Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Hole in the Wall

A lot of us pride ourselves on being good advice-givers. A friend’s marital woes, a co-worker’s difficulties with the boss, your brother’s issues with his neighbors, the answers are obvious! Yet, when it comes to taking our own good advice, something happens. There is a disconnect. We know what we should do but …

It’s hard to take our own advice – but why is it so difficult to do what we know we should do? In getting Get It Together Girl ready, I had a heck of a time. Monday, the day I was planning to release the program, everything that could have gone wrong did. The PayPal buttons stopped working. All the sudden, I couldn’t pull up the Media Kit on-line. E-Book didn’t want to work. And, before noon about 10 other ugly issues reared their nasty little heads. Keep in mind, all of this was happening after I had gotten less than 8 hours of sleep over the entire weekend.

I called a friend in tears. As our call ended, another friend called and I cried on her shoulder too. Both of them gave me the same advice. Step away for a minute. Take a break. If I had been on the other end of the line, I would have given myself the exact same advice. Do you think I took it?

No. I kept going, calling help desks and trying to figure it out on my own, frustration continuing to mount. In fact, after one fruitless help desk call, I actually kicked the wall and made a hole in it!

Why didn’t I take what was clearly good and timely advice?

For one, emotion. My emotions were running high and, at that time, my emotions were actually more in control of me than my rational mind was. I was frustrated. I was upset. I was a little angry. I was on an emotional white water raft, careening over the fast and bubbling emotional rapids. I heard their words but I didn’t hear them.

Another reason it was hard to heed their advice was that I was the one with the investment. Sure they can tell me to take a break. What’s a break to them? I was the one who had written the eBook. I was the one who had developed the website and the media kit and the flier and the media list. This was me. It was an investment of my time, money and effort. And now, as all of this is about to come to fruition, you want me to take a break. I can’t break. I’m too close. Not now!

The hole in my wall stopped me. It stopped me cold. It made me realize how intense I’d become. I needed to break. And I did.

I went out and got something to eat. Being out of the house and away from my desk made a difference. It was only a half hour but my perspective changed. It was while I was away that I came up with a reason why all the website problems might have been happening. And, it worked. When I got back and implemented that one change, about 8 of those 10 problems were resolved. And getting that book out on time became a reality.

I worked the rest of the afternoon and resolved those last few problems and by early evening, I was sending out emails announcing the Get It Together Girl program.

Now, I also have, in that hole in my wall, a very real reminder of the importance of taking my own advice.

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