Today a client told me hard truth – he’s got integrity gaps and he knows it. He failed this past week in two very significant ways. He feels like a failure. In fact, he told me very soberly that he rates himself (on a scale of 1 -10) around a 2 almost every day. He is not thinking clearly. This man is a closer to an 8 or 9, maybe more, and yet he tells himself he’s not enough or he’s too much. His explanatory style, the way he explains events to himself, is messed up. He is hard on self and down on self.
So, today, I reminded him with the story of Matt Biondi and the 1986 Olympics. You see, Matt faced massive disappointment and adversity by losing the first two races by a fraction of a second. Most would have told themselves, on that kind of day, that it just wasn’t their day or they don’t have it that day. Matt told himself to keep working and so he did, winning Gold the next four races. My client is learning to change his little voice. This is not easy and starts with awareness. We are building his awareness and it’s a painful process. Real. Hard. Opus.
My client is not behaving in alignment with beliefs. He’s not a bullshit artist. He is simply filled with negative self talk, rooted in his childhood and habituated for far too long. We’re changing this. Actually, he is. I’m simply giving him tools and holding him accountable. He is doing the work and trusting the process. You too, most likely have integrity gaps that are not a reflection of your character but instead reflect inaccurate thinking. It’s far easier to change one’s thinking than it is to fix a character flaw. Stop beating yourself up senselessly like my friend. Catch the faulty thinking and learn to replace the negative, self limiting thinking, with thoughts anchored in reality. You are not a 2. You are not too much or too little. You are getting better. Why else would you still be reading this rant? You simply need to focus your mind on the progress you’re making not the distance you still have to go. We are all a work in process, my friend. Tell yourself that, next time adversity and your explanatory style try to make a mountain out of a mole hill. Good.