Just Keep Swimming

Perge Natare Modo (Just Keep Swimming!)

Guess what?  There are 16 weeks left in 2019.  

Guess what?  There are 16 weeks left in 2019.  

It’s good to keep track of these things.  It’s good to keep track of time in general, because it moves so quickly and it’s the only form of currency you can’t earn back.  Plus, it’s so damn easy to get derailed or distracted by the unimportant. In fact, that widespread tendency is the very reason I’m in business.

Yet ironically, I give you my own recent struggle with this as a case in point:  

Friends, I got my panties in a royal bunch this weekend.  Why? I asked a simple business question on a Facebook group for coaches only to get ambushed by some stranger who felt called to dissect my character in front of an audience.  She doesn’t know me, she acted based on my query instead of answering with collegial respect.  

Yeah I know, that was about her, not me.  And yet, even as I know that, like many people, shame is my achilles heel, which sucks.  For one thing, it throws us head-long into victim mentality.  For example, read over the above paragraph again, wherein my victim stance is on full display; I doubt I was actually being “ambushed.”  In her mind, I doubt she was trying to shame me. The unboundaried commenter was probably trying to help.

But that’s not how it felt, because sometimes people say and do hurtful, misguided things.  And, I’ve learned the hard way that it never goes well when you impulsively respond to anything via e-writing while riled.  So, I gave it a few hours before handing her her ass (again, see what I did there?).

So despite the waiting period, because of that ass-handing, civil as an ass-handing can be mind you, I may well not have heard the end of this. As the Buddhists say: “Open mouth, make mistake.” (Still, it bodes better than had I written her off the cuff.  So Yay me!)

Fortunately, I contend that my “having done the work” as Brené Brown would say, means that even as I watch myself getting triggered, I witness it as it transpires and have developed sufficient agency over my behavior to keep from detonating my life and career.  This gives me the empathy and clarity to help others avoid the same while building theirs.  

Yes, it would have been so much better if I’d ignored that Facebook comment.  If I hadn’t gotten hooked in the first place. But folks, to be honest, I’m just another bozo on this bus.  Yes, I’m a trained, certified coach, I am enjoying recognition and success in my profession, but that does not mean I don’t struggle with the very things that trip up my clients, the very things they’ve hired me to overcome.

Believe it or not, distractibility and focus is my specialty and I’ve got the testimonials to prove it!  Take this one: “Rahti keeps me laser-focused on my goals and doesn’t tolerate vagueness or equivocation. She is both cheerleader and taskmaster. I wouldn’t have gotten even half as much done without her.” 

How about that?  Well, if I didn’t know better, given how I got hijacked by Facebook, I’d feel like a fraud. Yet while my imperfection may be inconvenient, it does not invalidate me.  

The same goes for you, dear reader.

So, with 16 weeks left to the year, what I want to say to you is this:

You will fuck up but don’t freak out.  Just keep swimming.

It’s good to keep track of these things.  It’s good to keep track of time in general, because it moves so quickly and it’s the only form of currency you can’t earn back.  Plus, it’s so damn easy to get derailed or distracted by the unimportant. In fact, that widespread tendency is the very reason I’m in business.

Yet ironically, I give you my own recent struggle with this as a case in point:  

Friends, I got my panties in a royal bunch this weekend.  Why? I asked a simple business question on a Facebook group for coaches only to get ambushed by some stranger who felt called to dissect my character in front of an audience.  She doesn’t know me, she acted based on my query instead of answering with collegial respect.  

Yeah I know, that was about her, not me.  And yet, even as I know that, like many people, shame is my achilles heel, which sucks.  For one thing, it throws us head-long into victim mentality.  For example, read over the above paragraph again, wherein my victim stance is on full display; I doubt I was actually being “ambushed.”  In her mind, I doubt she was trying to shame me. The unboundaried commenter was probably trying to help.

But that’s not how it felt, because sometimes people say and do hurtful, misguided things.  And, I’ve learned the hard way that it never goes well when you impulsively respond to anything via e-writing while riled.  So, I gave it a few hours before handing her her ass (again, see what I did there?).

So despite the waiting period, because of that ass-handing, civil as an ass-handing can be mind you, I may well not have heard the end of this. As the Buddhists say: “Open mouth, make mistake.”

Fortunately, I contend that my “having done the work” as Brené Brown would say, means that even as I watch myself getting triggered, I witness it as it transpires and have developed sufficient agency over my behavior to keep from detonating my life and career.  This gives me the empathy and clarity to help others avoid the same while building theirs instead.  

Yes, it would have been so much better if I’d ignored that Facebook comment.  If I hadn’t gotten hooked in the first place. But folks, to be honest, I’m just another bozo on this bus.  Yes, I’m a trained, certified coach, I am enjoying recognition and success in my profession, but that does not mean I don’t struggle with the very things that trip up my clients, the very things they’ve hired me to overcome.

Believe it or not, distractibility and focus is my specialty and I’ve got the testimonials to prove it!  Take this one: “Rahti keeps me laser-focused on my goals and doesn’t tolerate vagueness or equivocation. She is both cheerleader and taskmaster. I wouldn’t have gotten even half as much done without her.” 

How about that?  Well, if I didn’t know better, given how I got hijacked by Facebook, I’d feel like a fraud. Yet while my imperfection may be inconvenient, it does not invalidate me.  

The same goes for you, dear reader.

So, with 16 weeks left to the year, what I want to say to you is this:

You will fuck up but don’t freak out.  Just keep swimming.

There are about two dozen species of sharks who are “obligate ram ventilators,” meaning that for the most part, if they stop swimming they will die.  Metaphorically, we are like those sharks.   Overreact? Keep swimming. Sleep in half the day?  Once you get up, keep swimming. Feel like dog meat because you ate or drank too much?  Keep swimming while bloated and hung over. Got sucked into a Facebook squabble? Go on a social media diet and exploit that shit for a higher purpose…I owed you a newsletter today so this is my version of swimming right now.

There are about two dozen species of sharks who are “obligate ram ventilators,” meaning that for the most part, if they stop swimming they will die.  Metaphorically, we are like those sharks.   Overreact? Keep swimming. Sleep in half the day?  Once you get up, keep swimming. Feel like dog meat because you ate or drank too much?  Keep swimming while bloated and hung over. Got sucked into a Facebook squabble? Go on a social media diet and exploit that shit for a higher purpose…I owed you a newsletter today so this is my version of swimming right now.

Keep your appointments, (apologize and and reschedule if you miss them — pay for them too if that’s the deal), own your mistakes graciously, keep swimming, keep swimming, keep swimming! 

You are not your moods nor your mistakes.  In fact they make you stronger

There is a shore, I promise you.  

But only if you don’t drown yourself for not being perfect before you reach it.

Keep your appointments, (apologize and and reschedule if you miss them — pay for them too if that’s the deal), own your mistakes graciously, keep swimming, keep swimming, keep swimming! 

You are not your moods nor your mistakes.  In fact they make you stronger

There is a shore, I promise you.  

But, only if you don’t drown yourself for not being perfect first.

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