Welcome to Therapy Thursday! I’m so glad you could join me in this safe place. You can stretch, grab some water, sip on some green tea.
Have a seat and get comfy, because we are going to dig deep today, into our intentions.
a word or expression that can be understood in two or more possible ways : an ambiguous word or expression; uncertainty
Ambivalence (n.) —
1. simultaneous and contradictory attitudes or feelings (as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person, or action
2. continual fluctuation (as between one thing and its opposite)b: uncertainty as to which approach to follow
Ambition (n.) —
1. a: an ardent desire for rank, fame, or power b: desire to achieve a particular end
2: the object of ambition <her ambition is to start her own business>
3: a desire for activity or exertion <felt sick and had no ambition>
What do these three terms have in common, besides alliteration?
They describe mindsets, states of mental activity, flowing thoughts, maybe even hyperactive thoughts, and they directly relate one to another:
An ambivalent person will most likely express herself in an ambiguous fashion, which hinders her own ambition.
Say I am at half-court, dribbling a basketball, preparing to shoot, intending on scoring 3 points. I cannot make any points if I aim at the other team’s basket, if I hesitate between taking the shot and holding onto the ball, or if I aim underneath the basket—inevitably, I come up short. The same holds true for following through on an idea, a plan, or a strategy:
If I am fluctuating between two opposite ideas, then I am lukewarm on the subject, which will show up in the ways that I communicate about it, and my drive to make things happen—or a lack thereof.
Words do hold creative potential; that’s why reciting Scriptures that affirm your worth, value and purpose works. That’s why repeating negative and faulty ideas such as, I’m a failure; I can’t ____, also works. You instill belief in an idea and express the strength and magnitude of your conviction by saying it out loud.
(This is also the process of renewing your mind, that you may prove the good, perfect and acceptable will of God, according to Romans 12:2; that you may discern truth from falsehood and error, that you will be able to maintain righteousness by obedience and faith in the Word that saves you.)
James 1: 5-8 NLT
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. 6 But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. 7 Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.
Do you find yourself constantly wavering between two opinions?
Consider carefully and nod your head if this sounds like you:
Yes, this is worthwhile; yes, I can do it; Yes, this will succeed and prosper in my hand–No, this isn’t a proper investment of my time, energy, faith, and resources; no, I cannot do this; no, this may fail, and I cannot bear the thought of failure.
(Nevermind that you are entertaining it at the very instant.)
I took some time to understand why we waffle around on essential, beautiful, novel, and expedient ideas. Why do creatives go back and forth between confidence in a product launch and gripping, terror-inducing worry and anxiety? Why do we cave into perfectionism and procrastination? Why don’t we always aim for the lofty, vertigo-inciting opportunities? Why don’t we get the things done?
We’re ambivalent in our thinking and our understanding. We pursue things that we halfway care about, stuff we “could” do, with a plan B and an itty-bitty committee-approved safety net of excuses, for when we don’t execute.
We deliver an ambiguous message, trying to be SuperWoman and Mr. Fantastic, tagging on title after title, role upon role…to sell everyone who will listen on all that we can do. We juggle way too many hats, because we won’t specialize, because we are ambivalent on standing out by being outstanding. At that. one. thing. We’re not clear on what we are doing, and neither is anybody else who reads our copy, hears our podcast, or looks at our presentation.
We then jeopardize our own success; we get lackluster results and back down, dim our lights, settle for a more dull “existence” instead of thriving. It’s a vicious cycle of poorly communicating to ourselves, and then to our our coworkers, supervisors, colleagues, classmates, family & friends, mentors, audiences, the world, and back to us.
This has been me.
This has been every black sheep who ever attempted to blend in to some generic bot role, and that backfired.
This has been everyone who has ever conceived something far greater than themselves.
This has been every underdog, every unconventional thinker, every person who ever dared think about going against the status quo, carving out a niche, doing what no one in their family, community, generation has done.
And if this has been you, then I encourage you, to let today be the very last day you were ambiguous or ambivalent about your life, wherever this resonates.
Acquire some executive, decisive language, and make some executive decisions.
Let your Yes be Yes, and your No, be No. Anything other than this comes from the evil one. Matthew 5:37
How are you doing? Have you been ambivalent, ambiguous, or just ambitious? Tweet using #TherapyThursday and let me know!