whew.

But something else happened this morning that really hit me on a personal and professional level.

My best friend lives in another state and being a big ol’ corporate girl and single mother of two teenagers, she is an extremely busy woman.  Most of our communication comes throughout the day in texts.  I sent her a very brief message about this incident and her response was this:

Breathe

I kept repeating that word while I was working through the issue.

Breathe

I had to make myself take deep breaths when I started to get upset.

Breathe

I have done what I can and now I am waiting.

Breathe

I know in that one word what she is telling me.  Relax, take a deep breath in and release it.  Release it all.  Have you done your best?  Have you given everything you can in the upmost manner with the best of intentions?  (Yes)  Then breathe, let it go.  There is no longer anything you can do to affect the situation. 

With the simple act of taking a deep breath in and releasing it slowly you physically allow yourself to release the situation. 

Let it go.

Bad things happen.  Mean people suck. Life is a balance of the good and the not so good.  Without the not so good, how would we know how good the good really is?

Things happen that are out of your control.  Then there are times that you do have a measure of control and it is just not pleasant.  You will get through it.  You will learn something from it.  You will survive it.  You will have a better day.

All you can do is your best, with the best of intentions, and then let it go. 

Breathe

 

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Brand Strategist and Career Coach

Certified Professional Resume Writer

www.CareerPolish.com

 

You are an Example to Yourself

When did we start expecting perfection from ourselves?  When did we start believing that mistakes and failures were fatal?  When did we get so darn uptight?  I’m perplexed.

 

I am a human full of flaws which put together tell the story of me, my growth, my value, my lessons and my life.  I am very fortunate that I had a very supportive environment growing up; my parents were realistic enough to know that they did not create the perfect child in me.  I obliged by proving it several times over.

 

I was the youngest of three.  My brother was the brain and my sister was the social one.  Then there was me.  I didn’t fit into a category.  This is where my dad was such a major influence on me.  He taught me to use power tools, how to change a tire, how to bait my own hook, the importance of knowing being honest and respectful, as well as above all else, being a girl was not a factor in anything I did.  Not taking anything away from my mom at all.  She served as an example of many of the lessons he taught.

 

My brother patiently mentored me with my school work, especially in math.  We both loved math, but it came easily to him and I had to learn how to crack its code.  There is a definiteness about math.  He allowed me to make mistakes and never made me feel stupid for doing so, then steered me back on the path of mastery.

 

I tried to take these lessons with me as an adult, mother and coach.  When my son was younger I made a huge mistake at work.  That night I told him about it because it was important to demonstrate two things: mom isn’t perfect and it isn’t always the mistake but the corrective action that is important.

 

This week I attended an event where I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Rob Bell speak.  He teaches mental toughness training for sports, business and life.  Early in his presentation he used an example involving golf.

 

Let me set the record straight – I am not a golfer.  I was married to a golfer and seemed to only be invited to go when the weather was horrible and his golfing buddies didn’t want to go in that kind of a mess.  The day I chipped in for a birdie was pretty much the end of that.

 

The point of the story was about a mistake Dr. Rob had made and the ripple effects.  Not being a golfer I didn’t participate in the groan that was heard after he mentioned his mistake, but I was still as engaged.  Why – because he made himself the example without demeaning himself.

 

By the way, Dr Rob gave a fantastic presentation and I highly recommend you visit his website to learn more about him (www.drrobbell.com) and while you are there be sure to check out his newest book!

 

Self-depreciation is charming to a point.  Self-slamming is uncomfortable and unnecessary. 

 

We all make mistakes.  I find we are much easier on others in accepting their mistakes than we are for ourselves. 

 

Knock it off.

 

Give yourself a break, will ya?

 

Next time you screw up, and you will – we are all human, try something a little different.  Tell the story out loud.  Not to yourself in a bashing kind of way.  Instead, as though you were talking to your child, your best friend or your spouse.  How would you tell the story to someone that you either want to serve as an example for or someone that loves you unconditionally?  We tell those that love us our failures because we know they will say it is ok, we will do better. 

 

Start saying that to yourself.  “It is ok, you will do better.”

 

What did you learn from this?  How can you improve it right now?  What can you do in the future to make sure it doesn’t happen again?  What other surprise lessons were learned from this?  There are often hidden treasures for us that we just need to open our eyes to see.  Once we discover them it is quite amazing how much we can truly learn from one mistake or failure.

 

Abraham Lincoln’s mother told her family on her deathbed to be kind to one another.  Yes, be kind to one another and be kind to yourself.

 

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Brand Strategist & Career Coach

Certified Professional Resume Writer

www.CareerPolish.com