So many people see tears as a sign of weakness. They think that when you cry you show vulnerability to people who will harm you. I say when you don’t cry you make yourself vulnerable to your greatest potential enemy. I am not ashamed to admit that I have had many experiences that were so painful, scary, frustrating, or hopeless that all I could do was cry. I can also say that, after I had a good cry and a good nap, I woke up with a much clearer mind. That clearer mind led to a plan. Sometimes I followed the plan and sometimes God gave me a different one. When in comes to emotions in general and tears specifically, men are seriously short changed. As women, we get to have all of the emotions, we can be afraid, embarrassed, angry, frustrated, upset, confused even “hormonal.” and for all of those emotions we get to cry. We can even cry when we are happy, at movies, in public, because someone else cried, etc. Men have one completely socially acceptable emotion, Anger. All they get to be is ticked off! No wonder they so often abuse: drugs, alcohol, walls & doors (by punching them) and women they actually love. Ladies, use your tears as a way to relieve stress and clear your mind. Try crying it out, taking a nap and waking up with a prayer and a plan. I know that I usually speak to women, but part of today’s message is for men. Gentlemen, please make sure you have a least one person in your life you can cry in front of. You have all of the emotions women have and holding them in is destructive to you, everyone you love and everyone who loves you.
It is really sad that there are so many people in the world who are afraid to pursue their dreams because they don’t think they are intelligent enough, or educated (skilled) enough. If you are one of those people, LISTEN UP, this one is for you! Let’s start with “but Dr. Lori I’m not smart enough.” If you look at a random sample of the intelligence of people in the world you will find that, while there are a few who fall into the very high or very low range, the overwhelming majority fall into the average range. What that means is almost all of those successful people that you look up to or aspire to be like are of average intelligence just like you. Most likely you are already as smart as you need to be. But Dr. Lori, I’m not educated (skilled) enough. Of course there are some careers or businesses that require continuing your education and improving certain skills. However there is somebody somewhere teaching everything you need to learn whether you choose to go to college or not. Also there are grant, student loans, fellowships, and millions of dollars in scholarship money that goes unused every year. If you want more education or skill, you can get more education or skill. And if by some chance nobody is teaching what you need to learn then you can figure it out yourself and build your business teaching it to others. But “Dr. Lori, I’ve been out of school for so long.” I will never forget my first doctoral level class. I sat there among my peers, feeling old, bewildered, and completely terrified; thinking “Lori you have not been a student for more than 20 years. You may not be able to learn this stuff.” I was also wondering (seriously) if I had brain damage because we were two hours into an eight-hour class that was moving faster than any class I had ever taken. When we got back from our first break my Professor, Dr. John Kellmayer’s very first statement to us was “life will get in your way.” He went on to explain to us us that earning the title Doctor was not just about how well you write, or how much you know or even how well you learn. What he said was “it is primarily a matter of perseverance. Will you persevere when life gets in your way? ” When he said that, a light bulb came on in my head and I had a series of thoughts. They went something like this. “You don’t have brain damage. Your brain is just like your muscles when you start using them differently it’s hard at first but it gets easier as you go along.” Next was, “don’t be silly. You learned to get through elementary, middle and high school. You’ve been to college twice before. You can lean this stuff. Finally “this has nothing to do with your ability to learn and everything to do with your ability to hang. CAN YOU HANG? When I realized the answer to that question was yes I was well on my to becoming Dr. Lori. We will end this conversation with this thought. You already have everything you need to learn what you want to know. The question is this “is it what you really want and CAN YOU HANG?
During bible study the co-pastor and first lady of my church, Dr. Natalie Francisco, offered a rhyme to describe the types of people we should stay away from. This comment from Dr. Nat (as she is affectionately known) stuck with me and made me think. It went like this:
|DOUBTERS POUTERS HATERS PERPETRATORS|
DOUBTERS These are people who have decided they know more about you than you do. They share their misguided, sometimes mean spirited, and usually wrong opinions with you and everyone else who will listen. Share your dreams with them and get them buried in mud and dropped in quicksand for good measure. You can recognize a doubter from the small, neat little box he or she has drawn to keep their world small. They have a tendency to want to point out everything that’s wrong about you, your gifts, your plans etc. They usually don’t care to talk about their own faults. POUTERS Pouters have a permanent “woe is me” attitude. They don’t take responsibility for anything that happens to or around them. Everything is either someone else’s fault or happens because someone is out to get them. They are also emotional “Black holes.” You can never do enough for them. They are not willing to participate in their own well-being and, if you try to make life better for them, they will suck the life right out of you. HATERS These are people who want to harm or belittle you because they are jealous. A hater is someone who can’t deal with your success. They envy who you are and what you have but either can’t or don’t want to do what is necessary to obtain it. Sometimes they blindside you because they are people who are close to you. No matter how they act, they don’t really hate you; most likely they want to BE you. PERPETRATORS These are the people for whom image is more important than reality. A perpetrator is the person who would be driving a big luxury SUV and would not have enough money in their wallet to fill the gas tank. They stand poised and ready to jump aboard your bandwagon. Become successful and they become your best friend; ready to drop your name to see what kind of leverage it gives them. The thing that all of these types of people have in common is the potential to be toxic. They can poison your mind, your body, and your spirit. The best way to improve your life immeasurably is to rid your life of toxic people. Sometimes when you think of doubters, pouters, haters and perpetrators, you think of them as people who are outside of your inner circle of friends. Big mistake! Until you develop the ability to recognize and set boundaries with these people, they are very much a part of your inner circle. At this point you may be asking, “Dr. Lori how do I recognize the doubters, pouters, haters and perpetrators in my life and how do I know if they are toxic? The way to do that is to compare the people in your life to the descriptions above. If you find people in your life that fit the description pay attention to how you feel after an encounter with them. Do you feel worse, less optimistic, more insecure, or more helpless than you did before the encounter? If so you are dealing with a toxic person. I am not saying it is EASY to eliminate these kinds of people from your life. What I am saying is it is POSSIBLE. Even if they are people you love and who love you. You may have to limit your exposure to them. You may have to cut them off altogether. Most importantly, you must replace them with positive people who believe in you. As you begin to make those life-changing adjustments you will find that the more you do it the easier it gets.
In my last blog post, "How to Have Unlimited Power" I mentioned two issues I help people deal with over and over no matter who they are or why they come to me. I discussed the first one in the aforementioned blog post. They second issue is the title of this post. You can survive whatever you are afraid of. So many of us allow fear to prevent us from living an amazing and successful life. Whenever I encounter someone who is hindered by fear, I offer him or her this anecdote. Imagine you are standing in a lighted hallway looking into a dark room. As long as you stand in the light, you cannot see anything in the dark room and your imagination can have it’s way with you. For example, you can imagine there are spiders or rats in the room. You can convince yourself that there is someone with a gun or there are items on the floor that you can trip over and break a bone. The thing is, you will never know what is in that room or if you can handle it until you step into the room. When you step from a lighted area into an unlighted area you can’t see anything for a very brief moment. Then your eyes adjust and you can see everything. If there is danger you can prepare yourself for it or get away from it. If there are obstacles you can work around them. Of course, it is possible to encounter serious unavoidable challenges. However facing and meeting those challenges makes you stronger, wiser and moves you closer to that amazing, successful life I mentioned before. Most adults have experienced one or more of their greatest fears coming true. Most adults have also survived one or more of their greatest fears coming true. Sometimes the experience changes your life completely maybe for the better, maybe for the worse. Nevertheless, it is always possible for that change to lead to something much better. My suggestion is you take fear, strap it on like a backpack and carry it with you into new situations. I recommend this because that fear will never go away on it’s own as long as you stand in that lighted hall waiting for it to leave.
In my 30+ years as a counselor, I have found myself working on two particular issues over and over again. Despite a client’s age, gender, race, career choice, sexual identity, socioeconomic status, etc. and regardless of why they say they are seeking help. One of those issues is the desire to control the behavior of someone else. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have the power to make anybody do anything you want anytime you want it? Guess what? That is never going to happen! I don’t care what dynamic or diabolical schemes you come up with. Every human being has the power of choice. At this point you may be saying “Dr. Lori you said this was about unlimited power. Now you are saying I have no power over other people. What’s up? This is what’s up. “You cannot control the behavior of other people. You can only control your reaction.” Accepting this gives you unlimited power. By now you could be asking, “do I have power or not Dr. Lori?” The answer is yes you have an abundance of power. The only reason any of us wants to control anyone else is our reaction to something that person does or does not do. Your power comes from how you choose to react and/or respond. For example: your son comes home from school everyday with his shirttail out. You can decide that his untucked shirttail makes you the worst mother in the world and, to prove otherwise, you must show up at school daily to check his shirt. Or you can ignore the shirt, realize neither you nor your son is perfect and save yourself a ton of anguish (not to mention time). The bottom line is this. Your only source of control over other people’s behavior is your reaction to it. In fact you may find that changing your reaction causes a change in them. Even if it doesn't, your control of your response prevents you from giving your personal power away. Yes, I did mention two issues. Are you wondering what the second issue is? Stay tuned to my upcoming blog posts for that answer.
I have always likened leaving an unhealthy relationship to dislocating a shoulder. I know this sounds a little strange but hear me out. Let me explain how Leaving a relationship in which you are undervalued is like dislocating a shoulder. The first thing a doctor does with a dislocated shoulder is pull it into place. This hurts much worse but the shoulder begins to heal immediately. Soon the pain stops. If you don’t pull the shoulder (leave the relationship) you never heal and the pain continues indefinitely. Most adults know that true love is not the heart pounding, breath holding mixture of lust and insanity that you may feel at the beginning of a relationship. Love can start there but true love evolves into something safe and stable not that does not keep you in constant pain. Even healthy relationships involve some degree of pain; however the pain should be bearable and it should not be relentless. When a relationship is doing you more harm than good, it could be time to “pull the shoulder.”
One of the things I often tell my clients, students, and readers is “I will be president of YOUR fan club until YOU can take over.” Please note that president of your fan club is my favorite job so I’m not willing to give it up easily but you don’t have to fight me for it either. The only thing you have to do to take my favorite job is be ready and willing to do that job to the best of your ability. When you’re ready, I hand it over without a struggle. Most people know what a fan club is but not everyone knows why all of us should have one. All of us have things that need improvement, things that are just fine, and things that are absolutely magnificent. That’s the great news. The not so great news is that the more awesome you are and the more you know it, the more haters you attract. For sake of clarification a hater is a jealous person who tries to bring you down, for no reason other than the fact that you are great. You should be president of your own fan club so you always have a defense against haters, a positive force within you to counteract the negative in them. Another thing I tell my clients, students, and readers is “confidence & arrogance are not the same and confidence & humility are not opposites.” Arrogance is thinking that you are better than other people or making excuses to mistreat others. In my opinion confidence is being certain of the talents that God has given you. Humility is being humble because those talents are a gift given to you by God. Confidence and humility can and should coexist in everyone. So far I am president of thousands of fan clubs. The numbers are climbing and I love it but there is only one of me. Don’t forget I am waiting for you to take over!
Everyone who knows me knows to look for a butterfly when they see me. It may be in my hair, around my neck, on my wrist, website, business card… anywhere. However, not everyone knows why I love butterflies so much. I love butterflies because they are amazingly beautiful, delicate, yet resilient creatures. They evolve from caterpillars (that look like thick hairy worms) to these awesome winged creatures; and that’s not all. A caterpillar does not simply crawl into a cocoon and sprout wings. It experiences a complete metamorphosis. It sheds and molts and is generally turned to mush, a process called “instar.” My love for butterflies comes from my ability to relate to them. I too have been through an “instar” process. My instar involved betrayals by friends and coworkers, challenges and huge leaps of faith. I had to shed and molt layer after layer of toxic relationships and situations. I emerged as the confident, resilient, and beautiful creature that I am. As a result of my instar my mission in life is to coach as many women as I possibly can through this challenging but rewarding process. It is my dream that, through the women I touch directly, I am able to change the lives of thousands of women in generations to come. Some of you reading this blog are having your own instar experience.
- Maybe you have begun your transformation and need someone to help you through the tough parts.
- Perhaps you know that your life will be so much better once you move from caterpillar to butterfly.
- Getting out of your own way can lead you to the life you want. I can help you with that.
Visit my website for more information www.lorihobson.com
Don’t forget, when you see me, look for the butterfly.