Sticking Power

What is sticking power?

Is the power to persevere a weakness or a strength?

How do you decide when to stick and when to cut-and-run?

Many conversations of late with friends and family are circling around a common theme – the power to stick or the option to run.

Whether it be discussing the options of quitting a paying job to go entrepreneur, or weighing the pro’s and con’s of relocating house, we all seem to battle with the dilemna of when to stick it out and when to let something go and move on to greener pastures.

So how do you decide which option applies to you?

(I would like to offer you full disclosure here that I am a mix of both stick and run. I call on each option depending on the circumstances.)

1. Identify the root

Once you identify the root of the issue/problem/challenge/dilemma/decision you can then identify your best response.

Lets use an example. Meet Charlie – my ex-RSPCA Greyhound X Bull Mastif. Charlie is 5 and half years old.

Charlie Forrest

Charlie-dog

I can tell you with 100% integrity that sometimes I have such an unnatural ability to ‘stick’ it blows even me away – and Charlie is my living, breathing example.

You may look at that photo and see an adorable pooch giving you his “shh… you can’t see me look…” well don’t be fooled!

Charlie is what most people call ‘unlovable’ and I have been asked/told/demanded many times to put him down. (I can assure you there is no chance of that happening.)

I have persevered with this dog fully aware I kept going long after many would have called it quits. Charlie is a great dog…now… but during his first 3 years he almost broke me… although for me it was ‘almost’ he did successfully break or destroy quiet a large number of furniture items, other animals, yards, clothes, anything that he could see was fair game. Charlie has had three trainers, 6 relocations, and many trips to the vet with self inflicted injuries. He is nothing short of HARD WORK.

He cannot be left alone longer then 12 hours nor can he be kennelled. (Think “Marley and Me” instant separation anxiety)

Even after all that though, I knew that in adopting Charlie I chose to give him love and shelter for his life time however long that was. I don’t do halves. It was all or nothing and I went all in. At the time this was no light decision on my end and as such I have stuck it out. Why?

Because at the end of the day the love I have for Charlie is unconditional. I love Charlie. That is the root of my power to stick…. and my power to forgive him his nature allot of the time *giggle*

2. Look at the ‘easy’ option and then REALLY look at the easy option.

We’ll stick with above example of Charlie for now. Would not having Charlie in my life be easier? Initially, Hell yes!

Now lets look deeper…Would giving up Charlie voluntarily, or putting him down be easier? Absolutely not!

Why?

Because I could not live with the guilt of knowing I destroyed a life purely because of convenience PLUS I know I would only seek another dog in time. I am a animal lover. It is my nature.

In relation to your situation, look at what appears to be your easy option (to stay, to go, to do, to not-do). See it sitting there tempting you, whispering sweet nothings into your ear….

Now really look at it!

It may only be a short term fix and may trigger it’s own problems in the long term which may or may not be worse then the original problem.

If the decision is enough to worry you, it is worth looking at all your options and looking as hard as you can. Of course we cannot predict the future but knowing the possible outcomes will not only help inform your choice, but help you stick to it.

Sonya Madden and Charlie

3. Look at the hard option – identify why is it hard?

Are you classifying this option as hard because there is fear behind the decision? Could this small hurdle in-fact be opening the door to some opportunities for real growth and or development? Is the short term discomfort worth more or less then the long term gain?

Often we are too quick to classifying options as “too hard” without really looking into whether that is true or not. Is hard in fact just different?

An example of a decision I made recently around whether to do a MBA and which one was quiet easy to separate into “easy” and “hard” options. Hard was to do the MBA. Easy was to not do it. Hard was to go for the college that offered the best learning experience but the most time intensive screening process.  When I looked at the benefits of the ‘hard’ option against the easy option, it made the decision to go the hard route, or more correctly, the different route, much easier. I dove in confident that I was making the best choice for me – and I chose to grow and progress because in this example, easy was to remain unchanged.

4. Is it currently serving you?

Once again drawing on my experience with satan-pooch (ha! ha!), does keeping Charlie serve me? Absolutely. I don’t need to go into the details as to why – anyone who has owned a pet knows their love is unconditional and hard to beat..sometimes even by people (ssssh!). And Charlie has seen me through many large life changes (the biggest ones!) . I have shed tears into his neck countless times. I have lay next to him in emotional despair and woken to find myself rebalanced. He is grounding. But lets flip the question around.

Would not having Charlie serve me? Well not having him would most likely be not having a dog. Yes it is possible that would be beneficial (easier to plan holidays would be one HUGE benefit) but I have been without pets in the past. I last a few months and then I’m seeking their comfort and support again. I have also been without Charlie for 6 months due to relocation issues and the entire time my heart ached. I counted down the days until he and I were reunited. So for me, I believe even after all the drama and hard work, keeping Charlie serves me more then not keeping him.

4. So, stick or cut?

So you have located the root of your issue/dilema/decision crisis and therefore know the easy option and the different (not using the word hard) option.

Which one will serve you the most?

You know the answer… just let go of all the “what if’s” and go for it!

And a small tip for your journey: At the end of the day, there is no such thing as a wrong decision. Its just a new path.

Sonya Madden & Charlie

6 thoughts on “Sticking Power

  1. Michelle says:

    I love this approach. I’m a stubborn girl, so my instinct is never to cut and run. My challenge is in identifying when it really would be better to let something go.

    Oh, Charlie is adorable! We lost our guy in February, and I’m almost ready to adopt again.

    • SonyaMadden says:

      Thank you Michelle… i’m fairly stubborn in nature too but have been known to cut and run in the past 🙂 Sorry you lost your guy… I really dread that time with Charlie. Yes he is adorable… but such a little devil, lol!

  2. Beverly says:

    These are excellent reflective questions. I want to remember the usefulness of thinking deeply about both the easy and hard ways.

    • SonyaMadden says:

      Hi Beverly… thank you for your feedback, I appreciate it. I’m so glad there was a take-away for you in there 🙂 Great chatting to you earlier as well 🙂 So glad I was able to join this one.

  3. I know those hard decisions, I made a choice once and I was feeling guilty about it for years and years afterwards. If I could go back and change it, I would in a second. But at the time… I had to accept that it was the best I could do with what I knew at the time. And now I always ask myself the question – could I live with this decision for the rest of my life? If the answer is ‘no’ then I’ll take the other option, no matter how hard. But I had to learn it the hard way.

    • SonyaMadden says:

      Powerful words Tat – thank you for that. I think we have all got decisions we have made in the past that if given the opportunity again, may have chose differently. Like you said though, we go with what we have available to us at the time… and really there is no wrong, only different 🙂

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