Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Do You Constantly Compare Yourself to Others?

Do you compare yourself to everyone, everywhere on everything?  Are you always on top or on bottom,
ahead or behind, in any given scenario?

Take a look, most of us create comparisons in every moment. "They are more successful than me, I am more successful than them."  "I'm better at my job than them, but not better than so and so."  "I make more money,"  "They're richer and luckier,"  "I have a better, car, house, furniture, boat, vacation..." or, "I don't have a better house, car, vacation so that makes me crap and I need to do more, to get that, so I can be as good as them."  "She is so skinny."  "At least I'm not as fat as her."

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

No Back Stop

In my last post, I talked about a day where I made three errors in one inning in a high school baseball

I'm guessing it's pretty easy for you to understand why that was painful. The humiliation, the embarrassment, and the shame plus being in high school when it happened.

All of that was unpleasant, but the thing that hurt the most that day and many other days of my life was realizing that I had no back stop.  There was no one to pick me up, that had my back, that could tell me I was going to be okay and that a couple of errors didn't mean anything about me.  No dad to say, get back in there, "You can do it."

That's the thing that I think is most devastating about growing up with an absent or distant father.  Feeling like you are completely alone in the world, having to fight for yourself every inch of the way.  It's like forcing yourself to climb a 14,000-foot mountain with no safety ropes.

Announcement of Oprah's Life Class on Fatherless Sons

This show is a must watch for men and women who grew up with an absent or distant father. What I love about this show is that it tells us that we are not alone and that courage is walking through the pain, confronting our fears and interrupting the cycle of absent or distant fathers.

The second reason is you get to see me share some of my story and talk with Oprah and Iyanla Vanzant. That's my baby picture at the very end of the video.


First Look: Oprah's Lifeclass on Fatherless Sons
What if America's sons didn't have to grow up without their fathers? What difference could it make? It's a problem that's been going on for too long and at too great a cost. And it's time to talk about it.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

One of the Worst Days of My Life

There are few experiences that repulse me in my life more than the day I had three fielding errors in one
inning as the starting shortstop on my high school baseball team.  Mercifully, my coach pulled me out of the game after the third error.

Words cannot describe the embarrassment, shame and utter helplessness I felt that day.  To this day, I still feel some shame and inadequacy even in sharing with all of you; and I'm still sad that the 15 year old Rodney didn't feel like he had anyone to lean on after that game.

However, I want to share it because I believe it is fundamental to learning about how we sabotage our potential and our power.

As a kid, I became so obsessed with my performance, especially in baseball (because I didn't want to disappoint the coach or other dads' watching) that I was no longer playing baseball.  I was constantly performing baseball and using it as a way to prove I was worthy and lovable.  Perform well meant I'm okay for now, perform poorly meant danger, being shunned, being a disappointment.

Every play and at bat became about not screwing up, for fear of being rejected or realizing that I truly was unlovable and unworthy.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Scared About Money

Somewhere along the way, I decided that I couldn't count on anyone.

And, if I couldn't count on anyone to take care of me, that meant I had to always take care of myself.

Somewhere along the way, I also decided that the amount of money I had or didn't have was the performance indicator for how safe I could feel.

If I have (by my interpretation) a lot of money, life is good, I'm safe, I'm worthy and free.  If I have (by my interpretation) almost no money, life is scary, arduous and hard.  Key phrase there is "my interpretation."

The problem is that my interpretation is always shifting.  I am worth more than I have ever been, I live on a beach in Mexico, I have two dogs, a cat, a nice chunk in my retirement savings and today (this very moment), I'm scared as hell about money and if I will have enough.

The fear about money strikes right through to my fear of being abandoned and not taken care of like a discarded 4 week old puppy.  If I interpret I don't have enough, I literally feel as though I'm going to die.

And, the fear around money then drives me into frantic and spirit breaking action to acquire money to assuage my fears.  Or the opposite, put my head in the sand, shut down and pretend that I'm unaffected.

Either way, with this relationship to money, my fears are, at best, only temporarily at bay.
And, ironically, when I am reacting to fears about money I am less effective in my business, as a coach and in all of my relationships.

The opportunity here for me is to transform my relationship to money, to trust that I will always be taken care of and to take care of the part of me that gets scared, rather than shunning and trying to throw it in a dungeon where know one will ever find out.

Consider taking these practices on with me this week:
1.  Notice how weird your relationship to money is and how you relate to as your safety.
2.  Rather than wildly reacting to your fears about money, take time to take care of your fears.
3.  Have compassion for the part of you that gets scared that you will be left alone and not taken care of.

Special Note: Oprah's Life Class will be airing a two part series on Fatherless Sons on the OWN Network.  I know that it is awesome, because I will be featured as a guest on the show which is planned to air on Sunday, May 5th.  More details to come.

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Perfectionist Procrastinator

I haven't posted in a few weeks. I realized I was in one of my avoidance patterns where I put things off because I don't want to face the fact that whatever I do probably won't be perfect.

Fortunately, this isn't the first time in my life I've noticed this pattern. Having noticed I can choose something different, like the preposterous notion of writing something that isn't perfect, I can interrupt this thing that keeps me from being my fullest expression.

Procrastination is one of those things that I no longer believe in. I used to be a "procrastinator" and I was really good at it, wait till the last minute, do a bunch of great work at the last minute, in less time than normal and fool everyone, including myself.

I thought that this was just the way that I was successful, just how I am. Eventually, I got tired of the stress and anxiety that comes along with waiting till the last minute for everything.
As I began to unpack why I put things off all the time, I realized that my "procrastination" was about avoiding experiencing feelings I didn't want to feel.

Growing up without a father, I found safety in doing things perfectly. "Perfection" it would seem protects you from criticism and disappointment. Imperfection meant an unworthiness to be loved, it meant being a disappointment, it meant being abandoned like a worthless piece of trash.

So, when I put things off I'm avoiding confronting certain feelings. I don't want to write a blog that isn't good enough because that makes me feel like a worthless disappointment. I don't want to do the laundry that's piled up because it reminds me that I'm a lazy slob (equals unlovable). I don't want to start on the important presentation because I don't want to face that I'm fundamentally inadequate and have to over compensate for that inadequacy.

Of course, all of that mental chatter and interpretation is not true. It's as regular and unimportant as passing gas.

So here's the practice:

1. When you notice yourself "procrastinating," ask yourself: "What's the feeling I am avoiding?"
2. Consciously choose to keep avoiding the feeling or take action in the face of it.
3. Most importantly, stop calling yourself a procrastinator and beating yourself up for it. It's not a life sentence, nor is it true.

With Love...

P.S.- The picture is an "imperfect" picture for this blog and the "imperfect" me, in an "imperfect" place. Victory!