What Do You Refuse to Accept?
As an anti-bullying campaigner, I often speak to kids (and adults alike), who tell me about the challenges they face when they are getting bullied.
This article is not about bullying. Instead, let’s focus on something simple that is available to humans – the ability to choose.
We can either choose to accept something or refuse something.
Let me share a story with you. About four months ago, I received an email from a lady whose daughter was getting bullied at school. This child was 11 years young at the time.
Without going too much into detail about what the child was going through at school (due to respect for her privacy), I can share with you some of the things that worked for her in her quest to overcome bullying.
One of the things that I suggested to her was what I called “The Morning Mirror Work”.
My suggestion to her was to look in the mirror every morning and repeat – “I refuse to accept what the bullies say about me. I refuse to accept what they think about me. I refuse to accept their negativity. Instead, I choose to own my uniqueness. I choose to see the talents and abilities in me. I choose to give myself more love/positivity/care”.
Now, some people might think that simply saying these words won’t change her circumstances.
Yes, I agree with that. However, by simply saying these words, it will change the way that she thinks (which will change the way she feels. And then, change the way she acts).
The reason for sharing this story with you was to illustrate the realisation of the liberty that we have when it comes to choosing what we accept and what we refuse.
When I was delivering coaching sessions for staff in the corporate sector, I came across a young woman who had chosen to accept some of the belittling comments that certain people around them were making to her.
She had excelled academically, and somehow could not replicate that excellence in the workplace.
Her family continued to tell her that she was in the wrong vocation. They felt that she would be better suited to another industry, instead of being a white collar professional in the corporate sector.
Neither of her parents were in the corporate sector, and wished that she did something that would serve society better. Her dad wanted her to be a nurse, and her mum wanted her to be a teacher.
Every time she would tell her parents about the challenges in meeting her professional goals in the corporate sector, they would reply with comments along the lines of “See, we told you that you were not made for this job.”
She loved what she did, and wanted to excel in her current role.
When we broke it down, it was clear that she had been carrying what her family was projecting onto her.
What did we do? We worked out a way to emotionally and mentally release her from owning what her parents were projecting onto her.
I asked her to make a comprehensive list of why she wants to stay in her current role.
Followed by, another comprehensive list of why she must excel in her current role.
Finally, I asked her to make this her daily mantra – “I refuse to accept that I will not excel in this role. I refuse to accept the negativity that others project upon me. I choose to achieve my goals in this role. I am worthy of being here. I make a positive impact on this organisation and its stakeholders. I am by far the best fit for this role. No one can fill this role better than me. No one!”
I am currently reading a book that was published in 1959. It is called The Magic Of Thinking Big, by Dr David J. Schwartz.
In that book, the author talks about a car salesman who would make cold calls to prospects for two hours daily.
His phone calls were always productive on Mondays because they had a sales meeting every Monday morning.
In that meeting, the sales manager would give his subordinates a pep talk and pump them up.
For the remainder of the week, his cold calls were not as productive.
He then decided to go inside a car every morning and give himself a pep talk in which he would say “I’m a good car salesman and I’m going to be the best. I give good deals. The people that I am phoning need good cars and I will give it to them”.
His productivity increased.
In an article titled “The Choice Is Yours”, the late Dr Susan Jeffers said “When we focus on what’s wrong, when we let our fear of it take away our power, we lose any chance of making a change for the better.”
My call to action for you is this – Every day, make a mental list of:
- Whom I will listen to, and whom I won’t.
- What I will say to myself, and what I won’t.
- What I will do today, and what I won’t.
Quote: “There is no-one else in the world who can do what you do the way you do it. It’s time to tell the world why that matters.” Mike Lipkin
The choice to refuse to accept, or agree to accept the words (and meanings attached to those words) that go into your ears is all yours. I sincerely hope that you choose them sagely.
Inspiring you towards your excellence,