This post was originally published on 11/5/16. I’m not at all surprised that it’s in the top five of the top posts on my blog. Frenemies are a problem we all struggle with: people who are with us when the going is good and success is easy but leave us in a lurch once the going gets tough; people who are nice to our face and constantly flatter us yet stab us in the back and thwart us at every turn; people who swear they’re our friends but then when someone else comes along who they perceive is better than us (for whatever reason)….
When we have run-ins with these types of “friends” we feel mistreated, betrayed, and abandoned. We must remember that our Frenemies’ dropping us or treating us badly is not a judgment on us or an assessment of our worth and value. Their behavior shows that THEY are the ones lacking in maturity and manners; THEY are the ones that are superficial and weak-willed.
Here are quotes to comfort you when you discover a person you had thought was your friend turns out to be a frenemy.
This post was published earlier this year on 1/27/17 and it continues to be an excellent reminder that it’s the journey and not the destination that that matters. It’s what we learn, who we meet, the new things we see, and the interesting things that we discover. And it’s how all of this enriches us and our life and how we then share this with others.
This poem also reminds us that riches and influence can be useful tools in crafting a soul-prospering life, but they aren’t what’s truly important. It’s the comforting silence as well as the laughter shared with dear friends and loved ones; playing with your kids; making a difference in someone’s life. These achievements are the true successes in life.
Your Friend and Pep Pal,
I’d Rather Be a Failure by Edgar A. Guest
I came across this poem and I thought you might like it, too.
I’d Rather Be a Failure by Edgar A. Guest
I’d rather be a failure than the man who’s never tried;
I’d rather seek the mountain-top than always stand aside.
Oh, let me hold some lofty dream and make my desperate fight,
And though I fail I still shall know I tried to serve the right.
The idlers line the ways of life and they are quick to sneer;
They note the failing strength of man and greet it with a jeer;
But there is something deep inside which scoffers fail to view—
They never see the glorious deed the failure tried to do.
Some men there are who never leave the city’s well-worn streets;
They never know the dangers grim the bold adventurer meets;
They never seek a better way nor serve a nobler plan;
They never risk with failure to advance the cause of man.
Oh, better ’tis to fail and fall in sorrow and despair,
Than stand where all is safe and sure and never face a care;
Yes, stamp me with the failure’s brand and let men sneer at me,
For though I’ve failed, the Lord shall know the man I tried to be.
Just like you, I’ve been paralyzed with fear–unable to move forward, unable to move backward or to the side; plain old unable to move. Period.
I knew I had to move forward, though. To stay stuck would have meant death, not physical death, but the price of giving in to fear and terror is that a little piece of your essence must die. And the price of staying stuck in fear and terror is that little pieces of your essence, your spirit, are continually, imperceptibly, chipped away from you. At first, you don’t really notice. But then one day you awake to find that you are so incredibly far off the mark of who you thought you’d be. And you wonder if it’s too late to become who you know you could have been….
That is the true horror.
Better to face the terror and fear, better to figure out a way to do something about it, than to let it slowly kill you.
At the end of this post, I’ll share with you four additional tips of how to take the next step when you are terrified.
TAKING ACTION: WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’RE PARALYZED WITH FEAR
When you’re in a state of anxiety, worry, fear, panic, or terror, it’s difficult to think straight and it’s even more difficult to take any action. Our natural tendency is to want to hide or to run in the opposite direction.
But hiding or running “for the hills” will not help. It may feel good for a little while but the issue is still there, lurking, waiting to pounce the moment you peep out of where you ducked for cover.
Yesterday we talked about Life’s Ambushes and how they can terrorize us. We learned that the best thing to do in that case is to take action. (click here to be taken to that post).
But if you’re scared stiff, how the heck are you supposed to move, much less take action?!
By breaking the actions into steps and breaking those into small parts and little pieces. Then break those into tidbits; break those into jots…. Keep breaking things down into smaller and smaller increments until you get to the tiny specks that you are confident that you can do–even if those specks are as small as atoms or even electrons! Then do them–cross them off your To Do list one by one.
You might be thinking: Easy for you to say but what does that look like, exactly?
Okay, let’s say you need a new job. You easily and quickly wrote up an excellent resume, you emailed and called all your contacts, and you looked online at different job postings. The last pro-active thing on your list is to call an employment agency to speak with a recruiter. But let’s say that you had a very bad experience previously so now just the thought of calling the agency creates such distress in you that you are literally trembling.
Break down the task of making the phone call into itsy-bitsy fragments of steps.
For instance, one day you put it on your To Do list to just think in general about phones. Perhaps you find it interesting that they were invented in the late 1800’s. You may find it fascinating thinking about the amazing changes telephone technology has gone through in the 139 years of its existence.
That’s all you have to do for the day. You can cross it off your To Do list! Make sure you congratulate yourself–pat yourself on the back for a job well done! Then reward yourself: listen to your favorite music for a half hour, read for 15 minutes, watch an episode of your favorite TV program, spend a half hour with your favorite hobby.
The next day you write down that you want to think of the phones you’ve had over the years: the clunky wired ones of your childhood all the way to the sleek wrist models that recently came to market.
Once you do this, then you’re done for the day. You don’t have to think about phones or phone calls to the recruiter at all! Again, cross it off your list and then celebrate your victory!
The following day, think about your current phone, it’s color and style. Remember the feel of it–its shape and its weight in your hand. Maybe, at this point, you can push yourself a little bit and think about the last conversation you had using it, or when you talked to your friend or loved one on the phone.
When that’s done, you can cross it off the list and celebrate. You did it!
Over the next few days you take the next few bits of steps: You’ll look at the phone; another day you’ll touch the phone; after that you’ll pick up the phone and listen to the dial tone. After each task finished, you’ll cross it off your list and celebrate.
Notice that each day you have something to cross off your To Do list–this is evidence that you are making progress which builds confidence and momentum. Notice, too, that you celebrate each day what you did that day. This shows your mind that facing your fear and taking small bits of action results in making progress and that there’s a reward for dealing with scary stuff and that reward feels good and makes you happy.
This conditions you to focus on successful outcomes!
Gradually you’ll progress to dialing the agency’s phone number and actually speaking to a recruiter.
While this example may seem silly and extreme, the principles apply to how to break down your action steps into teensy-tiny specks.
Sometimes, in order to conquer fear so you can move forward, the actions you take must be itsy-bitsy. If this is how small you have to break them down in order to move forward, it does not make you a weakling or incompetent, incapable, or silly.
Quite the contrary.
It makes you very, very brave because instead of shaking uncontrollably and staying frozen to the spot with fear, you are finding a way to move forward–in spite of your shaking and in spite of the terror.
That makes you brave.
That makes you courageous.
That makes you a hero!
Your homework is to take the next step. With your head held high, break that step into smaller and smaller pieces until you get to the tiny dots that you know you can easily accomplish. Then do them!
Then look in the mirror and see what a true hero looks like!
You can do it!
I’m so very proud of you!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,
When you’re going through this process of moving inspite of your paralyzing fear, it helps to have someone to talk to. This person can be a loved one, trusted friend, or trained professional. I urge you to reach out to others because it helps you see the truth that you are not alone in feeling terrified.
Also, devise a playlist for yourself. Youtube has a wide variety of uplifting music–ranging from sacred songs to pop music and everything in between–as well as motivational and inspirational messages. Check out Librivox, too (librivox.org). It’s a great resource for audios of books that are in the public domain.
Make sure you get your rest! Research is showing that 7 – 9 hours of sleep is required for optimal performance. When you’re tired, your emotions are ragged and you’re more apt to react poorly to little annoyances that normally would have rolled right off you. Also, when you’re fatigued, you don’t do your best thinking and you can forget about being creative or inventive–skills that are needed when you’re working your way through problems.
Make sure you eat nutritious food! Do NOT reach for the bag of chips, gallon of ice cream, package of cookies, and the soda–or alcohol–to wash it all down. And, step away from the fast food! J Add fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet, as well as other nutritious foods. Your body needs good fuel to do its best thinking and its best work. It’s your responsibility to give good stuff to your body!
Take the next itty bitty tiny step toward your soul-prospering life. You can do it, I believe in you!
I’m always on the lookout for good quotes. The best ones–the ones that resonate with us–contain not only wisdom for the particular situation in which we find ourselves, but also they have a little packet of energy that’s just the boost we need to take the next few steps.
In the comments section, let me know of these will help you take the next steps in crafting your soul-prospering life. Thanks!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,
BABY STEPS: A FEW QUOTES TO ENCOURAGE YOU
What baby steps are you going to take this week toward your dreams? Here are a few quotes about baby steps to “prove” to you that they really do work.
Progress. Just make progress. It’s okay to have setbacks and the need for do-overs. It’s okay to draw a line in the sand and start over again – and again. Just make sure you’re moving the line forward. Move forward. Take baby steps… Then change will come. And it will be good. ~Lysa TerKeurst
You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.~Martin Luther King, Jr.
To make the quickest progress, you don’t have to take huge leaps. You just have to take baby steps-and keep on taking them. In Japan, they call this approach kaizen, which literally translates as ‘continual improvement.’ Using kaizen, great and lasting success is achieved through small, consistent steps. It turns out that slow and steady is the best way to overcome your resistance to change.~Marci Shimoff It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.~Confucius
Pause and remember – Everyone gets discouraged and feels lost at times. Don’t worry – life will get better. A new way is being made for you. Keep moving forward even if it’s just baby steps.~Jennifer Young
Babies learning to walk embody the deepest truth about deep practice: to get good, it’s helpful to be willing, or even enthusiastic, about being bad. Baby steps are the royal road to skill.~Daniel Coyle Little by little does the trick. ~Aesop Go gently and slowly. These are baby steps. Progress, not perfection, is what we should be asking of ourselves.~Julia Cameron You’re never too old to take baby steps. ~Capital STEEZ
Don’t look too far in the future, don’t worry about how you’re going to have enough time or enough money or enough smarts; the “how?” is up to God. Just put your whole focus on this moment, doing this baby step at this moment; and then once you finish that one, God and the angels will give you the next assignment and so on and so forth.~Doreen Virtue I knew it was unrealistic to think I could build an institution overnight. But if I took baby steps, eventually it would happen.~Russell Simmons Seeing a pattern doesn’t mean you know how to put it all together. Take baby steps: don’t focus on the folks whose skills are far beyond your own. When you’re new to something-or you haven’t tried it in a while-it can feel impossibly hard to get it right. Every misstep feels like a reason to quit. You envy everyone else who seems to know what they’re doing. What keeps you going? The belief that one day you’ll also be like that: Elegant. Capable. Confident. Experienced. And you can be. All you need is enthusiasm, a little bravery, a sense of humor, and to regularly take baby steps.~Kate Jacobs
In the comments below, let me know which of these quotes you like the best. Thanks!
I’m reading the book The Art of Pilgrimage by Phil Cousineau. I came across this book when we were talking a few weeks ago about making pilgrimages.
It contains a paraphrase of advice that was given to people in medieval times who were embarking on pilgrimages: Stranger, pass by that which you do not love.
I didn’t quite understand quote and didn’t know what to make of it. If you’re on a pilgrimage or if you’re visiting new place, it’s most helpful if you stay mindful and open to everything. You want to see the gifts that every moment has to give you as well as learn the lessons that some moments contain–in fact, often times the lesson is the gift.
When I read Stranger, pass by that which you do not love, it sounded counterintuitive. The quote sounded like it was advising us not to pay attention, that we should ignore something that has the potential to teach us a very profound lesson. And the quote seemed to say that we should overlook the little bits of beauty sprinkled throughout the day that give us the opportunity for wonder and awe at the magnificence of creation.
That advice didn’t seem right so I kept pondering that quote to see what else I could glean from it.
Soon it occurred to me that the quote isn’t saying that we shouldn’t learn a lesson that we shouldn’t be mindful. It isn’t saying that we should be shallow and stick with only the things we like or are comfortable with.
What the quote is telling us is exactly what it’s saying: stranger, pass by that which you do not love. The quote tell us to pass by: don’t stay with what we don’t love; don’t cling to what we don’t love; don’t wallow in what we don’t love.
I found this to be a very profound reminder that we will go through difficulties, because it’s guaranteed that we’re going to hit rough patches no matter how smart, how beautiful, how young, how old, how talented, how slim, how rich, we are going to hit difficulties. Some are going to be much more trying and more heartbreaking than others. And we aren’t going to love it at all–who would?! The point is to pass by, to go through it as best we can. Go through it–don’t stop, don’t wallow, don’t stagnate, don’t cling.
I wanted to share this revelation with you. I hope you find inspiration and encouragement in these ideas.
Perhaps this year—or maybe the past several years—have been very difficult. Maybe you feel you’re taking steps backward, even though you’re doing everything you can to push forward. You might even look ahead at your life and it doesn’t look too good—not too promising or hopeful.
At these times, It’s really tough to be thankful and grateful because what have you got to be thankful for? It seems that so much has been taken away from you. You’ve heard the saying that there’s always something to be grateful for but that sounds like so much baloney right now.
But it’s precisely the act of thankful for what you DO have that will change the tide in your life.
When Dr. Joe Vitale tells his story of overcoming homelessness and poverty, he tells of a moment of intense clarity that he had. He was sitting in the public library studying, trying to improve himself and get out of his current circumstances. He was using a pencil and paper to take notes and suddenly he noticed the pencil—how wonderful and powerful this simple instrument was.
He thought about the people throughout the ages whose best thinking and efforts went into creating the pencil. With the pencil, people have been able to converse with others through letters; scientists and others have been able to invent machines and products and services that have helped humankind; people’s creativity has been unleashed through the humble pencil. Suddenly he was overwhelmed with intense gratitude for the humble pencil.
He credits this moment of profound clarity and his deep gratitude as being a turning point in his life. He acknowledges that gratitude and thanksgiving are the foundation of his success and achievement.
Some of my “humble pencils” are:
Regardless of the challenges, difficulties, and heartbreaks I’ve experienced, I’m still here;
I can press the reset button by spending a little time with Mother Nature, whether it’s being outside or gazing out my window;
I’m good at helping people who are discouraged, lost, unsure, etc..
What “humble pencil” do you have in your life for which you can feel gratitude and thanksgiving?
In a few days we in the US will be celebrating Thanksgiving. Here are a few quotes for us to ponder; quotes that, I hope, will help us make thanksgiving and gratitude a part of every day of the year, not just one day.
If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share. ~W. Clement Stone
Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. ~Oprah Winfrey
We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction. Harry Ironside
Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good think that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because ALL things have contributed to your advancement, you should include ALL things in your gratitude. ~Ralph Waldo Everson
Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is. ~Ernest Hemingway
If a fellow isn’t thankful for what he’s got, he isn’t likely to be thankful for what he’s going to get. ~Frank A. Clark
Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds. ~Theodore Roosevelt
We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count. ~Neal A. Maxwell
We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have. ~Frederick Keonig
Pride slays thanksgiving, but a humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow. A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves. ~Henry Ward Beacher
For flowers that bloom about our feet;
For tender grass, so fresh, so sweet;
For song of bird, and hum of bee;
For all things fair we hear or see.
Farther in heaven, we thank Thee!
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large about of Gratitude. ~A.A. Milne
Which quote(s) did you like the best? My favorite is the last one, Piglet’s.