Oct 212014 2 Responses

You Are Preventing You

My dog has an annoying habit: whenever I try to come inside, she gets right in front of me, sits down, and puts her snout on my leg.

It’s clearly a cry for attention. With two small kids, we do not give our outside dog enough attention. She’s starved for it and when she actually receives attention, she longs for more. She desires so much more, she doesn’t want me to go inside.

Of course when she puts her snout on my leg, her slobbery nose gets all over my pants. It’s frustrating. Before I go outside, I have to check my closet and my watch to see if I have the clothes and the time to play with my dog.

My dog’s actions have one effect—they make me less likely to spend time with her.

Notice the irony: what my dog does in hopes of getting me to spend more time with her is causing me to spend less time with her. Her actions are having the reverse effect of her intention. (See: I Know Who’s in Charge of Your Family)

As it is with her, so it is with many of us. Many times our actions have the reverse effects of our intentions.

The man so desperate for a relationship that he falls in love after every first date scaring away any sane, healthy, emotionally-aware woman.

The woman in such need for one sale that she nearly attacks every potential client causing them to avoid every contact with her. (See: Stop Waiting on your Boss)

The waiter trying to make a personal connection in order to get a big tip won’t leave the couple on a date alone long enough for them to have a real conversation which frustrates the man as he signs his ticket.

The car dealer so afraid of not being a pushy car salesman becomes so hands-off that people do not think that he truly wants their business.

More often than we realize, our actions can actually have the reverse effect of our intentions. Imagine a gardener who so desperately wants a seed to grow that she over waters the garden. In her eyes, she is giving every waking minute to her garden. What she doesn’t realize is that she is actually preventing it from growing. (See: I Just Want to be Happy)

This is the scenario for many people in business, friendships, and especially intimate relationships.

When one relationship fails we can fairly assume it was just the circumstances of life. However, whenever we see a repeated pattern in our lives, our attention must turn to ourselves and we must ask, “What are we doing to contribute to this pattern?”

If you want to be married, but you are never dating—what are you doing which is preventing you from connecting with others?

If you have been married, several times, and all the relationships have had similar failed outcomes—how do you continually make bad choices of who to be in a relationship with ?

If you go from church to church or group to group looking for friends but you can’t seem to connect with anyone, what are you doing which is preventing you from making good connections?

Way too often, we are quick to blame others, curse circumstances, or define groups as being full of cliques, but we are not quick to consider our own actions, review our own tendencies, and see how we are contributing to a problem.

Rarely are we solely responsible for bad outcomes, but rarely are we void of any responsibility. (See: Remember This When You Make a Mistake)

In nearly every circumstance we play a role in failure. And when a pattern repeats itself in our lives with different people being involved, we are the common denominator.

I’ve met many people who are great at marriage, but horrible at choosing a mate. Of course the result is always divorce. It’s not until they recognize their weaknesses and get help in those areas that they can then experience the happiness they desire.

Are there patterns of failure in your life? Are there outcomes you’ve experienced in the past which you do not want to repeat?

If so, what is the common thread in every situation?

And what are you doing to contribute to the problem. (See: The Secret to a Good Decision)

Sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes, you are the one truly preventing you.

2 Responses to You Are Preventing You
  1. […] 1. Fail to take charge of their lives. One of the most important transitions a person should make in... kevinathompson.com/five-mistakes-twenty-somethings-make
  2. Cheryl Barron Reply

    Dogs are pack animals like elephants,dolphins,wolves,etc. Too banish a dog to outdoors is cruel. Better to find her a new home. Of course she’s begging for attention! A dog inside(even little ones) are the best burgular alarms. Otherwise good article.

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