AS MANY self-help books as I’ve read, as many yoga classes as I’ve taken, as many hours as I’ve meditated, as many inspirational conferences as I’ve been to, as many Imperfect Best talks that I’ve given, I have a vicious secret. I still, routinely, choose to see the glass of abundance in my life as half empty instead of half full.
Do you notice that you have certain habits of thought that persist even though you wish they would hop on a space ship headed towards Jupiter and never return? (I mention Jupiter because I don’t feel we give this bundle of planet enough love.)
Please don’t tell anybody my secret, although I guess all the other people reading this blog will know, so one could say my half empty glass is out of the bag.
Said another way, sometimes I don’t just see the glass as half empty, I fixate on it being half empty and fret that it will never fill up again.
To maintain my illusion that the glass is half empty, I need to find proof.
I find proof by sometimes reducing my awareness and becoming attached to opportunities that have little likelihood of happening. That way when they don’t happen, I can prove myself right and say, “See! I knew it. Life just never works out right for me.”
For example, as a professional speaker, I might become fixated on getting an opportunity to do a speaking engagement at Google. (Google, if you are listening and I know you are, hire me. You see, I’m suffering. I don’t live in a mansion in Beverly Hills, YET)!
Do you ever fixate on things that have little likelihood of happening?
Wanting to speak at Google is all fine, dandy and good, except while I’m fixated on the Google opportunity, I might miss 15 other speaking opportunities that would’ve been ideal for me.
After Google doesn’t hire me, I can tell myself, “SEE, life never works out the way I want it. I must not be cut out to be a professional speaker. I knew it! My glass is not only half empty but quickly dwindling to nothing. Stupid glass!”
I set my sights on what had little chance of giving me a return in the first place and then when I didn’t get my unlikely return, I used not getting my unlikely return as evidence that I’m actually not worthy of a return at all. I chose to be blind to every possibility of abundance by adopting this perspective.
To maintain this illusion, I had to ignore the speaking opportunities I could have gotten.
You might say, “This is crazy!”
I say in response, “Welcome to the countless magic tricks of the human mind.”
But want to know something even crazier?
I have an even bigger secret. I draw a substantial reward from this “attachment to pie-in-the-sky-opportunities-glass-is-half-empty” habit.
What could the reward of such a self-defeating, pessimistic habit be?
The reward is that I’m less likely to notice opportunities (the 15 speaking opportunities) that have far more likelihood of coming to fruition. If I don’t notice these opportunities that have far more likelihood of coming to fruition, I’m not required to seize these opportunities and be challenged to grow, change and risk.
The reward of my habit of becoming attached to things with a low probability of materializing means that I can stay small and safe.
Do your self-defeating habits give you some type of reward too?
Said another way, if I always see my glass as half empty, I never have to deal with all the challenges that come with living a life of abundance.
Self-sabotage can be some sneaky stuff.
Luckily, I’m tired of creating a glass-half-empty life.
Enter a coaching session a few weeks ago with Amanda Johnson. During the session, Amanda reminded me to simply accept my glass-half-empty thoughts. Through a visualization process, she also reminded me of the power of non-attachment: that I’m not my successes or failures, that I’m not my most creative and brilliant ideas, and equally, that I’m not the thoughts that harass me constantly.
I am greater than all these things.
If I’m bigger than the glass, it doesn’t matter if the glass is half empty or half full, it’s enough to know that the amount that is in the glass is always in flux between empty and full and empty again.
I’m ready to notice the 15 speaking engagements that are right in front of my nose.
AND ALSO note to Google- Please call when you are ready to handle the brilliance of “The Imperfect Best Speaker with a Speech Impediment”.
When you call, I will do my best to work you into my schedule.
Thank you Amanda, for the expert coaching.
Life is full of opportunities if you and I choose to notice them.
Let’s work on that!
AMANDA JOHNSON is the author of “Becoming Enough: A Heroine’s Journey to the Already Perfect Self“, host of The Being Inspired Radio Show, and founder / book doula for Awaken Village Press.
She is on a mission to inspire people to reveal and express more of who they truly are. Learn about her Costa Rica Writer’s Retreat, here
JASON FREEMAN is a Professional Speaker and the proud owner of a Speech Impediment. He is also the author of “Awkwardly Awesome: Embracing My Imperfect Best” and a Perseverance Coach.
He excites and encourages his audience to break through the barriers of their own limitations using a method he created, called “doing your Imperfect Best ™”.
His Imperfect TEDx Talk can be viewed here.