Book: Reflections

Reflections - bringing attention to your daily life by Désirée Steinmann

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Reflections of the Week

Do I allow myself to be deterred from something?

2010-03-06 17:22 (comments: 0)

In the past I often caught myself not doing something that I actually would like to have done, by being deterred by someone else's opinion or behaviour. Recently I experienced just such a situation again and found a new way how to deal with it. A way, unlike in earlier days, not to be deterred and also not to stubbornly prevail; both ways that would have led to creating a certain distance between the other person and myself.

I was away with both kids (12 & 13) for a few days. One evening, after dinner, a karaoke event was announced in the bar and so we went. At this point, I should mention that I truly enjoy singing: while cooking, while ironing, in the shower and occasionally at family celebrations.

So, there we were sitting in the bar and nobody wanted to start. Everybody was waiting and the DJ was trying everything to get someone to step up so that the atmosphere would become more enjoyable. As nothing happened, I turned to my children and told them that I would now volunteer so that others might have the courage to go onto stage. My daughter, who is just in the process of finding the same joy in singing, thought that would be ok, while my son had a very clear opinion on that: "if you stand up and go on stage, I will immediately leave the bar on and go to the room!"

Earlier in my life I would have, either not gotten up to sing, or would have started sulking. But this time I decided on a different approach.

I was interested in why he had taken this stance, without judging it or reacting to it. I simply asked: "why are you leaving when I sing?" "Because it is embarrassing when you sing", he said. "Embarrassing because I don't sing well enough, or embarrassing because I, and perhaps you, will receive more attention?" I inquired further. This is a good reality check. It could be that only I think it sounds good when I sing. The reason for his unease now became clear to him. I could easily talk with him about how I would really like to sing if it really didn't create any damage, and that I do not want to hold back because of his feelings of being embarrassed. When I then asked him if it would be so terrible for him if I sang a song and that we could then go to the room so that he does not receive so much attention, he agreed, especially also when I told him that I would feel sorry if he left earlier or if he would try to deter me from singing. He recognized that sometimes it is good to do something, even when others are not fully enthusiastic about it. 

So I sang. Immediately afterwards my son proudly pronounced how enthusiastic our table neighbours were, and that he was also very proud of me. My daughter also had thoughts about singing but did not convince herself ... perhaps the next time! Subsequently the three of us walked arm in arm to the room and were happy about the evening, the music and the open conversation we had had.

Where do you allow yourself to be deterred from something you would really like to do? Where can you, without judgement, ask someone or yourself why, to have a reality check? Where can you give yourself that last boost to go "on stage"? Perhaps this newsletter is your prelude?

Inspiring Movie

Team Hoyt is a father (Dick Hoyt, b. ca. 1940) and son (Rick Hoyt, born January 10, 1962) from Massachusetts who compete together in marathons, triathlons, and other athletic endeavors. Rick has cerebral palsy, caused by loss of oxygen to his brain at birth because his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck.

Dick pulls his son Rick in a special boat as they swim, carries him in a special seat up front as they bike, and pushes him in a special wheelchair as they run.

When asked what one thing Rick wished he could give his father, his reply was "The thing I'd most like is that my dad would sit in the chair and I would push him once."

See Video here


Take chances, make mistakes. That's how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.

Mary Tyler Moore


What is important is to keep learning, to enjoy challenge, and to tolerate ambiguity. In the end there are no certain answers.


Martina Horner


Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity. Don't fight them. Just find a different way to stand.


Oprah Winfrey 

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