May 6, 2013 in balanced living speaker, business speaker, Humorist Speakers, Motivational Speakers, School Board Speaker, Speaker for Education Groups, speaker on change, Speakers for Business Groups, Speakers for Human Relations and Communication
Most of us seem to live our entire lives without truly understanding ourselves. We talk too
much, give advice too quickly, get too angry or fail to keep our promises. If we are honest
with ourselves, we would admit that sometimes we feel smug over a friend”s plight or that
we value looks and money over integrity and kindness. We rarely allow ourselves to go
much beyond these realizations.
Understanding yourself is one of the most important tasks in hiding your goat. A lot of
pop psychology says to accentuate the positive and push the negative aside.
Unfortunately, without recognizing potential negatives, you can”t cast them off. So, as you
prepare to hide your goat, it may be helpful to discover your goat by answering the
Are you a faultfinder?
Critical people can”t resist pointing out a problem. Nothing is ever good enough.
Faultfinders expect perfectionism in themselves and others. Finding fault or criticizing
exposes your goat and almost always derails relationships and drives people away.
Criticism does not persuade people to change, even if your criticism is valid. Worse,
others will not trust you because they know that, sooner or later, they, too, will fall prey
to your criticism. People will put their guard up. Spontaneity will disappear as they
carefully choose their words and watch their actions around you. Over time, they won”t
even want to be with you. Many roads lead to negativity. Sometimes a person is born into
a family in which one or both parents are critical. As a result, the child grows up learning
to look at the world through a negative lens. People can become faultfinders if they live or
work with negative people. If someone around you is pointing out mistakes, flaws and
injustices, it”s easy to start focusing on mistakes, flaws and injustices yourself. If you
think you”re too critical a person, change.
Are you a jealous person?
Do you constantly compare, evaluate and feel badly when someone else wins. Jealousy is
a flaw we often have difficulty acknowledging in ourselves. Not acknowledging someone
else”s achievements is one way jealousy rears its ugly head. I still remember the day a
committee member informed me that I had been elected to the Speaker Hall of Fame.
When I told a fellow speaker, whom I had known for over fourteen years, about the
induction, he said, “I”ve been nominated several times and never got elected. Sounds like
you had the right committee voting.” Just as you do when herding your goats, you must
look inside yourself for the reason you are jealous. The answer is there. Sometimes
jealousy arises from insecurity. Eighteenth century scholar and mystic Moshe Luzzatto
had great insight on jealousy when he wrote, “The one who envies gains nothing for
himself and deprives the one he envies of nothing. There are those who are so foolish that
if they perceive their neighbor to possess a certain good, they brood, worry and suffer to
the point that their neighbor”s good prevents them from enjoying their own.”
Do you have to be the center of attention?
People who talk too much are attention-competitive. What they are saying is, “Pay
attention to me!” Interrupting is another competitive behavior. Some people compete by
starting a side conversation. They”re proclaiming, “What I have to say is more important
than what others have to say.” People who seek to be the center of attention are terrible
listeners, too. When someone else is talking, their minds wander and they rarely ask
questions or contribute a comment.
Are you controlling?
If you don”t recognize your own controlling behavior, hiding your goat will be impossible,
leaving it exposed and vulnerable. So how controlling are you?
Do you talk too much?
Do you frequently offer unsolicited advice?
Do you have trouble apologizing?
Do you pout and refuse to talk when you get angry?
When you want something done, does it have to be done now?
Are you habitually late?
Are you often accused of not listening?
Do you often finish other people”s stories?
Do you usually have the last word in an argument?
If you desire good relationships with your fellow workers, your spouse, your children and your friends, discover — and then eliminate — your controlling behaviors.
Do you get too angry?
You may not like to admit it, but you know if you have an anger problem. What you may not understand is what drives that anger, its consequences or what you can do to change. How you interpret events in your life could be negative by default, thereby generating your own anger. The people you surround yourself with can play a significant role in how you interpret certain events as well. Negative people often gravitate toward each other, further fueling the situation. Things not going the way you expect can also ignite your anger by making you feel off balance, threatened, challenged and not in control. Maybe the worst byproduct of getting too angry is that you name-call, exaggerate and become sanctimonious.
I once read, “A life not examined is like an unopened letter.” Just as it”s impossible to reach your
destination when you don”t know where you are, youcan”t become who you want to be until you”re sure who you are. I challenge each of you to take an introspective journey. Then change the parts of yourself you don”t like and accentuate those you do. Having a clear self-image is essential in relationships,
confidence and growth — and the only way you can hide your goat is to discover it first.