Emerge Unstoppable in 2011!

Emerge Unstoppable in 2011! That's my mission this year. Join me as I blog about life during divorce, raising a three year old, and the fight to live one's dream of being a writer, a graphic designer, a prayerfully a success at it all.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wisdom Wednesday - Is Self-Defeat Defeating You?

Some days I can’t turn my face away from the ground. Life’s drama – too much work, too little time, too many “mommy, mommy, MOMMYs!” and nary enough hands or brains – oftentimes has me so afraid of “what ifs” that I can’t comprehend how to even pick up and do thing number one. How frustrating it is to wake up and know immediately that the few blessed hours you get in a day have already been eaten up with time commitments. It’s debilitating.

Self-defeat can be the first obstacle some of us have to overcome each day. Don’t think you fall into this category? I didn’t either until a memo citing some traits of self-defeating behavior crossed my desk. In shock, I, the self-sufficient learner-by-osmosis read the statement, “I don’t need help, I’ll figure it out myself.” Now wait a minute! That sounded just like me. But how is that self-defeating behavior?

At that moment I realized that not asking for help to learn or accomplish what I need to grow and thrive in life holds me back. Look at the wealth of knowledge I can access just by messaging someone on Facebook or Twitter – moms, writers, family, sitters, and business people like myself – all right there for the asking.

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. – Helen Keller

In the face of unbelievable adversity, Helen Keller became the first deaf blind person to graduate from college. If she can experience such amazing achievement in her life, then what in the world could I have to worry about? It’s all relative. We all have our own personal hardships.

When I get out of sorts with misfortunes and the “to dos” of the day, I put on my project management cap and make a list. Though these lists are pretty darn long, at least the things that need accomplishing are on paper. It’s a start and something I have to do before I even know what I need help with.

Next, I prioritize. The key to getting things done in my life is knowing what to let go of. This all too critical stage of time structuring allows me the chance to take what I consider an emergency and imagine it being stricken with a sharp steel axe, chopped right out of my day. Okay, the visual is a little violent, but it works for me. The beautiful thing about the axe is that each day I must face a plethora of responsibilities: my day job, cleaning, laundry, cooking, WIP revisions, whatever “bad thing” must happen (this morning it was a coffee pot spewing coffee onto the counter vs. in the pot), and spending quality time with my little girl. The picture just became clearer to you, didn’t it? It’s impossible for me to imagine the dreaded axe chopping my daughter out of my day. To me, the image is grotesque, and like the reality, I could never allow it to happen.

Finally, I make the necessary cuts and ask for help where I need it. When faced with lengthy projects at work, a blog to write, and family in town yesterday I chopped out vacuuming the floors and running errands, and asked my mom to help by making dinner, so I could spend time with my little girl laughing, playing, and watching a movie. Not only did we get to bond, she got my full attention and lots of love and kisses and I got to see life through her eyes – much less serious and without drop-deadlines.

There may not have been a lot of sun in Atlanta today, but the sky was bright enough and we kept our heads up so the shadows remained out of sight. It made for another Unstoppable day.

Join the conversation. What are some difficulties you’ve faced lately? How do you prioritize? What are you willing to cut out of your day to make time for what’s important? What gives you strength and inspiration in the face of adversity? Do you ask for help when you need it?

I look forward to seeing you here tomorrow for Truth or Fiction Thursday. Until then, I remain Unstoppable.


  1. Wow, Lindy, you just hit one of my hot buttons. This is THE TOUGHEST CHALLENGE I face: trying to do it ALL, without any help from anyone. I am good at the list making, not so good at the prioritizing, but I am going to try your visual of the axe chopping and see if that helps me to go on to the next step, making the necessary cuts and ASKING FOR HELP where I need it. Thanks for the insightful, thought-provoking post!

  2. Thanks Pam for your comments. You ROCK!

  3. Hi Lindy, linked to you today. Yesterday was a writing & posting blitz, & I learned so much & have so many ideas, thoughts, creativity, etc. So today I'm cleaning out cupboards. WT*?! Why do I do this to myself? The house is torn up & the energy will go in the wrong direction now.
    Need. Ax.
    And Domino's for supper tonight.

  4. Pamela, you're too funny. Be thankful for energy...period.