Too many times we focus on changing others and completely neglect the change that we can make.

Focus Only On What YOU Can Control

Some people credit Gandhi as saying, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I’m not sure who actually said it, but it’s some pretty sound wisdom.

I was recently helping coach one of my son’s basketball games. The refs had missed a few calls and everyone from the players to the fans was getting upset. I found myself focusing on the refs and all of their missed calls. I’d quietly whisper to the other coach, “travel”, or “foul”, or “3 seconds.” I was completely focused on something outside of my control.

To make matters worse, this attitude spread to others on our team. My son also started focusing on the refs and their missed calls, which to be fair, they were missing calls both ways. As he focused more and more on what the refs were doing, he focused less and less on what he needed to be doing. Rather than driving to the hoop and going up strong, he started driving halfheartedly and flopping at the least bit of contact. Rather than focusing on what he could control, he was was focused on the refs. His focus was on something completely outside of his control.

We left the game feeling frustrated and victimized, two emotions that come as a result of focusing on things outside of your control.

Be The Change

As a parent or educator, we often want to see a change in our teens. We want them to be happier, kinder, more obedient, more confident, basically we want them to change in some way.

The only problem is, not matter how innocent our intentions to change our teens, we are putting our focus into things that we cannot control. You’ve heard the saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make the horse drinks”; the same holds true for teens. You can’t control them, much less change them.

Instead of trying to change your teen, start being the change that you want to see.

Rather than feeling frustrated and victimized, you will feel confident and empowered. You will not only be an example of the change that you want to see, but you will also radiate the peace that comes from shifting your focus inward.

If you want your teen to be kinder and more respectful, be kinder and more respectful yourself.
Want you teen to be more open and honest, be more open and honest.
Do you want to help your teen be more confident or handle their stress and anxiety better? You guessed it, YOU be more confident and handle your stress and anxiety better.

I’m not saying that by changing yourself, your teen will automatically make the same change. Again, you can’t control your teen, but by being the change that you are looking for, you will be in control of you and you will be an example of what is possible.

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