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Weight Theory — this has nothing to do with shedding pounds

by Kim Ades August 1, 2013

No — this article is not about calorie consumption or about how journaling can help people shed some unwanted pounds (although it certainly can). This article is about how much energy (or weight) we give to certain people, conversations and events in our lives.

The other day I had a conversation with Jonathan, my oldest stepson, who is studying to be a Frame of Mind Coach for the youth market. He was telling me about a frustrating conversation he had with his younger brother, Brian.

Me: Why were you so mad at Brian?

Jonathan: He knows how to push my buttons.

Me: What do you mean?

Jonathan: He said I need anger management therapy.

Me: So?

Jonathan: It pissed me off.

Me: Why do you think he said that?

Jonathan: Just to get under my skin.

Me: I see that he succeeded.

Jonathan: Yes — he was being rude and disrespectful.

Me: And if he said that you would make a lousy ballerina would it bug you as much?

Jonathan: No because I would make a lousy ballerina.

Me: So just because Brian says that you need anger management therapy, does that make it true?

Jonathan: No, it just makes me angry.

Me: Funny how that works huh? What you focus on grows…

Jonathan: Yah, real funny.

Me: Why do you give his words so much weight? People can tell you that your skin is red and blue with pink polka dots and it wouldn’t phase you, but when Brian gives his opinion, you get agitated and give life to his words. Before getting all riled up, use your judgment and decide how much weight you should be giving to the people, events and conversations in your world. So much of the time, we give far too much weight to other people’s comments when they are often unfounded, small-minded, or ill-informed, and we allow those comments to define who we are. I remember when I started my coaching business and a good friend of mine said, “Coaching is so intangible, why don’t you sell t-shirts instead?” Can you imagine what my life would have been like if I had given that comment any weight? Self-doubt would have seeped in and Frame of Mind Coaching would not have been borne.

We all have to work at sorting through our conversations, our inputs, and our experiences to determine which ones deserve our attention and our contemplation. This skill is one of the key success factors of highly successful people, helping them to make decisions with greater ease and fluidity.

Here are some questions that you can ask yourself to determine how much weight to give to another person’s opinion:

  • Does the comment correspond with my vision of myself?
  • Does the feedback touch on a fundamental truth about me?
  • Does the input help me to expand or does it diminish me?
  • Does the source have credibility?
  • Do I feel resistance, and if so, what is my resistance to this information really trying to tell me?

Weight Theory: Not everyone, not every conversation, nor every event deserves the same energy, attention, or focus. Choose your inputs and influences with care. Remember — What You Focus On Grows so be scrupulous about what you focus on.



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