As a couples therapist I routinely talk to my clients about the ambiguous road ahead of them in working on repairing and enriching their relationships. The work is generally fraught with uncertainty and likely setbacks, as is the case with most hard earned changes. This discussion always involves the issue of what each partner needs to “stay in the game,” or what would they minimally require of themselves and each other to maintain hope, energy and good faith in the process.
What each of us needs to “stay in the game” applies to any endeavor which doesn’t produce immediate lovely results. Last week, after three years of often grueling work, I received my official documentation awarding me the trademark for the name “Couplespeak.” I had invented the name for a division of my company which would provide coaching products and services live and online. Getting the trademark with proprietorial rights to the name required me to write books, articles, eBooks, develop workshops, training programs, blogs, videos, a BlogTalk Radio program, and to manage multiple internet platforms.
Mind you, all the while I’ve had a full time private psychotherapy practice, and started with very little interest in the internet and tech devices three years ago. But I loved the name “Couplespeak,” and believed that if I could live long enough I could grow it into something really significant. The whole process required that to finish, I stay in the game, the Couplespeak game. I had to devise ways of making myself accountable, and maintaining my passion for the project. I had to enlist the support of my friends and family. I had to learn when to take breaks and when to force myself back into the effort. Just as anyone requires in any big, meaningful project, I needed to keep up my faith in myself, and my faith in the work itself. And now, just as anyone would, I’ll need to allow this “finish” to become the remarkable start of something else, a new game…..
PS. For copies of my new books about staying sane in the relationship game, go to Amazon: http://amzn.to/12ALenB
(If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been for the last few weeks, I’ve been shoveling.) Only, kidding, that’s just been the scene for the last few hours, getting ready for yet another snow storm, so the new ten inches doesn’t collapse the deck with the 6 inch ice base underneath. Ah, New England……..
Now that all your presents are unwrapped, (and hopefully, already paid for), the guests have gone home, (or if they’re leaving from New England, they are TRYING to go home amidst this second post Christmas blizzard), the leftovers are in the fridge, (hopefully you have leftovers, and didn’t eat it ALL), you’re filled with more good memories, (hopefully it wasn’t a nightmare holiday), and you too, are looking forward to the New Year, with new chances to do better, or to just do some new, adventurous things.
As for me, I’m about to publish my second workbook called, “Become Relationship Smart Without A Lifetime Of Therapy.” It’s all about how to do better in all your key relationships. It’s been quite a haul getting it done, but I think you’ll love it as I do, and benefit tremendously from the tools and insights I’ve provided in the book. You’ll be able to buy it on Amazon in late January 2013!
So, what’s the point? Try new things in the new year, or you’ll get stale and rusted! What’s the worst that could happen? Failure? Mistakes? So what? Unless we get hit by a truck, there are usually more chances to do whatever it is better, or to let it go. Mistakes, as I say, are “valuable information potentially used for new learning”. Here’s to courage! Here’s to mistakes!
Gotta go help with more shoveling. The snow has arrived, and the Snowblower Guy, my husband, probably could use the moral support.
I’m in the home stretch for the completion of my second book, “Become Relationship Smart Without A Lifetime Of Therapy.”
I think I now understand first hand what the dilemma is for so many people about finishing a project! When you’re involved in a project which is meaningful to you it’s like getting married. You make a supposed commitment to do your best and hang in there “in sickness and in health.” You often do it publicly, like having a wedding. You tell your friends and family about it, and they become invested as well, so if you bag it, it’s similar to the humiliation of a divorce – you feel like a failure who’s let everyone down. Or worse, people don’t take you seriously after that around your passions and projects.
Is the solution to just not try to accomplish too much to avoid all this aggravation? No, I think it’s a better idea to closely monitor your negative self talk and your possible self sabotaging behaviors, then remind yourself why you bothered with the project to begin with, to reinforce your motivation to get to the finish line. I’m going to do just that with the book. Not think about it too much, and plow forward, reminding myself why I’ve bothered. When you see the book posted on Amazon.com you’ll know I made it to the finish line. If and when you read the book, you too will know why I bothered.
Laura Rivchun, Chrysalis Career Coaching
Don’t miss this important BTR episode, “Staying Positive While Looking For Work.” My co-host is Laura Rivchun, Principal at Chrysalis Career Coaching. Together we’ll be discussing the challenges people in career transitions face, particularly in this tough job market. Laura will share her insights and tips for how to “stay in the game” successfully, as well as what things NOT to do if you want to keep your options open.
Call in toll-free at 877-497-9046 to just listen in, or to join us live on the air with your questions or comments. If you can’t make the live show, catch the recorded episode at: www.BlogTalkRadio.com/SusanLager
Newsflash! On Wednesday, October 17th at 8:30 PM EST I’ll be doing a BlogTalk Radio episode about this very vital and timely topic. My co-host will be Laura Rivchun, a career coach and mentor from New York City, who will share her insights about the issues people encounter, facing unemployment, and how to manage the process successfully. We’ll be talking about tools for maintaining a positive attitude and avoiding despair and isolation, as well as specific actions to maximize your opportunities to get the best work.
Don’t miss this episode! You can catch it live streaming at: www.BlogTalkRadio.com/SusanLager or call toll-free at: 877-497-9046 to just listen, or to join us live on the air with questions or comments. Either way, hope you’re with us!