The other day, as I was expressing some frustration about a situation, my good friend Jacqueline Voncken a brilliant consultant, said something in Dutch that caught my ear.
“beren op de weg gooien”
I asked her what that meant and she said “Don’t throw the bear in the road.”
Her words stopped me in my tracks.
Throwing the bear in the road is:
- selling yourself short
- denying your appreciation
- belittling yourself before you even have a chance to show up
- discrediting your gift
- asking “Will I ever be good enough?”
- being self-critical
- being ashamed.
- second guessing
- and wondering what other people think.
Someone says “GREAT WORK” and you reply “Oh, that? It was nothing,” all while denying the truth, deep inside, of how hard you worked.
Or someone compliments you on an accomplishment and you brush it off, focusing instead on what you should have done better.
Throwing the bear in the road is continuing in a cycle of self defeating attitude, guaranteeing dissatisfaction and unhappiness.
Throwing the bear in the road is denying our worth, wisdom, and knowledge.
Identify Your Attitude:
If you are throwing the bear in the road, you have a self defeating attitude. When you continue this attitude you may become depressed, discontented, and disoriented.
Your attitude and behavior might have worked in the past, to help you protect yourself or cope with a hurtful experience, but it will not serve you well long term. Instead a self defeating attitude will work against you, robbing you of enjoyment of your life.
Question Your Attitude:
Step back and take the time to ask the right questions so you can gain insight to move forward.
- Is this really how I feel?
- Does this attitude serve me? Empower me?
Change Your Attitude:
Follow these steps:
Admit : If you have identified a pattern of self-defeating behavior or thoughts, acknowledge and admit it.
Examine: Examine how you live, speak, and ask, to recognize patterns of behavior and thoughts.
Receive: In order to stop throwing the bear in the road, you need to forgive yourself and free yourself of guilt and shame about failures,mistakes, and mishaps. Allow yourself to receive forgiveness.
Give: In as much as you have forgiven yourself, you need to forgive others. Perhaps you have been hurt, mistreated, or betrayed. To be free of the pain and anger you carry, you must forgive.
Feedback: See yourself through others’ eyes. If you are going to stop throwing the bear in the road. you must begin to see yourself rationally and realistically, through the eyes of those around you.
This new truth will help you begin to replace the BEAR that you throw in the road, creating a new image and a less distorted picture of yourself.
Release: Stop holding onto the past. Acknowledge it, learn from it, and release the hurt.
Return: Return to your true self. Yes, this is hard work, but you must return to the present to your life and purpose.
Lead From Within: Knowing your stories, projections, issues, insecurities is an important step in managing yourself and your mindset. It takes courage to face things exactly as they are, without self sabotage and self depreciation. Be willing to see who you really are and start living the life you want to lead.