photo by Annie Spratt

“If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.”~ Peter F. Drucker

I hear friends talk about the limiting beliefs that so many people have that hold them down — mentally, emotionally or physically — or they still have silly, old beliefs that keep them away from what they consider their true calling. And while money was part of the equation for many, the other part, which, frankly, surprised me, was the idea that so many people think that they are too old or are too set in their ways or too far down a path that they cannot return from…to get on the path of their choosing for a successful ride to the end.

I love the Peter Drucker quote for today’s show, “If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.”

Let’s think about that. If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old. Something old would be your negative mindset and self-talk that tells you that you’re not good enough, pretty enough, handsome enough, rich enough, strong enough and you know the rest of the “enough” drill. Or the other side that I hear is that many people have bought into the idea that they are too old, too tired, too lonely, too…fill in the blank.

Those are crazy negative thoughts that creep into your head when you start to feel sorry for yourself and, friend, for you to do something new — something good for you; something uplifting for you — you have got to stop doing the same old thing you do and that is your self-fulfilling prophecy of sadness and woe. No wonder so many people feel like they are too far gone to get back on track to do and go and be what they’ve wanted to be.

I really don’t want to spend another post on self-esteem and how to, at this age (or any age as a matter of fact), get a grip on your life and stop with the whining and sadness of your position in life. But I can’t let this thought just sit out there without confronting the silliness of this mindset. The ridiculous limiting belief that you have — that it is too late for you to do what you want to do. Hear me, It is never too late to do your life’s work; it is never too late to do what you feel you were called to do, because you will figure out that once you stop doing all the old mental gymnastics on why you can’t do something you will find that now you just may be in a position to do whatever you want.

Let me tell you about a conversation I had with a friend that I was speaking with the other day. In the course of our conversation he told me that he had called another friend to check in on her, and she was — as expected — down in the dumps, because no one had expressed to her how much they appreciated all the work she had done at a recent conference that had been a real success.

Then my friend said something that I just had to put a stop to right then and there on the phone. He said the age old line I have heard 100 times, “Well, you know, Deb, she never had anyone to encourage her when she was a little girl, so she is needy nowadays.”

To which I responded, “You’ve got to stop right there. I am not going to let you be suckered into the sad sack line about no one loved her enough, encouraged her enough, spent enough time with her…” And do you want to know why I don’t buy into that? Because our friend uses that as an excuse for everything she feels slighted about. This is her habit she chooses to use to bully others into feeling sorry for her. She loves picking at that old scab of past hurts, and — listen — I have no doubt she had some serious issues as a kid, but carrying that burden around for the sake of a great excuse is just not wise. At this age (and we’re in our 50s) I find those old lines of self-sabotage not only dishonest but they also go against all the truths of the universe like…

If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.

And old, in this case, was the same worn out excuses that have played so well into the hands of our controlling friend who pulls this stunt every time she doesn’t get enough praise or thanks or recognition for her work. Unfortunately, she doesn’t want to stop doing something old, because it is what she uses to get her way…albeit all by her lonely self…but it is her crutch.

I really didn’t want to rain on my friend’s parade, but the truth is, That’s Life, and if you’re still harboring the hurts from your past that you have now made into a movie about your life, so you can replay them every time you start to feel bad about yourself (and, by the way, this is a choice she makes), goodness gracious, when will you let it go and step into the new phase of your amazing life? If you really want something new in your life, you’re going to have to stop doing the same old song and dance in hopes of being given a few pennies of someone’s time and attention.

Let me add to this crazy idea that there is some magical age when all you hopes and dreams are out of reach due to a number on your birth certificate. That is some lazy, crazy thinking, or as the beloved Zig Ziglar would say, “That is some stinkin’ thinkin’.” Okay, in more proper terms, that is a bad idea.

I love the quote by Douglas MacArthur about agewhen he said, “People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul. You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope as old as your despair. In the central place of every heart there is a recording chamber. So long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer and courage, so long are you young. When your heart is covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then, and then only, are you grown old. And then, indeed, as the ballad says, you just fade away.”

I’m a pretty good wordsmith, but the General has hit the nail on the head with this thought and, frankly, I am quite taken with the line, People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul. Wow!

Let me remind you that you are never too old or too set in your ways or too far down a path that you cannot return from to get onto the path of your choosing for a successful ride to the end.

It all comes down to choice because, if you want something new in your life, you’ll have to stop doing something old.

I vote for new! I encourage you to consider doing something new this week — something you’ve never done or something you’ve always wanted to do.

When I was looking up this idea online, I came across story after story of mature people doing amazing things, from sky diving to surfing to skateboarding to a 65-year-old grandmother who tried out for and made the neighborhood hockey team. So, come on, what is your excuse?

You know the line, You don’t stop playing because you grow old — you grow old because you stopped playing, and I’ll add to that, many of you have stopped believing that you can do what you want to do. These issues of purposefully stopping, because you think you don’t have it in you, or you do not know what or how to do something is simply a matter of asking the right person to guide you, no matter your age, your wrinkles or your interest.

It’s just another excuse to keep you from admitting that you’re still blaming others for your lot in life — good bad or indifferent.

Don’t you think it is time to stop that old behavior? In reality, it hasn’t advanced you very far. I think today would be a good day to leave your old ways behind and follow your new path.

The author of my quote for today is Peter Drucker; he was an Austrian-born American management consultant, educator, and author, whose writings contributed to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business corporation. He was also a leader in the development of management education. He invented the concept known as management by objectives and self-control, and he has been described as “the founder of modern management.” He died at age 96, but I would contend that he lived life to the end and was engaged and excited to learn and to teach. If you read his books, you get the sense that he believed in mind over matter: If you don’t mind — it doesn’t matter,and If you want something new, you have to stop doing something old.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this bit of inspiration, please do me a favor hit the green ‘Clap’ button a few times ~ it would mean a lot to me and it helps other people see this post.

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Deb Sofield — Speaker ~ Author ~ Coach

Speech Coach for Those Afraid to Speak • Conference Speaker • Crisis Communications Speaker • Media Coach • Author of “Speak without Fear” (available on Amazon)