Today I'm going to write about how generalizations hold us back. Just like if you see one loud crazy ghetto black woman you're not going to assume all black people are like that, just like not all white people are rednecks, not all hispanics are aliens, not all middle eastern heritages breed terrorists. We generalize too much!
And that's just racism. That's not the worst of it. Stereotyping is a form of mental survival tactic. We create patterns in our mind, usually of negative experiences, to avoid them in the future. And we do it the most with circumstances we can't plan and that we determine to be unfortunate or negative. We say these "bad" things happen to us and then that turns into a "bad" week or "Im just having a tough time." Because we develop tunnel vision and we focus in on these negative occurrences causing us to COMPLETELY blur out all the good things happening, or not even necessarily good but all the things are are just fine! We generalize our lives based on one experience and we generalize people the same way.
My goal in life has never been to avoid pain. I tend to be very brave in that aspect. I give people chances no matter how many people I could judge to be similar to them have hurt me. That is just a blessing God has developed into a strength of my personality. But sometimes I still catch myself doing it. I think awareness is a big step in stopping completely before it gets out of hand. Since I started noticing these generalizations and making an honest effort not to make them I have seen a big difference in my relationships and my sense of wellbeing everyday.
I'm going to give an example.
As yall know, I created a 60 day challenge called my Sexy-in-60 Challenge. it's pretty successful I pick about 20-30 people and they compete for prizes to see who can make the most progress following the program for 60 days. I am very picky with the application process because I pay attention to the stages of readiness of people and some people aren't ready. I don't want anyone to waste their money or make themselves feel worse. My first challenge out of 20 people, 11 people quit, most within the first phase. I knew early on who was going to do well. My goal is not to make a lot of money doing this, I don't care about that. Money is fine. I want to reach people. To give them ways to eliminate their own excuses and show THEMSELVES they can reach their goals. SO I tried this time to pick people that really wanted it. That were ready to change and that had positive spirits.
Apparently I let one slip through the cracks.
I'll make a long story short. I'm going to only state facts because I think it's unprofessional for me to trash, she hasn't stopped doing it since this "incident" and I'm not going to take part. I'm only telling you guys this to share the lesson I was able to get out of it.
So in the first week of phase 2 she posts in the group on Facebook that she won't be participating anymore because there are two many whole eggs on the plan. (There are 3.) The other girls weren't happy and they commented a lot before I saw it, but when I saw it I said I wished she would have emailed me because I couldve easily changed it for her and that I accepted her withdrawal. But that i didnt think this was the proper way to handle this. She posted on my wall and tagged me saying she wanted a refund. Then called me unprofessional. Then made a status saying "Anybody looking for a real trainer let me know. i fired mine because her morals were bad!' So I emailed her,( because I believe a private conversation was appropriate from the get) explaining why she wouldn't get a refund and that I hoped she would be able to part peacefully and stop publicly bashing me. THen I blocked and reported a few more of her angry comments and tags. The girls are very upset because they are very loyal to me and apparently she hasn't stopped making hateful statuses since it happened (a few days ago). This was one of the people that gave the highest praise of me and bragged to everyone on facebook about how amazing I was, what a great trainer I was, and how excited she was to work for me. And I recall several times other girls trying to warn me, and I defended her. A LOT. Now I feel a little naive and wish I had been more..I don't know, alert?
Then a former client that dropped off the face of the earth and hasn't replied to any of my emails in almost a year finally takes the time to message me on facebook and tell me that my pictures are distasteful and her daughter is my age and she wouldn't want her posting pics like that. I looked..I didn't think they were distasteful. I rarely post pics of myself on facebook because I'm insecure. But that's not what hurt. That comes with the industry. Some people find you inspiring (why we do this) and some people find you skanky. Whatever. What hurt was that THATS why she felt the need to in her words "reach out". That a negative comment would compel her to "reach out' but not my emails or check-ins. She blatantly ignored those. I was CONCERNED. After all I'd done to try to help her, that was just a slap in the face.
Two knives in the back for one week was a lot and I found myself generalizing. Saying wow, nobody cares about everything I do. People dont appreciate me. People are ungrateful. I even considered not doing the challenge anymore and it definitely made me never want to post another picture.
But then I had to wakeup. It's just TWO PEOPLE. I have thousands of friends on bodyspace and facebook that support and encourage me and it has been months since I've gotten a legit negative comment. That's a blessing. There are soooo many sweet, kind, loving people in this world that make me feel awesome and make my job worth doing and most importantly there are people who still want and appreciate my help. In fact, 29 people, every single other girl in the group was infuriated at her insinuations and they all had my back.
ONE BAD APPLE DOES NOT SPOIL THE WHOLE BUNCH. One ******* does not make the world a bad place.
A lot of people go on and on about how the world has gone to hell and it's so bad. it's always been "bad" if you define it that way. We've always had "bad" people and "bad" things happening. I don't believe that. With the elections coming up, everyone is a little hostile. "My party is right, yours is the antichrist"-kind of thing. (I don't do politics. I'm voting for the person I find LESS repulsive.) But the world is not a horrible place.
We can choose to only see the killings on the news. The natural disasters. We can choose to only remember the guy that bumped into us and knocked all our crap everywhere. We can choose to remember the bullies from school and the horrible bosses we've had through our lives. We can remember the devil.
But we can't forget God. There is good. We disrespect the good people in the world when we give the negative nancies all the power. Chances are when that guy knocked your crap out of your hand, someone helped you pick it up. Chances are you had awesome friends in school and some really good memories. Chances are you've had a boss you've liked. Chances are your life has a lot of great experiences and that most your days are okay, with a "bad" thrown in there every now and then.
We all have some people that are going to "hurt" us, maybe stab us in the back hopefully not often. We'll all have naysayers. But that doesnt have to define our lives. It doesn't mean no one likes you.
One failure doesn't mean you suck. One "bad" day doesn't mean your life sucks.
We have to take it with a grain of salt. It is what it is and it does not define us. I didn't do anything wrong to either of those people. In fact, I know me. And I know I would give the shirt off my back for either of them and I didn't deserve their random outbursts.
OTHER PEOPLE'S OPINIONS OF YOU ARE NOT INDICATIVE OF WHO YOU ARE INSIDE. And you don't need anyone to validate that.
9 times out of 10, we blow things out of proportion and at the end of the day everything is okay.
I know my business will not be hurt by one person who comes off as unstable just by the incessant bashing and no backup.
Remember that: Don't let one ******* blind you from the sweethearts there are in this world.
It made me realize how much I've grown over the years. I don't generalize my life negatively anymore. I don't want to. I don't want pity, I don't want to "hurt" I want to be happy and enjoy this blessing of life that I have !
I encourage you all to do the same. You hold the remote to your life. Don't let anyone else, expecially someone who doesn't deserve it, be in control!
I know I'm an optimist. Some people call me naive or say I'm unrealistic. No I'm not. I'm in control. I'm not BOTHERED by everything. I choose. You have that choice too!
It's your life, your channel. You decide what stays on!