Monthly Archives: March 2012

What is Your Outrage Distracting You From Doing?

By Gail Z. Martin

In the book “Meditations from the Mat,” the author asserts that when we allow ourselves to be caught up in outrage over something external (such as politics, neighborhood gossip, or the behavior of celebrities or the stock market) we are using outrage to keep us distracted from the problems in our real life.

Wow, that explains a lot.

I thought it was a valid point.  When we rant and rage about something that we can’t control, we keep our minds off the things that really matter, things that we could do something about if we would face up to them.

I can remember times in my life when I was consumed with outrage over something I couldn’t do anything about.  And if I’m honest, I can also remember that there were problems closer to home that I was just as happy not to think about, either because I didn’t want to take the action necessary or because action would require change I wasn’t ready to make.

We seem to live in an age of perpetual outrage.  If you can’t manufacture enough on your own, there are talk show hosts, columnists and blogger who can stoke your fire.  So what issues are we using all this outrage to avoid facing?

Odds are, it’s different for different people.  It might be health problems, getting financial matters in order, addressing relationship problems, or taking responsibility for upgrading skills.  It might be dealing with old baggage, forgiving or asking to be forgiven, taking a risk, or accepting limitations.

Whatever the issue behind the outrage, it won’t go away.  Not only that, but the outrage itself is bad for your health, damaging to relationships, and toxic to productivity.

Maybe it’s time to turn off the TV, stop reading, watching, listening or hanging around with the outrage mongers, and get down to business becoming the change we want to see in the world.

What could you do with all the energy you’re wasting on outrage?  This is one “energy crisis” you can solve all by yourself.

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Are You “Beyond” Help?

By Gail Z. Martin

I recently talked with a couple of prospective coaching clients, but had to sadly admit they were “beyond” help.  It’s not that I couldn’t address their issues, or that I wasn’t confident that I could develop a strategy that would enable them to overcome the obstacles standing in their way.

They were “beyond” help because they spent the entire interview call assuring me that they knew everything there was to know, and that, despite the fact that things weren’t going the way they wanted them to, they really weren’t open to suggestion.

I felt very sad for them, because it’s entirely likely that their problems will persist.  The problems may even get worse, leaving these people frustrated and worried.  These were smart people who had accomplished a lot.  Something had even driven them to inquire about help.  But in the end, their egos wouldn’t permit them  to actually accept that help.

I think at one point or another, we’ve all been like that.

If you’re a parent, you know the frustration of having a toddler–or a teen–resist asking for help because they’re convinced they can do it on their own.  At a certain level, that’s an opportunity for growth and learning.  But in the cases where you’ve given it your best shot, done everything in your power, and it still isn’t working, you’ve got two choices: keep beating your head against the wall or shove your ego out of the way to get the help you need.

What are the places in your life where your progress is stalled?  Might it be because you’re resistant to asking for help?  Is your ego worth whatever it’s costing you to achieve less success than you could attain?  It’s difficult to humble ourselves enough to ask for help, but the rewards far outweigh the embarrassment of admitting that we don’t know everything.

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