The best way to handle being plagued by fear that you won’t get what you want or that people you care about won’t do what you want.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a viewer who has been following my work for about three years, and it has helped him to achieve more success in life. He says that he and his family are plagued by fear regarding his sister’s life choices.
She hangs out with shady people and is constantly making life choices and exhibiting irresponsible behavior that puts her in peril. He is worried about his father’s health that is suffering, because he’s worried sick about his daughter’s safety and well-being. He asks what they should do to deal with their fears and his sister’s recklessness. My comments are in bold italics like this below in the body of his email.
This is something that pretty much all of us deal with at some point in our lives whether it’s regarding somebody we’re dating, getting the raise or the promotion that we ask for at work, or starting a business being plagued by fear that it won’t work out. All of us tend to have the same problem with other people, meaning we’re plagued by fear that other people’s actions won’t match our expectations for them.
This guy has a sister who’s obviously not making very many good life choices, so he, his father and the rest of the family are just totally plagued by fear. They’re worried because she doesn’t come home, she disappears, doesn’t respond to the phone for a few days. I assume she’s either hanging out with shady people or maybe drugs are involved, but he didn’t really elaborate.
You can tell they’re worried about the sister and her life choices, which are not aligned at all with what they think they should be, and therefore they’re all suffering. Despite the fact he’s had a lot of success implementing what he’s learned in my first book, “How To Be A 3% Man,” his situation is going well, but he’s got this situation in his family that’s tearing him up. It’s a good metaphor, because all of us deal with this on some level.
For those of you who are avid students of my work, how many guys have you said “Dude, you need to read this book. Trust me,” and they’re like, “Yeah, I’ve got to get around to that,” and you just watch them flounder, struggle and make mistakes? You hope that eventually they will come around, see the light and it will be an influence for them.
Even from my own life, one of the things that has really been a paradigm shift for me over the last twenty years is juicing green vegetables and drinking the green smoothies I’ve talked about, and I’ve got videos and tutorials on how to do that: “How To Make Corey’s Green Juice,” and “Corey’s Green Alkaline Smoothie.”
When people come over to my house, I always have fresh green juice. Some of my friends come over, and one of the first things they say is, “Hey, you got any fresh green juice?” and I’ll give them some. I’ll give you an example. My dad comes over and one of the first things he does is “Hey, you got any green juice?” and I’m like “Yeah. When was the last time you made it?” He’ll say, “It’s been a while, like four weeks.” He always feels better, and he always looks better when he makes it consistently, but he just simply won’t do it for himself on a regular basis.
I love my dad. I want him to stick around as long as possible, and I know he would live a longer life if he made good life choices and kept going to the gym. But over the last few years now, he’s kind of gotten lazy. He says, “Yeah, I need to work out,” and he doesn’t. Am I bending myself into a pretzel worrying about that and being upset about that?
You know, love is allowing. You have to tell people what you want or ask them in a loving way what you want, but the reality is they still have the free will of how they’re going to show up. So what do you do when your reality and what you want, and the people around you, how you want them interact with you, just simply doesn’t happen? Maybe that girl you really wanted to go out with doesn’t feel the same way.
It makes it almost impossible to reach your full potential when you’re so worried and focused on somebody else’s actions, when the reality is you don’t really have any control over what they do or how they show up. And we all are faced with similar situations like this in our own life.
Look at all of us dealing with the Coronavirus and the consequences of social distancing. You know, the gym in my building downtown is shut down, even though all the buildings around me, they’re open now. I’ve got two choices. I can bitch and complain about it and send letters, or I can say “Fuck it. I’m going to move out if you don’t open the fucking gym back up.” I’m going to do what I need to do to take care of my life and my body the way I want to. We’ve all got circumstances like this in our life that bring pressure on us. I want to be healthy. I want to work out. I want to take care of myself.
Dear Coach Corey,
This email may be a little different to the ones you normally receive. I have followed your work for about three years, and you have tremendously helped me get my dating life in order. However, me and my family have faced a different kind of problem for years. This is in reference to my younger sister. In a nutshell coach, she has to be one of the most reckless people I have ever known. I understand that she is a grown woman, but the absolute fear that she puts on not only myself but my parents, is becoming unbearable at this point.
Well, it’s not that she’s putting fear on you. It’s that you and the rest of your family are choosing to be fearful about her life choices. But the reality is, as you say, she’s a grown-ass woman. She’s going to do what she wants, when she wants and with whom she wants. She obviously knows that you all love and care about her and you want the best for her, and you’ve probably pleaded with her and asked her in a loving way to change the way she’s living her life. But so far, up until this point, she’s chosen not to.
You and your family are choosing not to accept the reality that your sister’s a fuck-up. It sounds like some of her life choices are putting her in danger, and you’re obviously worried about her safety and her health, which is understandable. But you can only do so much. It’s like somebody who’s got a drug or alcohol or unhealthy addiction problem, they don’t see themselves as having a problem, and they’re not going to do anything about it.
You getting upset about somebody not choosing what you think they should choose in life is not going to make your reality any better. You’re going to suffer, because you’re not accepting reality. When we don’t accept reality as it is, we’re no longer living in the present moment. We’re living in the future of what we’re worried about that may or may not happen, or we’re living in the past worried that what happened in the past may happen again at some point in the future, instead of living reality as it is which is, your sister’s a fuck-up. You love her, you care about her, but you need to live your life. And your dad needs to live his life and have some fucking peace.
You’re going to have to accept the reality that your sister’s life choices are not to your liking and that her life choices may end up with her in a really bad place someday. It sucks, but there’s not a lot you can do about it. Like I was talking about with my dad, I wish he would take better care of himself. I mean, I am a life coach. All the things like the juicing and the smoothies, when he’s done that, he feels amazing. He looks amazing. He acknowledges it, but he just won’t do it. He just won’t help himself.
Am I going to get all upset about it? Am I going to cause that affect how I’m taking care of my body? No. I’m just going to continue to lead by example and do the best I can, and my dad’s going to live his life the way he wants to live, just like your sister’s going to live the way she wants to live.
All you can do is love her, hope she makes the right choices, but at the end of the day, you guys have to live your life. And right now, you’re not living and enjoying your lives, because you’re so worried about the actions of somebody that you have no control over.
When I say she is reckless, I really do mean it. She is constantly putting herself in very dangerous situations. She hangs out with a very shady crowd, she will disappear for days on end and likes to go jogging in the middle of the night. Mind you, her neighborhood is one of the most unsafe places in the city.
You’ve probably told her this and she probably knows that, but she does it anyway. What are you going to do? You can’t force her to live the way you want. All you’ve got to do is say, “My sister’s kind of a fuck-up. I love her, but I can’t help her. She doesn’t want to help herself. That’s her fucking problem. I need to live my life for me and create a great example for my friends and my family and what I want.”
Things have gotten so bad that my father recently suffered a mild stroke brought on by the constant stress and worry after he failed to get a hold of her for a few days.
I’d just say, “Look, I love you but you’re making choices that I don’t agree with, and you’re putting your life and future in jeopardy. And you know what, I’m done. I’m not going to worry about it if you want to be a fuck-up and drive your life into the ground. I’m not going to continue to get my panties in a bunch over you, because no amount of me loving you or caring about you or wanting you to do well matters to you. You don’t care that you disappoint me. You don’t care that we worry. I’m going to stop worrying. There’s nothing I can do about it.” There really isn’t. The only thing you have control over is the meaning is that you assign to the circumstances.
You say, “Hey, we tried to influence her as best as we could. I have peace with that. I’m okay with that.” It’s just like a negotiation. You put your chips on the table. Just like I am with the guy that I lease this place in Orlando from. He can either agree with the things that I want, or I’m moving the fuck out. I’ll get a different place. I’ll get my needs met somewhere else.
We have filed so many missing persons reports that the cops will no longer take us seriously.
Stop filing them. The police don’t take you seriously, you’re wasting your time, and it’s giving you grief.
I understand that this is a fear of a different kind, but I figure all fear stems from a similar place. You’re a life coach, and you probably deal with aspects of all types. We have tried sitting down with her and discussing our concerns, but she will hear none of it.
It’s kind of the same situation as when you’re stuck in friends zone, and the girl doesn’t want to let you out. So you say, “Well, then I’m not going to let you be in my life, because I don’t want to be in a platonic relationship with you. I’d rather just create a space with somebody that I’m attracted to and who feels the same way and who wants to be there. I’m not interested in being your pal or your placeholder or your emotional tampon or your gay male girlfriend, while you date other guys and keep me as a backup plan. I’m not into that. I’m going to find what I want, whether it’s with you or somebody else. If you don’t want the same things I do, it’s time for us to go down the road and separate.”
You laid your cards on the table, and your sister said, “Oh, I’m not buying. I’m not interested in doing that kind of deal with you.” And that’s it. You’ve got to let the chips fall where they may and not feel bad about it. You shouldn’t feel bad about somebody else’s life choices. No amount of you getting upset, angry, depressed or sad about your sister’s life choices is going to make any of you happier or improve the quality of your life.
It’s like all of you are purposely causing your lives to be more negative because of what you’re focusing on, and that’s the actions of somebody that you have no control of in the first place. It’s like being mad that the sky is blue. There’s not a damn thing you can do about it. All you’re going to do is make yourself miserable, and it’s not healthy anyway.
When you’re thinking negatively, and you’re thinking about negative things, your body is going to physically correspond to your thoughts. You’re going to fill your body full of toxins, and you’re going to make yourself sick, because you’re being upset over somebody else’s life choices.
Look at all the things you have to be grateful for in your life, and focus on that. Try not to focus on what your sister is doing. Again, none of you have any control over it. She knows where you stand, and it’s up to her to make better choices. But you have to accept the reality that her choices in all likelihood could lead to her demise. And it sucks. There’s nothing you can do about it.
Brushing us off as being obsessed with her and her life, which isn’t true.
She feels that way, and you guys have put as much pressure on her as you can, but it still hasn’t worked. The only thing you can do, because you’re tired of suffering, is accept reality for what it is. You’ve tried, you want the best for her, but she’s basically told you all to pound sand. Hey, you gave it your best shot. It sucks, but it is what it is. “I’m going to be grateful for my life, my sister’s life and the good times we’ve had, and if she makes choices that ruin her life, well, she made those choices.”
This is tearing my family apart Corey, and we just don’t know what to do anymore. My concern has escalated because of my father’s health. He just can’t take much more of this.
Decide not to. Tell him not to let it bother him and to decide, “I don’t have forever to live, and the time I do have left I want to enjoy.” How about your father enjoying his time with you and the other members of the family that he gets along with, whose life choices he supports and whose goals and values are aligned with. Look at the reasons for all the people in your family you have to be grateful for, and focus on that.
If you have any advice at all Coach, we can use all the help we can get. Thank you for all your good work.
Like I said, you’re all suffering because you all haven’t accepted reality as it is. If you accept reality as it is and focus on the things you do have control over, what things mean to you, all of the blessings you have in your life, and all of the people that are blessings in your life that you have to be grateful for, focus on them. Give your energy to those people who appreciate it, because when you give to a giver, the giver will give back. When you give to a taker, the taker just fucking sucks and leaves you feeling miserable. So don’t do what makes you feel miserable.
Focus on loving the people who appreciate your love, your care and your concern. And the people you can’t, love them as well, but give them a silent blessing and wish them all the best. Until somebody whose a fuck-up recognizes they’re a fuck-up, wants to do something about it and personally chooses to do something about it, there’s not a damn thing you can do. You can gently try to guide them or love them, but at the end of the day, they’re going to make their choice, and you need to make your own choices for your your own mental sanity.
It’s just silly to make yourself suffer unnecessarily for something totally out of your control. It sucks, but you’ve all done the best you can. You gave your best effort, you laid your cards on the table and your sister is unwilling to play ball at this moment in time. She may or may never get to the point where she’s ready to play ball. But that’s life. At the end of the day, we all turn to dust anyway, so it doesn’t fucking matter. So whatever time you have left, you might as well find a way to enjoy it.
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From my heart to yours,
Author, Speaker, Peak Performance Coach, Entrepreneur
“You should never care more about someone else’s success and well-being than they do. When we want reality to be other than it is, we suffer. We must see reality as it is, not better than it is or worse than it is. In order to alleviate suffering, we must cultivate the ability to let go of our attachments to circumstances and people showing up as we want them to be. We don’t have control over what happens to us, but we always have the ability to decide what things mean. Love and accept people and circumstances however they show up. Love is allowing. Continue to guide and influence others to reach their full potential, but accept the reality that most people will fall way short of the expectations we set for them.” ~ Coach Corey Wayne
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