Julie and I had a discussion about a month ago regarding the creation of a “personal power group;” ie people who we surround ourselves as support and mentors; cheerleaders for own intentions and purposes.
Ideas like this have a tendency to “incubate” in my mind and eventually are born to new ideas. This concept was different and led me to title this article.
“The Five People I BETTER meet when I die….because I want answers!”
As a human becoming I realize there are various “selves” we deal with; eg our physical, emotional, financial, educational and relational components we define as ourselves. They all overlap in some manner and can be easily explained in a positive or negative sense based upon our own levels of self worth or self esteem. Yet this discussion is not about those people who are here to enhance our lives. This is about those who purposely attempt to sabotage our efforts. Yep…I said S A B O T A G E!
At first blush many will interpret this as being a negative reflection on life. I on the other hand will say, “Denial” is NOT a river in Egypt! I have seen and experienced firsthand how people we know and love will secretly, quietly and insidiously attempt to sabotage our efforts! And for me, it is the five people who in my life tried their hardest to purposely sabotage my life for their own gain that I want to meet WHEN I die and simply ask them why they did it?
Now you may think the answer would be obvious. I had a boss ten years ago who suffered from the “Napoleon Complex.” His efforts to belittle and sabotage my career were obvious. My meteoric rise threatened his own position and his efforts of sabotage became comical. He’s not one I would like to ask.
When I think about people that sabotage, I think about the more covert people (Julie calls them frenemies)
I want to ask friends, relatives; even my ex wife what fear existed within them that caused them to so willingly cause me harm. I want to know what I did to create this situation. Julie’s premise is that if we surround ourselves with greatness we become great. But what if our own greatness exceeds that of those around us? A great American author has been credited with this quote,
“Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great.” ~Mark Twain
Can anyone truly imagine someone we loved, our best friends, even a business associate carefully, knowingly or unknowingly attempting to sabotage our success? I never could…but I have seen others do that to others…and it makes me think just who did that to me? Did I not carefully choose my friends, my spouse, and my circles of influence? Do “birds of a feather flock together?” And if so, am I one of the saboteurs plotting against others?
Here are two examples of how family and spouses can become a saboteur. Years ago a friend was openly a ladies’ man. His wife was an attractive woman who never conceded his philandering, but we all knew, she knew. She was quite overweight and decided to make changes in her life. Exercise and diet quickly trimmed her of size and weight and she began to rapidly find herself complimented not only by female friends but many male friends as well.
Obviously this did not sit well with her husband. On a rainy evening he and I stopped at a market to purchase a few needed items to which he added a very large chocolate bar to the order. That chocolate was especially a favorite of his wife’s. I stood incredulously as I watched the chocolate pass the scanner and asked WHY he was buying it? In response he explained his wife didn’t need to lose any weight and he loved her exactly the way she was.
As we drove away it hit me…he was afraid she would now go out and have affairs as he did because of her weight loss! And he was relentless. Her forty pound loss became a 30 pound loss and eventually ended up as a net gain of about ten pounds. She was once again, sullen and sad, and he resumed his philandering without fear of recrimination.
Another example was of a lady who worked with me in real estate. This woman was an overnight success. Within her first month she had logged over $300,000 in sales (when the average sales price was just under $75,000). People liked her. I admired her tenacity and drive. I asked her why, what was driving her actions.
She told me her husband was a great guy, loved him to death, but financially they were only able to meet their bills. Her working not only allowed her to help pay bills, but her ultimate goal was to take her entire family to Disneyworld for an entire week! An admirable goal I agreed.
One day I was looking out of the window and saw this lady on a bicycle, and a hanger hooked onto her back with a change of clothes. She ran into my office and asked if she could borrow my car because her car had problems and she had appointments. Willingly I obliged…but then it happened again a few days later and then yet again.
Finally I called her into my office to ask what was wrong. In tears she related how her husband had told her she had to quit real estate because she was making HIM look bad! When she refused? He resorted to pulling the wires from the distributor so her car wouldn’t start. The man purposely sabotaged her career. A month later she had quit.
And now the worst form of sabotage…our own. How many times have we worked diligently to succeed only to create a problem that ended in our own termination?
“Self-sabotage is when we say we want something and then go about making sure it doesn't happen.” ~ Alyce Cornyn-Selby
And so now this brings us full circle to these five people I think I’d like to meet. I’m thinking lately they really don’t matter. Yes there are those who may try and sabotage our efforts and we can have five mentors or people we trust…but when it really comes down to it, are we not simply responsible for who we are, why we are and are a result of our own decisions?
Maybe next time you ask to be my friend in Facebook…I could just say no thank you!
Jerry helps people discover and see alternatives in their lives. A trained Coach with over 4000 hours experience; he has successfully worked with groups and individuals focusing on personal and career goals; helping people discover new meaning in their lives. He is a Certified Moral Reconation Therapy Group leader working with persons having developmental disabilities, felons to assimilate into the mainstream and most recently work with veterans and civilians who have sustained head injuries, to find new meanings in their lives.
His techniques are unique. He helps people understand the 'why' they want to be. Because without the why and the willingness to change, choices they make can be subjective and success is rare.
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