When You Know Better, You Do Better
I have been toiling for the better half of the week trying to figure out what I wanted to say in this week's blog post. I had no idea which route or the topic I wanted to explore. Between family arguments, the devotionals, and the seminars I've been in virtually recently, my mind has been spinning. But the webinar I was privy of watching yesterday gave me so many gems that it just came to me. No, the post isn't about all of the things that I learned in the webinar, but more of the topic in the book the host became well known for.
Last night, I signed up for a webinar on The Fear Factor and Imposter Syndrome with Luvvie Ajayi Jones. I've talked about my fears and aspirations on previous posts, so that's one reason this week's post isn't on that. However, Luvvie reminded us about her first book called "I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual" and the phrase "do better" resonated with me for so many reasons.
My friends and I communicate several times throughout the week for check ins or when we've been given some good knowledge that we feel the other(s) can benefit from. I've been telling them for the last month or so that my daily devotionals have been tagging me for so many reasons. The words fear, growth, and patience have been on repeat like a record player skipping on the worst part. And to be honest, there are a few people I connected to that also need to heed those three words. On my thoughts on fear, go read my post on https://www.emotionallydesigned.com/no-filter/the-fear-factor. I might just discuss patience next week, depending on what transpires within the next seven days. But today, I want to talk about GROWTH.
Growth can be an internal or external thing. But it ultimately all starts within. The person has to be willing to admit they need to grow. Or in some people's cases, GROW UP! Have you ever known something about yourself that you know needs to be improved upon and you're reminded over and over again that your life isn't going to get better until you do? Yeah, that's what I've been going through. The problem is when we don't want to admit it growth is needed or we don't see anything wrong with where we are mentally, physically, or emotionally. There are some people that have mental disabilities or chemical imbalances who refuse to seek help. They deny the recommended treatments or self-medicate, thinking that's all they need when it only pacifies the issue. Some don't necessarily have a diagnosable issue. They are just categorically narcissistic or egomaniacal. Either they think the world revolves around them or they have a hard time not talking about themselves. Sometimes those are the people who don't take the time to help others unless it makes them look good. There are those who have been given a diagnosis that wasn't favorable or were in an accident. However, instead of going to physically therapy or trying to be more positive in hopes of this situation turning around, they wallow in their misery and have the "woe is me" attitude. Self-pity does not improve your situation. In fact, statistically shown, it is more detrimental than the diagnosis. Positivity is medicine all of its own. Then, there are those emotional strongholds that keep us from growing and doing better. It's as if, there is something inside their brains that says you're not good enough or you don't deserve to be happy. Be it from past trauma or repetitive failures, the self-deprecating thoughts are just a detrimental as physically harming yourself. In my opinion, the internal harm is more lasting than the physical because the physical wounds can heal faster than mental when they aren't treated.
You Need to Do Better
Whether is that a person needs to grow or just grow up, it's all a matter of will they or won't they. My judgement falls through when someone's need to grow up kicks in and they don't see anything wrong with how they are. For instance, I know a few people who are very opinionated on how others should live their lives. Some will put it under the guise of advice to make it more palatable. However, the phrases "the pot calling the kettle black" and "lead by example" are screaming in my head when I hear these people trying to tell other what they should and shouldn't do in their lives. I had a friend "advise" me once that I the reason I may not have the male companionship I seek is because I'm holding on to males in my life that I need to cut off. But this same person had several "friends" from their past that they still communicated with all while in a relationship that ultimately didn't work out. The opinion they gave me wasn't bad guidance. However, it is very difficult to take consultation from someone who does not follow their own advice. DO BETTER!
I also know someone who is always preaching about people's health because of their diet or because they aren't gym rats. But this same person smokes (Not necessarily cigarettes; but smoking of any kind is bad for your health in my opinion) and they drink like a fish. I understand that there is a such thing as balance, but don't come telling me how to live my life when yours isn't up to par either. It's very hypocritical and blocks anything I hear out of your mouth. DO BETTER!
Another issue I've encountered in the last week or so, and it's not the first time I've seen or had to deal with it, is people around me who only think about themselves. As a very selfless person, it's very disheartening to have to deal with. I have to remind myself all the time that everyone does not feel the way you do when it comes to humanitarianism. And this one may ruffle some feathers, because this one is personal, but sometimes speaking my truth does that and we all will move on with our lives. Anywho... There are a few people, whom I have known all my life, that make it hard for me to believe they don't think the world revolves around them or think, at the least, if it's not about or for them... or it doesn't make them look good, they have "find the time" to do it.
In an earlier blog post, I touched on the relationship I have with my father. I've had an encounter with him on this very same thing. (Hence, the reason I said I've dealt with it before) When I was in grade school, I inquired on him coming to visit me for one reason or another (mind you, we live in the same city). Anyway, his response basically floored me. In so many ways, it would be inconvenient for him to come to my side of town unless he was already going to be on that side for whatever other errands he had to do on that side of town. So, I'm like, coming to see your f***ing child is an errand for you? I was PISSED THE F**K OFF to say the least and deeply hurt that I wasn't more of a priority or the desire just to see your child was so difficult for him.
This recent situation brought that same anger and hurt that situation. I just recent got into an argument with a family member and the sad part about it is, the reason for the argument was not a shock at all. It was as if I saw this coming because this person has ALWAYS been like this. I'm currently getting things together for a major event, which for most people, is a once in a lifetime milestone (Reason for the event, not the me throwing it part). So, of course, certain friends and family of the guest of honor have been given notice and yada yada. The family member this argument was with was informed in the very beginning of the planning stages. In fact, they are the reason the date of the party was selected, because the GOH wanted to make sure this person was able to come. Planning began in March... 5 whole months ago. As of last Friday, this person had not bought their flight tickets to come to the event. (A sign to me that this particular person is not really trying to go) So, they call me to ask questions about this or that regarding this event and they start complaining about the inconvenience of where it's located because they have s**t to do at home and the location makes it difficult for them to get back home. All together, they would have only needed 3 days for this event. The date of travel to get there, the day of the event, and the day to get back home. And the GOH is someone who has bent over backwards to do for this complainer all of their life. So, to harp on the inconvenience of this event in their life enraged me. How dare you be that narcissistic when this person would drop everything in their life to do for you and make changes in their life for you just because of who you are to them. But I had to remind myself, this person has been like this as long as I can remember.
In my opinion, it wasn't the location of the event. It was that this event was costing them the chance to make money and since it's not to celebrate them, it's a hindrance to their life. And to that I say, if it wasn't for this person they feel is causing this disruption to their life, they wouldn't have a f**king life, literally. I just don't understand how someone feels that self-absorbed and think nothing is wrong with what they are saying or doing. To think that celebrating someone who's willing to give their life for you and has sacrificed so much for you is an inconvenience to you for 3 days baffles me. Money isn't everything. It will come and go. But the scars of hurt and disappointment for this GOH don't fade just because we move on to the next thing. And you reap what you sow. DO BETTER!
The self-absorption doesn't just stop at one or two people though. Once again, I've known people all 32 years of my life who don't know how to make things about them or are slow to participate. And even if it's not intentional, it reads off that way. So, I feel we need to step back and evaluate the things we say and how we do things, because even the most well-intentioned things may not be received that way.
A completely different person I know is very active in several events and does many positive things for other people, which is an excellent thing for so many reasons. However, over the years, I've watched this person doing all these great things and many times, when promoting these things, their name or face HAS to be seen or heard. They have to let it be known that THEY are the creator, the founder, the brain-child behind whatever that thing is. I understand that there are times when it is necessary to name drop yourself. But not every time, especially when that thing is not about you. My thing is, celebrate the wins that people have received that you've helped WITHOUT saying I helped them achieve... or I did this or that for them to succeed. It's about them, not you. That's what the thank you's and shout outs from them are for.
There is a difference between promoting your brand and bragging about yourself all the time. As an entrepreneur myself, I know that, in order to become successful, you have to put your business out there. Perhaps, that's where my issue within my own business lie. Although, with this person, a lot of times, I don't even hear from or see this person unless they are requesting support of some sort or to let me know about something they're getting praised about. And when it comes to supporting others' events, business, or personal lives that have nothing to do with this person or their brand, they pussyfoot around in actually supporting or participating. They become SO BUSY doing all the things that have to do with their own life, business, or personal life that they don't have the time to slow down to be there for others. It's okay to celebrate others without making yourself look good. It's okay to reach out to people just to see how they are without bragging about all of your accomplishments and accolades. And I'm not saying that this person NEVER does that. I've seen them do so. It's just very few and far between when I see it. It's not all about you, okay. DO BETTER!
I Need to Do Better
I am not exempt in the, DO BETTER rant either. There are a lot of things I know I need to work on, in both my personal and professional life. For me, it's not that I'm self-absorbed, because I try to promote or cheerlead for other people too much and not enough for myself for that to be true. If anything, I do have a problem with comparison-syndrome. Whenever someone tells me about something, I have a situation I know someone else is going or has gone through. I always have an example or bring up similar situation I'm going through. I've noticed that about myself and someone else pointed that out about me a few years ago. So, I try not to do that. Every now and again, it seeps out. But I've acknowledged this about myself and I'm actively working on curbing that.
But I have not been as diligent about working on everything that I know is an issue within me. In the past five years, I have been saying I need to engage myself in things that I feel will help me grow spiritually, physically, mentally, and entrepreneurially. However, you can read all the scripture, go to church every Sunday and Wednesday, read all the books you want, go to all the conferences, post all the quotes in the world has to offer you. But if you aren't taking the things that you are being fed and applying them to your life, you are not doing anything worthwhile and essentially wasting your time.
I need to work on my follow through and completion of ideas and stop procrastinating, being scared, and making excuses for everything. Come December 2020, my first book will be 5 years old. And in this last five years, I haven't completed a single poem. I have not written anything to completion at all. Not a poem. Not a novel. Not even a Dear John letter to the people who should have been out of my life years ago. In the past five years, I haven't finished any of the projects I have said I've wanted to complete. There's always something not finished. Or I don't have the time to do it because of this, that, or the third. How do I expect to accomplish any of the things I've said I wanted to accomplish if I make excuses on why I haven't been able to?
For the last three or four years, one of my best friends and I get together every December to write out our goals for the next year and a few times throughout the following year, we'll check in to see where we are in our goals. I don't think I have completed my list of goals in the entire time we have been doing this. Something as simple as pamper myself once a month wasn't even accomplished. There's always an excuse. I don't have the money. I don't have the time. I don't have the motivation. I have seen people do more with less and I still have an excuse. I actually still have the lists for 2017-2019 of the goals I said I wanted to complete for those years. In 2017, there were 10. 2018 had 12. And 2019 had 8. Out of the three years of goals (20 goals total; although there are repeats on some of the same goals), I only accomplished 8 in the timeframe set. And I don't even remember what my goals for 2020 are... It's like I straight gave up and setting them.
One of the reasons I know I haven't done some of the goals on any of my lists is fear. Fear can be paralyzing. I know there are several of my goals that I could have accomplished. And I probably still can. I know I need to stop coming up with excuses. I know I need to properly plan and just execute them. I know I need to have faith that these are things I'm supposed to have and/or do. And once I let go of those shackling fears, perhaps the blessings that I've been crying that I want and haven't received yet will actually happen. I know... I need to DO BETTER!