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Time Out: Stop Beating Yourself Up

Boxing is a professional sport that you can actually learn a great deal from and apply to managing certain areas of your life. According to the official website for the World Boxing Association, all world championship bouts shall be of a twelve round duration. Each round shall consist of three minutes in duration with one minute rest between each round. Apparently parameters are necessary even in a situation where a motivated opponent with the goal of physical injury is involved coupled with the ongoing task of defending your reputation and a substantial amount of money.

Unfortunately, the parameters established for professional fighters are leaps and bounds above what I extended to myself. I was taught at a very early age to dig my heels deep into every situation:

  • Push

  • Sacrifice

  • Endure

  • Achieve

  • Acquire

  • Succeed

  • Contribute

  • Excel

All the above are very worthy attributes, but similar to medication we take for illness, the dosage must be regulated, and will vary from person to person based on our unique differences. Like most people, I never regulated the dosage as I forged ahead personally and professionally. Also, I didn't allow much room for error or rest from beating myself up when I missed the mark. Missing the mark these days isn't very difficult with the increasing demands of life, in general. A short list of our roles and responsibilities include:

  • Parents

  • Employees

  • Sons

  • Daughters

  • Business Owners

  • Soccer Moms

  • Neighbors

  • Wives

  • Grandparents

  • Husbands

  • Community leaders

  • Friends

Often, we tend to concentrate a great deal more on what we're not, rather than who we are. Our focus is in most cases lopsided, seldom acknowledging all of the many reasons there are to be very proud. I can relate to this so well having lived this way most of my life. For as far back as I can remember my concentration has always focused on the following:

  • Tasks I had not accomplished

  • Achievements that fell below my expectations

  • Victories that had not yet been won

As an older and hopefully wiser person, I've learned to decrease the amount of self- inflicted injuries by taking a few simple steps that may be effective for you as well:

  1. Make a list of your accomplishments- when feeling the urge to take a swing at yourself, review the list as a powerful reminder. This exercise renews your self confidence to face obstacles and develop creative solutions. Remember to include both professional and personal accomplishments and continually update your list.

  2. Set realistic expectations 'goals should be challenging but realistic. Achieving the right balance can be tricky. Allow yourself to make needed adjustments as you move along.

  3. Be patient 'some victories take longer than others. We often try to apply a fast, got-to-have-it-now approach that is simply not applicable. This step is particularly challenging to me, but I'm improving, so there is definitely hope for you.

Time out is an effective tool that helps you put things back in perspective. Several large corporations recently have been involved in ugly scandals. At some point, they stopped beating themselves up in order to move forward. This is a critical lesson for all of us. On a daily basis, do your very best in each role. Allow yourself to make mistakes but most importantly learn from them and please move on.

Judith Paul Jackson, a veteran in the corporate arena for over seventeen years, and the creator of LifeQuality Management' develops training that help participants manage day-to-day Work-Life challenges more effectively.

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