Chances are this has happened to you more than once!
After a recent call with my Mother, I had the realization of hidden value she was bringing to my life.
You don’t have to necessarily call your mother; it could be your aunt, father, sibling, grandparent etc. The idea is that the person you call is a close family member that cares and loves you unconditionally.
Next Time You Neglect To Pickup The Phone… Keep These In Mind:
Reason #1: Your Mother Provides Reference Points.
“[Your] family gives you reference points.”
The quote above is from the TED Talk by Lemn Sissay illustrating the idea that your family provides you with consistent milestones that allows you to measure your progress as a person and in life. Without the reference points on a tape measure, how could you take a measurement?
…I hung up the phone and compared the last time I had talked to my Mother for at least 30 minutes. The conversation we had two weeks prior was about condensing a direction from the many life options I have on the table.
The ladder conversation served as a milestone. I can remember the emotional state I was in (upset, confused, frustrated, and antsy) and my indecisiveness.
My more recent conversation served as a testament to the amount that I had grown over the two-week period I was feeling on top of the world. In two weeks I had noticed a definable difference in my emotional state, personal wellbeing and decision-making ability.
What’s significant is without the phone call to my Mother to reflect on my past two weeks I would have continued on my life neither being aware nor appreciating the growth those two weeks served as.
In coaching multiple students there are specific challenges like people growing at different speeds or being motivated by different things. One focus we have in mentorship coaching is in being self aware of your own growth and using it as a motivator to continue growing.
I can recognize my Mother for this trait being within myself as our 30-minute conversations throughout my life have forced me to learn how to reflect on my development, even when there were no measurable results.
This is a lesson for coaching yourself. Get in the habit of calling your mother on a semi-frequent basis. This will give you reference points to compare yourself to from the low points and the high points in your life. Also referred to in Ben’s post as a “range of performance”.
Reason #2: Your Mother Shows You The Nature Of Women.
I am a guy. As a guy I think in a way that does not quite par up with that of my opposite sex. After reading, “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” by John Gray I realized that I had to stop trying to talk to my Mother as if she thinks the same as I do.
For example I’m sure every one of you has had your mother excessively worry about you (my Mother does this happily and unapologetically). As a guy I see this as wasted energy and emotions, after all why would someone worry if it will not change anything? What I have learned from John Gray is that women worry more than men because this is one way they show their LOVE.
Having my Mother around to talk to served as a consistent, and long-term relationship for me to test this hypothesis.
John Gray inspired the second reason to call your mother: by having a closer relationship with her, you can observe and learn how women think. Though I don’t think this will ever be fully understood by men, the data does serve purpose to prepare you for what to expect when someone cares about you immensely.
Reason #3: Your Mother Acts As a Gauge of your Independence.
As talked about in the second reason, based on my experiences women worry more than men – they voice their concerns more then men do in the moment. My Mother (and grandmother) has the uncanny ability to pickup when something is amiss in my life. Talking to many women about this observation and my personal dating experience, women are very good at picking up on your emotional state.
A “catch-up” conversation on the progress of the week’s prior is always my Mother’s way of gauging where my head is.
For most of my life I have avoided these conversations because I’ve needed space to grow (Yes, I am a mama’s boy). I did need to take time away from my Mother to find myself and define my own purpose. This period of time is what I refer to as my success amputation of my umbilical cord.
The separation allowed me to forge my own independence and find out who I truly wanted to become. The semi-frequent calls have now resumed and I know that my Mother is all too happy to have me back frequently into her life.
The third thing that I observed from my relationship with my Mother was that I could gauge my independence on how I felt around my Mother. My Mother will always encourage me to become independent, while simultaneously smothering me with concern and love. This obviously sends mixed signals and forces you to think of what side of the line you stand: independent of your mother or dependent on her?
Test this by asking yourself: “how confident do I feel in handling drama in my life?” or “do I have a backup plan for my life (financial or other) if things backfire?”
If your answer is more confident or more secure than the last time you talked to your mother then pat yourself on the back, as the feedback is that you are becoming more independent.
One Last Thing
From my personal experience as a man, you will have a tendency to want to be closer to your family at certain times and at others times you will want to be more distant.
You will always be in some “range of performance” when it comes to being independent or growing. Sometimes you will be on cloud nine, other times you will be siting in a dirt trench. Having reference points through close relationships with your family will empower you to be more motivated and happy in every part of your life.
I am a slow walker, but I never walk back. -Abraham Lincoln
So, give your mom a call, and post in the comments section below how it made you feel.
P.S. If you want to accelerate your success in implementing these strategies and reaching your goals, we’d love to help you. Apply today to our Mentorship Coaching program and we’ll gladly offer you a free coaching session to see if we’re a good fit.