My husband is struggling at work and, frankly, everywhere else. He is constantly bothered by things people say and do. He is always afraid his performance isn’t good enough. His self-esteem isn’t good and he is almost always frustrated and offended by something. He seems to have lost himself and in some ways he is giving up. I don’t know if there is anything I can do to help him (or advice you could really give me) but I thought it worth a try. I’d do anything to see him happier.
He has fallen into fear and drifting and doesn’t know how to get himself out. This happens to most of us at some point in our life. You may be in an unhappy marriage, but not doing much to change it or fix it. Instead you might be living around each other, carrying years of resentment and being slightly passive aggressive. You may be in fear at work, doing just enough to get by, but not going anywhere.
You may be just generally unhappy with yourself and life, but can’t see a way to change it. I call this state — stuck in fear drifting. I got that term from Napoleon Hill and his amazing book "Outwitting the Devil."
He says that drifters are the people who dwell in fear and neglect to use their minds to choose their way out. He explains that drifters let other people and situations influence their emotions and they mindlessly react to life with the same old patterns over and over.
He claims that 98 percent of us fall into that category.
“People who think for themselves never drift, while those who do little or no thinking for themselves are drifters. A drifter is one who permits himself to be influenced and controlled by circumstances outside of his own mind… A drifter accepts whatever life throws in his way without making a protest or putting up a fight. He doesn’t know what he wants from life and spends all of his time getting just that.”
“People who think accurately do not drift on any subject. They recognize the power of their own minds. Moreover, they take over that power and yield it to no person or influence” says Hill.
Everyone experiences hard times, failures, embarrassments and mistakes. They are part of the classroom of life, but drifters let those disappointments and failures stop them. They let the fear of failure (the fear of not being good enough) convince them it’s safer to stop trying, stretching and shooting high, that it’s safer to pull back and stay where you are. When you set your sights high you are usually disappointed and you could embarrass yourself.
Take a minute and honestly assess if you are making plans and setting goals to get what you want out of life — or just drifting through?
Napoleon Hill also wrote the famous book, "Think and Grow Rich," one of the bestsellers of all time. In this book he lays out his research on creating success in life. One of the amazing things he discovered interviewing the most successful people of his day was that all of them had experienced great failures and set-backs. Every one without exception had experienced discouraging losses. The difference was their “capacity to surmount failure without being discouraged.” This was “the chief asset of every man who attained outstanding success in any calling.”
These people learned to use their minds to choose how they were going to experience those setbacks. They understood they had control over how those failures affected their value and what losses meant. They learned how to see themselves, other people and situations accurately (without fear of not being good enough in the way). They were people with defined purpose who set goals, believed in themselves and didn’t let any situation or person stop them. They understood the classroom of life gives you problems, but it also provides solutions.
Hill said, “There is a solution for every legitimate problem no matter how difficult the problem may seem.” But the solution won’t just be handed to you. You are going to have to fight, work, learn and stretch to find it. The important point though is that it is there — and you are meant to find it. The universe doesn’t want you to stay stuck and unhappy — ever. It wants you to learn and grow and change your life. Answers and solutions to your problems are available right now!
Here are some suggestions for breaking free from drifting:
If you are having trouble with how to choose them, you may want to find a coach or counselor to help you. I would also highly recommend reading Napoleon Hills books, "Outwitting the Devil" and "Think and Grow Rich."
You can do this!
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is also the author of the new book CHOOSING CLARITY: The Path to Fearlessness. She offers free coaching calls every Tuesday night.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.