May 30, 2011

A Good Bitch Slap Goes a Long Way!

Sometimes it really hurts, but in the end, a good verbal bitch slapping may be what is needed to propel you forward into the change you have been only talking about. Whether it is a change of attitude, a change of occupation, a change in dress size, or a change in how you live....we tend to get in our own ways when it comes to change.

For me, my last bitch slap was a few months ago and my bitch slapper was my man friend, "B". We were taking a Sunday walk on the seawall in our town and I was going on about how this small town wasn't ready for my business ideas, it was holding me back, it was all because I lived here that I wasn't moving forward (blah blah blah blah) and then it happened....I was bitch slapped in public. "Kathi", he said, "I'm getting kinda tired of hearing you blame my town for your lack of success" (of course I'm paraphrasing for lack of a decent memory...and he may have thrown in some harsher words than that, but there you have it). He went on to challenge my "stinkin thinkin" by saying he knew of many professionals (writers, presenters, academics, researchers, and the like) who have made this town theirs and found work (albeit elsewhere). They do very well working for companies or contracting by distance...."so please do not blame the town for your...shortcomings" (this is what I heard...although I'm sure he didn't say it this way).

It was a hard thing to hear (especially from my rugged good-lookin' babe of a man friend) but it was what I needed to hear to shake me out of my own shame-spiral and make me think long and hard about my beliefs and attitudes.  After that day, I made the effort to network and meet people in the community. I learned how to market better and have connected with people who are successfully doing business in a small town. I haven't complained about this since that fateful day (I have since redirected my energy towards complaining about my procrastination problem...).

As a leader, it is important not to live in fear and fantasy lest you overlook your true potential...whilst pissing everyone else off in the process.  An effective, transformational leader has the courage to look at the nasty bits and make the changes accordingly (or...delegate).
I have met a lot of people in the past who say they want to loose weight but their actions suggest the opposite. Many people blame others for their lack of motivation, their eating habits, their ways of being and  may also benefit from their own bitch slap (of course you only bitch slap when one is ready for it...otherwise it could turn ugly). Challenging our ways of thinking is an important part of maintaining a healthy perspective.  Psychologically speaking, we tend to tell ourselves stories that match our own beliefs and attitudes. We tend to think we are smarter, better looking, and more talented than we really are (it's a mechanism of self protection...just watch the auditions on American Idol).  To have someone in our lives who is willing and able to (kindly) hold a reality mirror up to our face is probably one of the greatest gifts they could give us.

For me, health can be defined
through change. Change is hard
but exciting. It feeds us and keeps
us passionate about life. The process
may suck at times, but the benefits
are breathtaking...but that's just me.
So take a moment to think of someone in your life willing to provide you with some constructive feedback. Perhaps your words and actions are incongruent. Be aware this may sting a little...but if you are ready to hear it, you will be more appreciative of the message than insulted by it. I believe we are very lucky if we experience even one bitch slap in our life as the results may be life changing. Conversely, if you aren't ready to hear it I would ask the question...why? Why are you holding tightly to your beliefs about yourself? Why are you ready to jump to an excuse if someone challenges your way of doing or thinking? Are you open to new ideas or fearful they may threaten you in some way? These are all good questions to consider if the thought of self-examination makes you wanna blow chunks in the office garbage can (sorry, that's all I could come up with).

In closing, when it comes to change, we tend to all have our blind spots. We may not see how our own behaviour is setting us up for failure, but you can guarantee there is that one person in your life who does. If you are open and ready for an exercise in self-evaluation, this is an amazing opportunity to get to know yourself even better....and to move into a new way of living without holding yourself back.

That's all I got.


  1. Thank you "B":)

  2. Thanks for your comment A;
    I will pass this "thank you" along to B myself.