Bloody Nose Syndrome – Trying Not to Fall Down

A while back, my young daughter went to her friend’s birthday party. It was at an ice skating rink and my wife Sabrina accompanied her there, since my daughter doesn’t drive yet (as of this writing, she doesn’t make coffee yet either but we’re working on that).

My daughter had only skated once before with me last year and Sabrina hasn’t skated for years. My daughter was initially nervous about going because she was afraid that everyone else would be better skaters than her and therefore, wouldn’t skate with her, leaving her alone (although Sabrina would be there, moms and dads don’t count in those situations.) But we encouraged her to just do her best and offered her all of the other so-called wisdom that parents tell their young kids to get them to try things.

Later that day, when they arrived home, I asked my daughter how the party was and she quickly and triumphantly declared that “It was GREAT!”

I probed further, asking if the other girls skated with her. She gave me an emphatic “YES!” She explained that after she fell down a few times, she started to get better and, by the end, she was skating faster than a lot of the other kids. I gave her a big hug.

Then I asked her how her mommy did and she laughed. She said, “Mommy skated so funny!” When I asked her what she meant, she continued, “…because she was afraid to fall down! So mommy skated the whole time trying not to fall down, and I told her, ‘Mommy, just fall down. It doesn’t hurt!’ But mommy didn’t want to fall down so she kept skating really funny and looked all bent over like this, and I was skating so much faster than her and……”

Lesson learned: It’s OK to Fall Down!

In last month’s column I shared with you my 9/11 story and how I had taken a small step (a 20 minute breakfast with my family) that ultimately saved my life.

Yes – that is how fast it can happen. That is how unexpectedly it can come.  We don’t have endless tomorrows.

Yet…I cannot spend any more time looking back and saying “Why?”, “Why did that happen?”, “Why me?”, “Why them?” No. I am here. I am alive. I have a beautiful family, great friends and a meaningful mission. I have to look forward and say “What now?” “What will I do with this opportunity – with this gift that I’ve been given?”

You have been given that same chance! Today is your gift!

Rewrite Your Tomorrow

Are you going to spend more time wishing your life was different in some way or hoping to make changes one day – after the kids get older, or once things at work settle down, or next month, or next year, or some day…?

As my friend Tom Bruein  says, “There is no such place as ‘Someday Isle’!” (aka: Someday I’ll…)

You have great intentions, safe intentions. However, I have bad news for most of you. That day, some day, is never going to come. Stop kidding yourself.

That’s just your excuse machine working on overdrive. If you keep doing that, you’re going to wake up 5 years from now and look back and wish you started 5 years earlier (are you already doing that?).

Look past those excuses. You have a chance to rewrite your future…now! It takes getting out of your comfort zone – having an insight or breakthrough that makes a huge difference in your perspective. That is what changes the way you view the world. That is what creates new relationships with the things and the people in your lives.

Or…are you using your’need for perfection’ as a beautiful excuse?

When I was first starting out as a coach I was always trying to be so perfect.

However, that need for perfection (really a disguised fear) was holding me back terribly. I was afraid to take chances and let my natural abilities flow because I didn’t want to do anything wrong. It was completely suffocating me.

It was then that Fern Gorin, the Founder and Director of the Life Purpose Institute, told my class something that I will never forget. She said that people wait to do things until they have confidence. They say things like “As soon as I get better at this, I will do it” or “I’m not ready to try it yet.”

But the reality is that experience creates confidence, not the other way around! In other words, waiting for something to be perfect is just an excuse for not getting started.

Think about that.

How many things are you waiting to do, to try or to experience because you don’t have the confidence or feel that you’re ‘good enough?’ What if you were allowed to be bad? Further, what if making a mistake was not only ok, but it was actually encouraged?

I’m not referring to being reckless here. Your responsibilities still stand. However, by giving yourself a little room to stretch and reach and fall down and get up and fall down again and get up again, you will grow! That’s the way it works.

It is so easy to look around and see only the problem, the shortcoming, or the gap. And once you place your focus there, you become blind to the substance and good that is there as well. We can get stuck focusing on what’s missing or what didn’t go right and end up either beating ourselves up, blaming someone or something for our situation, or worse – creating a sense of hopelessness and powerlessness.

Do this enough and you start anticipating negative outcomes, bad experiences and poor results, trapping you into this mindset.  There is a significant cost to this type of thinking. We are disempowering ourselves!  We put our own sense of vitality, joy and ease into the control of other people, things, events and measurements. We are not taking accountability and responsibility for our lives and our sense of well-being and happiness. We are in that moment choosing to give it up so we can stand in our circle of self-pity and righteousness.

Is it worth it?

By continuing to appreciate the positive things using consistent effort and presence, you will see your life change, and even completely transform, bringing you more freedom and a lot more control.

Often we stop ourselves because we are afraid we won’t be perfect. Sometimes we don’t attempt certain things because we’re afraid of falling down. Make this the year you get in action. This is your time to create the life you’ve always desired. After all, you have nothing to lose but that same pattern that you’re trying to break free from.

What are you being a little hesitant about declaring because it would make it too real or it might actually put yourself on the hook for it?  Look around. Really look. What are the signs you have been missing?

Life is a gift and every single day counts! We think and we act like we have endless tomorrows, but we do not! You can’t afford to waste your time or energy looking back and asking “Why?” You need to look forward and say “What now? Where do I want to go! What shall I do with this gift I’ve been given!”

What is it time for you to put out to the world?

What is it time for you to see?


Excerpted from Mike Jaffe’s popular eBook “Wake Up! Your Life is Waiting for You!”

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