Watch me: I’m a Youtube Video  —–> Stop It!!! It’s Okay to Quit

A friend of mine once told me that everything we do is done out of fear or love. When I heard that, the part that jumped out at me most clearly was the fear part. So many of us walk through life trying to avoid discomfort, pain, and fear. The older I get (remember, 40 makes me officially grown), the more I realize that such avoidance doesn’t translate into actual avoidance discomfort, pain, or fear. Rather, it generates more fear and more anxiety because there is no way to avoid these things. That’s just part of the price of life. I also find that those people who are pain avoiders tend to be extremists: either they try to minimize their footprint to lower the chance of pain or they are obnoxious in a way that bulldozes others (they get you before you get them). In either case, such people are sacrificing one of the core tenets of human needs which is to operate authentically in the world and still be loved.  In essence, you cheat yourself when you allow fear to rule you. Here’s what I also know: most fears are chronic and on-going. They come up around the same topic, people, or issues. Yes, the damn thing stalks you, paralyzes you, and takes away your power. I want to encourage you to stop letting your fears go uninvestigated. Instead, study them so that you manage them. You’re only afraid of the things that you think are bigger than you…or the things that you didn’t do you part to master.  Below are a few personal mantras that I’ve given myself to in order to live a less conflicted existance.  What do you need to stop?

 

  1. Stop lying to yourself about who you are. Just accept that you do some things that you never thought you’d do so often.
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  2. Stop feeling guilty about the gaps between your choices and the requirements of your religious practice. Seriously, stop with the guilt already. Consider this: spend some time asking yourself why you’re making the choices that you make (yes, contradictory behavior is a choice). Could it be that at your core you don’t believe certain tenets of your doctrine? I’m sure you aren’t the first person. But, if you actually acknowledged the conflict between your heart and mind, you could establish perspectives that allow you to embrace the choices that you’re making instead of hiding from yourself. Besides, built is pointless. It only makes you feel bad (it doesn’t actually make you do anything differently).
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  3. Stop living small. Go after what you want. This also means you stop buying into that, “You can have it all” crap. Focus on what’s most important to you. If you aim to do it all, something won’t get enough of you.  Go after your gold, not all the gold.
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  4. Stop being hurt by the same series of events or people. You can forgive people and stop setting yourself up for repetitive injuries. Look at your choices and be honest with yourself about how and why you are hurting. If you keep hitting the same wall, perhaps you’re doing it to yourself.
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  5. STOP lying about your dating criteria, if you are single. Just own your preferences which means there are some people who are necessarily off the table. It doesn’t mean you’ll be single forever. It simply means you won’t spend the next six-week staying on the phone with somebody until 3am when you know it isn’t going to work. No lie, I have a sister-friend who says all the time, “My man must be Christian”, but her current love interest is agnostic!  I’m like, “Girlfriend, no judgement, but Christianity isn’t one of your real criteria!”  Just own it, and save yourself some grief. By the way, I think part of lying to oneself about relationship choices is entrenched in shame.  In essence, you don’t like your reality, but something about it suits you or you aren’t ready to admit that you think your situation is as good as it’s ever going to be.
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  6. STOP complaining about your spouse, if you’re married. Either take divorce off the table and commit or get out already.  But here’s what I also know:  some of you are complaining and want to leave, but aren’t going to.  I believe your complaining is really grief.  You’re having to accept all that will never be with your relationship and that’s tough.  You know that your idea of a fairytale is just that. You aren’t leaving because the relationship offers you elements of safety and comfort that you’ve become accustomed to. That’s okay, but at some point, you’re going to have to stop judging yourself as stupid for accepting something less than the fairytale and embrace what you do have.
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  7. Stop committing to jobs, people, places, clubs, organizations, and activities that you don’t really enjoy or benefit from. You’re only making your own spirit sour. Do the work and invest the time to find the places where you actually want to be.
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  8. Stop getting excited about “free”. Everything in this world that has value has a cost, whether you’re absorbing that cost or someone else.  When you understand that, you can come to the table prepared to contribute and feel more conviction when it’s time to get up from the table.