Something that I find interesting is that many of my clients explain to me a trait they’ve discovered in themselves that is tripping them up and obviously a flaw in their character that needs to be fixed.  Unless they feel that they are tragically broken and can’t fix it therefore they need to work around it somehow or be doomed forever.  I’m not being overly dramatic here.  That’s pretty much how it goes.  Of course, the people who have blocks or stuck spots or have something that’s not working as it should, what most would term broken, are the people who don’t think that’s the case.  So there’s  thing.

I love people who think they are broken because most often they really aren’t, but they’ve proven that they are willing to goto amazing lengths to fix the issue which means they are primed and ready to start resolving things.  Yay!!!  The issue is, as I told a client recently, they decide to go read a book at a Metallica concert, fail to be able to concentrate or read at all, and then decide that the reason for their failure is that they are a bad reader.  They repeat this process over and over again thereby reinforcing their opinion of their reading skills and they blow out their hearing in the bargain.  In reality, they are probably very good at reading or at least average and they could improve their experience 1000% by doing so in a quiet place. They could also improve it by staying at the concert but putting in ear plugs or wearing noise cancelling headphones.  Or they could stay at the venue but goto a private room where the sound is muted.  See the issue?  By thinking that the problem is a brokenness in the person rather than situational, things get very off track.  They get worsened when the situation is repeated verbatim.

In these situations I like to point out that instead of labeling the issue as a brokenness, they should look at it as a skill they haven’t become proficient at.  Like going to the gym when you’re out of shape.  You don’t expect to be able to perform like an athlete the first time you go if you’re out of shape, you expect to struggle.  It takes time and persistence and repetition to get in shape and then start to excel.  (Yes, there’s more to it than that but this is a blog post not a how to.  Now shhhh…) Just because you struggle in an area doesn’t mean you’re fatally flawed, it is a road sign that points directly to the low hanging fruit of satisfaction in life.  It’s the indicator that here is where you can change the most, improve the most, become more quickly than in any other area and all it takes is a little elbow grease and some corrective lenses so you can see things clearly. Low self-esteem?  Start doing very small things you know you can do and reward yourself when you get them right.  Then start doing something a little bit difficult and succeed and reward yourself, wash/rinse/repeat.  Problems with relationships, pull out that list of things you know always go wrong, stop stapling it to a 2×4 and beating yourself with it, use it as a template of what not to accept in your life, then make every potential relationship contestant hold it up to themselves so you can compare contrast.  They resemble that composite?  Next!

Stop labelling yourself as broken and start recognizing that you may just be out of shape. You can get into shape.  It takes work, but what in life doesn’t?  It’s good, clean, healthy work and your life will be a much better place for having done it. 🙂