“What class are you?” When my classmate asks, I just smile. They try again.
“What year did you graduate?” Since everyone is waiting for an answer by now (which increases my hilarity), I mumble again.
Mumble, mumble, I reply. Everyone laughs, as intended.
I think it’s super funny (for some reason, shrug) when I get questions about my age. It always takes me back to the saying: a woman never tells her age. My classmates obviously already know but I always subtract ten from the year. Just for funsies.
Suffice to say, I’m old enough to have two adult children. And, like many of my generation, I remember coming home from school to roll over laughing at the antics of the Three Stooges. One phrase that keeps coming to mind lately (and I picture Curley’s scrunched up face as I say it): SABATOOGEY!
I’ve been thinking lately – gently guided to this realization, I’m sure, by a greater power than myself – about the times in my life where I undid my own efforts. Been my own enemy. Shot myself in the foot, so to speak. Self- sabotage.
How do we sabotage ourselves? More importantly, how can we stop?
I’ve been going through an Amazon Ads course to glean a better understanding of marketing. One theme that covered two lessons: Fear. So powerful that it would make you second guess and undo your work. A voice of doubt so insidious that you will destroy what you’ve done, regarding it as unworthy, or give up too soon when you don’t see the desired results. Sound familiar? That’s because that trait is not familiar only to Amazon marketers, it’s all-too human. I received their message, loud and clear. Don’t quit just because things don’t look like you think they should.
“And many a failure turns about, when he might have won had he stuck it out.” Keep Going, Edgar Guest.
Another thing God has brought to my attention is complacency. Have you ever prayed so hard for something – a job, a relationship, a house, or car – only to fast forward years later and find little appreciation for that object or person? Your job that you were sure was a blessing has now become laborious, the requests of your boss get on your last nerve, and you just want to scream and walk out. Really? From the job you prayed for. SMH. Just in case you think I’m shaking my head at you, dear reader, I’m not. I always talk to myself first and hope that my shared experience will bring some enlightenment to others. Complacency will have us feeling ungrateful and entitled until that thing we’ve prayed for has sprouted wings and taken flight, no longer a concern of ours.
My beloved Kia, may she rest in peace, was a great car. The absolute best. But then I began to get it in my head that it was time for a new car. One with less mileage, an updated exterior, and a carpet that wasn’t so ratty.
I decried my old car more than I knew, I now realize, for a friend remarked upon seeing my car: “I thought your car was old! You must think mine is ancient.” I didn’t. Until that moment, I hadn’t realized his beautiful truck was older than my car and had far more mileage. He drove it for several years after that conversation, before it gave out in Arizona.
My own car died in service to me, too, totaled in a devastating car accident. She protected me to the last, my faithful Carisma. Before her twisted frame was hauled away, I took one look back and burst into tears at the sight. I saw just how injured I could have been and began to hyperventilate. Days later, I visited my car to retrieve my personal items. I drove by her twice because I didn’t recognize her gleaming beauty. I kept looking for a much older vehicle, which she was in my mind.
It was only after the accident that I saw what my friend had. Carisma was still a beautiful car. I was doubly saddened by her loss as I shopped around and found out what it would take to replace her. I’ve had several cars, but I still miss her. We had some great times together. But I think I miss her more because I devalued her until she was taken away. It was only then that I saw her worth.
“And he learned too late when the night slipped down, how close he was to the golden crown.” Edgar Guest, Keep Going.
I’m listening to an audio book that I really like right now, The Magic of Thinking Big, by David Schwartz. There’s a common theme that seems to run throughout: positive thinking. Can success really be that simple? Change the way you view the world and the world around you will seem to change. But it’s not your job, your partner, or your circumstances that will change, in reality. It’s you. Every time I listen, I grow a little more in that direction, seeing things in a more positive light and being grateful for this life that I have.
And that, I think, is key to bringing a halt to self-sabotage in our lives. How close are we to living the life of our dreams? It may be just a positive thought away.
I leave you with the great ministry of D Train’s Keep On (The Sky’s the Limit) and pray that it encourages you!
Stay tuned for updates! A book discussion, book signings, and more are coming up soon!