ABC’s of Living Well: N-O-P

ABC’s of Living Well: N-O-P

“You need to practice saying no.” No one has ever told me that.

From watching my precious pastor husband and counseling clients over the years, I recognize certain personalities suffer from the need to be helping anyone who asks. Not my issue.

My fault is I tend to say no too quickly. In my defense, I am not always wrong to give that answer, but I often pop the negative retort like a knee reflex and shut down the conversation. One of my mental bumper stickers mentioned in a previous post (J-K-L) is: When possible, say Yes.

At the minimum, I should consider saying, “Let me get back to you.” Sometimes we need to delay, to ponder, to give ourselves and others the gift of time.

The first ABC insight to Living Well in this blog includes taking an unhurried moment:

N – Not Now

Activator types like me struggle to let list items linger. Crossing off tasks is satisfying; however, barreling along just to git ‘er done, is not the road to excellence. We need proper pacing.

I want to avoid cleaning up relational messes due to impatience and to savor the event happening now. To be present in the moment, some things have to wait.

O – Own it!

My grown children tell me I preached, “Own your mistakes.” I inherited rather than created the sermon, because I recall my dear dad speaking the same words to me growing up.

The full script goes like this: “It isn’t making a mistake that is the problem; it is what you do with failure that counts. Don’t make excuses. Own it. Learn from it. Move on.”

P – Perfectionism Paralyzes

Perhaps being the second-born spared me the trap of trying to live flawlessly. Too many students and clients I encounter as a counselor stumble through life under the impossible weight of perfectionism. Often they quit, becoming paralyzed when they sense the blue ribbon is unattainable. Anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, health issues, relationship breakdowns, and other sad results creep into their lives.

My objective is to convince them to trade this unrealistic, stress-producing, joy-robbing standard of 100% all the time for excellence, a more fluid, adaptable, and satisfying goal.

Synonyms for excellence from my Encarta online Dictionary include: brilliance, distinction, quality, merit, and fineness. An excellent, not perfect life is one lived well.

Next, Q – R – S


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