When dealing with a brat, we are inclined to make rules for behavior and to make them easy to follow. I explained in yesterday’s post that rules should be avoided for rebels and today I will explain that we shouldn’t make life easy for our inner rebels either.
If we are struggling to get things done, we typically assume that the task is just too hard. So we might:
– Tell ourselves to pick up one item from our filthy bedroom floor
– Eat one serving of fruit or drink one glass of water a day to lose weight
– Set the timer for five minutes to focus on the task at hand
There is no question that these approaches work! I have recommended them and used them many times. The problem is that the typical rebel isn’t underachieving because the task is too hard, but because it’s too easy. Rebels are perfectly capable of picking up, losing weight, and focusing. They just don’t want to because we have given them no good reason to do so.
I remember having a genius sixth grader in my class, when I was an elementary student, who had been arrested for armed robbery. School was absolutely no challenge for him; getting away with other people’s stuff was. I likewise struggled to accomplish any of the steps toward getting my Ph.D. until my husband told me I had to finish it in record time. Not only did I finish my Ph.D. in a matter of months, but I had a great time showing the psych department that it could be done.
Your inner rebel can get things done when you make it a real challenge for her.
– Challenge her to completely makeover her home in a month and submit the photos for a contest or publication
– Challenge her to enter a 12-week weight loss or transformation competition
– Challenge her to write a novel in a month or get all of her work done for the week by Wednesday (if you’re really crazy, four hours)
Your rebel can get great things done, but not if you expect too little of her. What kinds of challenges has your rebel met in the past? What kinds of challenges could motivate her today?
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