Personal Development


CHAPTER XVI – That One Big Thing

I am Jude. No matter how satisfying our lives are, we all have that ONE BIG THING. That one big thing that insinuates itself into our lives, infects our thinking and keeps us awake at night. 

You may be keeping it close to your chest, far away from the prying eyes of others or it may be related to a painful public event. It could be something from your early childhood or an experience from your recent past.  

Regardless, it occupies space in our lives and limits our growth and development. It shrinks our expectations and encourages us to live small. 

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It’s different for all of us, but every one of us has at least one. And unfortunately, some of us have even more. 

What’s yours?

Is it related to your low self-worth or unfulfilled expectations? Does it involve a toxic relationship, family illness or a stalled career? Perhaps it’s fear, regret or shame. 

Unfortunately, we begin to define ourselves through this contagion. It finds fertile ground in our setbacks and struggles and infects our thinking. It influences our decision-making and sows self-doubt. 

Unless it’s confronted and corralled, your one big thing will prevent you from obtaining joy and fulfillment. So get to work. 

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Managing your One Big Thing

First, identify what it is. Step back and consider how your big thing is getting in the way. 

Gain a better understanding of how it shows up in your life and the space it occupies. Approach it with intention and from a place of curiosity. Identify the cues associated with your thinking and behaviors.

Although you may never be able to eliminate it from your life, you can develop insight, acquire tools and reduce its power. You can redefine it and limit its impact and consequence. You can soften its hard edges.

Develop a healthy relationship with yourself, it increases your agency and fortifies you against it. Acquire insight and self-awareness through self-reflection and acceptance. Determine what you value and who you serve.

Change how you view whatever is holding you back. When you change your perspective, you change your life. 

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Side Hustle – Unshackled Solutions Coaching and Personal Consulting

I continue to connect with amazing new people and educate myself about all things life coaching. I am attending individual and group coaching sessions and have participated in online personal development events.

I have realized that although the coach and the client are focused on goal setting and deliberate action, the client’s insights and self-awareness offer the real benefits.

If you provide a person with an answer it allows them to solve a problem. However, if they learn how to manage or solve their OWN problems, it can fundamentally change their lives forever. I like the sounds of that. 

I am approaching life coaching with the steadfast belief that – The client has the problem and all of the corresponding answers. My job is to simply provide them with the tools and encouragement to help them BREAK FREE and BE BETTER.

Your Next Best Read Think Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahnman

Completing this book tested my will. Kahnman is a Nobel-prize winning psychologist and economist. He has completed some ground-breaking research and the book has a lot of interesting information but it’s just too damn long!

He asserts that two systems in our brains are constantly fighting over control of our behavior and describes how this leads to significant errors in memory, judgment, perceptions and decisions-making. 

Kahneman introduces a host of biases that influence decision-making such as priming, the halo effect, hindsight and framing. He maintains that factors outside of our conscious awareness significantly affect our thinking, memories and experiences.

Bottom line – doubt what you believe to be true, because it generally isn’t. 

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Public Announcement

Do What You Love! 

Do you realize that there has never been anyone in the world quite like you? No one else has ever had your thoughts, experiences or perspective. Your eyes and fingerprints are yours alone. You are uniquely you.

I understand that there is tremendous pressure to conform and fit in. I get that. But I still encourage you to stand up for yourself, follow your passions and do what makes you happy. Believe me, its worth it.

So follow your heart and not the crowd. Be different. It’s okay to enjoy things others don’t, try new experiences and go against the grain. Friends and family may judge your new interests but that has nothing to do with you. They are your passions, not theirs. 

Find others with similar interests or do it alone – but do what speaks to you. 

Positive Reflection – What’s Good?

My daughter and the Cubs slept over one night last week because of an early morning appointment. This is normally a blessing in itself but my daughter provided me with another completely unexpected gift.

Everyone got up early and we went downstairs to chat and allow Kyrie some time to play with his toys before we got ready for the day. The morning was perfect until it was time to go upstairs. 

Kyrie wasn’t hearing it. The whole basement has become a giant toy box and he wanted to continue playing. And who could blame him.

My daughter patiently negotiated with him until it was obvious that he was not going to cooperate. He clearly wasn’t concerned about his mother’s appointment. Instead, he lost it. He became completely inconsolable and flipped his lid. There were tears and toys everywhere.

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And that’s when the magic happened. 

My daughter didn’t raise her voice, point out how unreasonable he was being or put him in time-out. Instead, she got down on his level, acknowledged his distress and lovingly asked him if he wanted a hug. 

I’m gonna be honest with you, I was dumbfounded. It came from nowhere, and although I have read some books and now believe in gentle parenting, it was perfectly unfamiliar. 

It was absolutely touching to witness this intimate moment and I couldn’t have been more proud of her. She is committed to a new way of parenting and demonstrated her dedication under fire.

And get this, it worked. It disarmed him, provided him with comfort and de-escalated the situation. It was the  perfect example of validating a child’s emotions. It has flaws and limitations but provides a valuable blueprint to raise confident, happy and well-adjusted children. 

There is no turning back for me. I’m a believer. Well done Mama! I am Jude.  

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