|Posted by JENNIFER SENNE on April 2, 2018 at 3:30 AM|
Where did my stilettos bring me this week? It brought me to my bucket full of garbage! Too often we live our lives straight to the point; living each day in the same old routine. Many get into the trap of living an autonomous life, and at times we forget to examine whether we need a little change. I say reflection is uncomfortable for many people. When we decide to stop, and reflect on our lives, we often see something we do not like, and this forces us to change. As my friend and mentor, John Maxwell taught me, “If were growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.” If we want to grow, we need to embrace change.
Last week I had an opportunity to speak to my son who is in college. He is oceans away from us, and just by talking to him over the phone I noticed that his self-image and self-esteem were gradually sinking. He seemed to have the cynical outlook on everything, especially about himself; this bothered me for the sole reason of knowing where he is heading. I was in his shoes not too long ago, and it was quite challenging to overcome. I came up with the bucket metaphor as I was trying to encourage my son.
As we grow up, we either fill our buckets with positive or negative thoughts about current situations we are in, people around us and most especially about ourselves. I, however for the longest time was filling my bucket with self-limiting beliefs, doubt about other people, mistrust, and other things that hindered myself from growing. I filled my bucket with garbage! My bucket overflowed, and I drowned in negativity. This garbage spread like wildfire throughout people I encountered daily and people I had a relationship with. It stunk, and it was ugly. I had to suffer and made others bear with me along the way until I couldn’t hang on anymore; I was sinking in my own garbage. After reflection and realization of what was happening, Acceptance followed. I dumped the rubbish out; cleaned up after myself and started filling up my bucket with positive things; I was forced to change. I was forced to look at myself differently; to look at situations in a positive light and to try harder to see the goodness in other people.
We are all vulnerable to what our environment says about us; we tend to believe everything we hear and see including negative and harmful thoughts about ourselves. Unfortunately, family, friends, teachers, media, movies we watch and even the music we listen to can contribute to filling up our buckets with either positivity or negativity. We need to be intentional in making sure we fill our life buckets with something beneficial; something that will help us become a valuable part of the society. Self-limiting belief about ourselves will only drown us in the end. As the rugby player, Leon Brown says “You are your worst enemy. It is your negative thoughts that hold you back, nothing else.” Our minds are powerful that whatever we say, we believe. Let's feed our minds with positive things that will help us grow as an individual.
At the same time, our children requires us to be the example they desperately need to be aware of these limiting factors in life. My son is only twenty-one years old; my daughters are eighteen and fifteen. Their buckets aren’t full yet, but if left alone with no reflections about their lives, they too can fall into the trap of letting negativity fill their buckets, what a dangerous territory to be! They need to be guided and appreciated. We need to aid them in filling their buckets with positivity that they may, in turn, add value to the society in the future.
As we go on with our lives, let us not settle for being comfortable. We need to stop and reflect even if it reveals something about us that we are not ready to face. Is your life a mess? Perhaps your bucket is full of garbage, and it is waiting to overflow; do you want to take the chance to be in a drowning situation? Are your children always doubting their capabilities, afraid to make a mistake, and continually putting themselves down? These could be signs that they are filling up their buckets with nothing but negativity; it's time to intervene. Stop and examine your lives. Is our bucket full of garbage? DUMP IT NOW before it’s too late.