Terry Pryor

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to advise others on what to do? I don’t know about you, but I excel at this. In my Live Like You Mean It Playshops™, I am expected to teach; however, the teacher in me often takes over in my day-to-day life and, sometimes, without being asked. Ooops.

Recently, I observed myself advising a friend on a subject that was challenging to me as well. When I realized that I could easily be advising myself, an epiphany occurred. I was “thunked” on the head with the awareness that I was not walking my talk.

Most of us have been guilty of the “all talk and no action” syndrome at one time or another. However, studies show that people pay more attention to what others do than what they say. This includes kids, big time!

As a child, one of my mother’s favorite admonitions was, “Don’t do as I do, do as I say.” The injustice of that infuriated me well into my early twenties. Then I realized that she wanted to instill in me a better framework for action and decision-making than she was able to carry out herself.

So, what holds us back from practicing what we preach or walking our talk? As I began to drill down into the real issue, I realized I was afraid. In reality, we are all afraid of something. The key is to recognize it and take action to overcome it.

My fear is the fear of being misjudged. But, as I explain to others, you can line up 20 people and get 20 different reactions to whatever it is you are asking. Relying on the approval of anyone other than yourself is a one-way ticket to feelings of rejection and judgment.

Making the decision to walk my talk was the first—and frankly—the most difficult step in overcoming my fear. Many of us do not pay attention to what we are thinking. Thoughts are habit forming and become habit-forming actions. Where your thoughts go, your experience follows. Your talk is where you walk.

Being mindful of what I am thinking, and consciously choosing whether to speak those thoughts, has caused me to never miss a good chance to shut up. The real power is in our actions, not our words.

Where are your thoughts taking you? Are you on a journey of joy, discovery, and self-love, or are you so intent on telling others what to do that you lose track of your own course. Make it a priority to decide to uncover your true beliefs and motives. It only takes a little courage to squeeze out the little fears one by one.

See you on the path!

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