Take a Stand, Make that Statement, Slam that Door!

by Cyndi Paxton Johnson

I recently went roller skating for “The Last Time in My Life”.  It wasn’t a difficult decision – and I feel quite convinced I will never change my mind.  Of course, the brace on my left wrist is a constant reminder for the next six weeks.  But I’ve made these statements before – and I’ve never waivered.

About twenty years ago I enjoyed my last motorcycle ride.  No broken bones that time, but it occurred to me that I was spending almost a decade in college to get the most out of my brain, and putting it that close to concrete at 55mph was not the wisest choice.  I’ve never looked back – I’m not afraid to ride, I know it would be most enjoyable, but it’s not an option.  I also made “the last time” declaration for roller coasters a few years ago. I used to love their stomach clenching excitement – but it’s no longer fun.  (and….I think it’s preferable to quit while I’m just not happy, rather than when I’ve lost my lunch on complete strangers while flying upside down – I’m sure they appreciate that more, too!)

What strikes me most about “the last time” statements is the absolute conviction behind them.  I’m done. Period. No discussion, no second guessing, no being talked into another try. I’m DONE. 

What if I took that conviction and applied it to other areas of my life? Is it easier for me to say, “I will NEVER do that again” than to say “I will do xyz from now on”?  See the difference?

Many self-help books say to phrase everything in the positive – that our brains ignore negative statements.  You know, “don’t slam the door” becomes “please close the door quietly”.  Hmmm….thinking about it, I definitely use “Don’t” in my interactions.  I’m ok with that, really. It works for me.

And maybe it’s more powerful for me to say “I will NEVER let the fear of something new hold me back” than to say, “I will embrace challenges whenever possible”.  Maybe it’s a stubbornness thing. Or maybe it’s just easier.

Anthony Robbins uses powerful negative imagery in his program. It helps people get to that “I will NEVER” stage.  Things like imagining yourself eating a can of dog food if you eat something fattening. Yeah, I am SO not going there.  But it pushes you to the point where you can say “I will NEVER do that again”  - and have the conviction of your words – without the broken wrist as a reminder.  

It’s a New Year. We have a clean slate – everything is possible.  If, like me, you have a strong stubborn streak, how about finding ONE thing you will NEVER do again – and owning it? Personally, giving up roller skating isn’t very life-changing – so my new life motto is: “I will NEVER go 24 hours without writing. Ever.”  I’ll still have to figure out how to best integrate that into my daily life – writing gets side-lined between work, kids, chores, etc. – but I WILL do it. I’m stubborn that way.

What will your stubbornness allow you to gain? Go figure it out  - there’s no time like NOW!

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