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Tell Us: What Will You Stop?

Flowers_001Last month, while preparing our free webinar, Moving from Sacrifice to Compromise, I ran across Dr. Phil’s 10 Life Laws. In an article about his Life Laws, he suggested questions we can ask ourselves in order to make positive changes in our day. I can’t recall all the questions because I can only remember one:

What will you stop doing today?

For some reason, this idea of stopping really hit me. I’m always starting–a new idea, a new group, a new way to help. But, I often don’t look at what needs to stop in my day.

I gave this question some thought and realized I need to stop Taking It Personally.

Now, I often talk about this–that we may take it personally when life takes a turn we don’t want. I don’t take my life personally. But I realized I do take what happens in my life personally.

So, a few weeks ago, I decided not to take anything personally which, of course, showed me how much I took personally. Not taking it personally–and “it” means what others do, say, choose–has been energizing for me.

Not taking it personal means I don’t make it personal which means I’m much more open to opportunities and possibilities. What I viewed as threats (he or she does it so much better than me, he or she will get what I want, he or she will take what I need) now become opportunities. I now wonder: How can I connect with that individual in a way that benefits both of us? It also means taking a risk–putting myself out there by asking for what I want–is now easier. If I don’t receive what I want today, it’s not personal. It’s not because I’m not good enough or smart enough or doing enough. It just simply is. So I just continue to try.

When others win, I don’t lose. When others gain, I don’t get left behind. God doesn’t keep score, giving and taking from a list. He (or She) simply gives. So, why wouldn’t I simply give and receive as I continue to try my best?

Rather than feeling like I’m persecuted, I now feel I’m blessed. I have people in my life who can show me how to get what I want. They aren’t in my life to take from me but to give to me.

So, I’m wondering: What will you stop today? What thought or assumption or action which hurts you will you stop doing today? Please share yours in our comments section, below.

About Denise Brown

Avatar of Denise
I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues.


  1. Janet McCaskill

    My husband and I were constantly traveling. Now that he is homebound/bedbound we can no longer go on vacations. This ended in 2008 and I am his full-time caregiver so this is the part of life that I wished I could change. I need a break but don’t feel comfortable leaving him for a vacation. We did the nursing home “stint” twice during these five years and he was sadly neglected and even abused at one of them. This just leaves a “bad taste” for future reliable sources to keep him. He cannot talk or walk so it is really tough relying on anyone to really know what he needs.

  2. Avatar of Pegi

    Denise, what a wonderful post! Thank you so much for sharing. @Janet, I had to travel a few months ago for a family illness. My husband could not be left alone. I hired an in-home professional caregiver who I interviewed and was able to show routine first. Could only go a couple days because of cost. But he did fine and I was able to be where I needed to be. Me, I’m still working on stress. I let myself get to easily stressed out. Trying very hard to limit at least the none eassential stress…things that don’t relate to husband’s health. For instance; Hubby started ranting again today about the house still not being finished. It is easy to get worked up about that it’s been months. Two since they told us they had approved a contractor. Didn’t bite…waste of energy and did my best to calm him. It’s a process.

    • Avatar of ejourneys

      Pegi, I can especially identify with the “not biting” part! My partner often becomes worked up over things, with occasional paranoia to boot. I’ve learned to recognize when she just needs to rant or when she’s responding out of fear.

  3. Avatar of Richard

    For the past 18 years my wonderful (sarcasm entered here) ex has been pounding into my daughter and son how evil myself and Trish are, how we ruined their lives and hers, etc., etc. and the kids since they were 4-7 years old have had to listen to this and of course wonder because it is their mom saying all this stuff. To this day this still goes on, maybe not as prevalent but in the background and you notice it in the kids. Such as these past two Mothers Day Brunch’s my daughter has not attended and her excuse is she is spending the day with her mother. Well of the two Trish was the more stable, supportive, hair/nail appointments, dance dresses, cheer, etc. than KT’s own mom was and for her to not even take 15 seconds to send Trish a text or a few minutes to call and say Happy Mothers Day really get to my heart for Trish and digs in my craw because I thought we taught them better. Well, I’M GOING TO GIVE UP, holding onto this and accept that my daughter is now 23 and she is an adult and I cant force her to do something she does not want to do. I will say my son who is in the USAF in Minot, ND actually Skyped twice, the first time Trish was at a movie with other daughter. Between his two calls we video chatted for about 40 minutes, Amazing. So that is what I’m giving up, I can no longer stress over a subject I have no control over. May all of you realize what you can not control and make the steps necessary to release that desire to control it. -Namaste’

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