Why Toxic Behavior Doesn’t Change: what Lindsey Lohan, Eric Clapton and Michael Vick have in common.

Poor Lindsey Lohan. The rich, misbehaving starlet’s incredible free fall continues with her being arrested, again, for suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of cocaine. Why doesn’t her toxic behavior change? It can, if (big if) Lindsey wanted to step out of her difficult person role, and take control. Knowing she is a role model, as are other misbehaving, high profile people, to our children and young adults, is utterly disgusting.

Marsha Petrie Sue, known as the Decontaminator of Toxic People, and the author of a soon to be released book by the same name, suggest we think about Eric Clapton. He stepped up to bat to manage is toxic behavior and his role as a difficult person as he was battling a severe heroin and alcohol addiction. Clapton has been clean since 1987. Like Lindsey, he grew in a dysfunctional family and chose not to use that as an excuse. Clapton believes that alcoholism, chemical dependency and compulsive addictive behaviors are chronic, progressive and treatable diseases.

“Change yourself and your world changes,” says Petrie Sue. Try on the skin of a chameleon when know you have fallen into toxic behavior. Lindsey needs to, Eric has. Figure out the gem that is being provided to you because it will help you become more successful and eliminate bad behavior.

When people keep failing in the same areas, it is likely that the problem lies within
them. Does this happen to you? If you continue to fail in the same arena – what do you do to change the situation. By not addressing these continuing poor results, life does not work. In addition, remember that it is not what happens to you that makes the difference; it is what happens IN you!

When you succeed, look for bigger challenges and even more changes. Once you stop challenging yourself and changing, you cease to grow. Don’t let success lure you into complacency and don’t let a string of accomplishment convince you that you have somehow “arrived.” The problem with the certainty of change is the uncertainty of the outcome.

How about Michael Vick, star quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons. The team owner, Arthur Blank, said he was “disappointed” in his star quarterback Michael Vick, who was indicted on charges of operating an illegal dog-fighting ring. National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday asked Vick, 27, not to report to the Falcons’ training camp while the indictment was reviewed. Vick is still drawing his salary that happens to be $10.3 million per year that makes him for the third-highest salary among NFL quarterbacks. Does this money give him the right to display toxic behavior and choices?

To move more quickly toward achieving personal excellence stay true to your core values, virtues, ethics and integrity. Don’t let your success push you to toxic behavior.
What we often don’t realize is that there are specific steps we must take to have a life that works or to affirm that we are on track – but we want our success to move faster. Here are some ideas from Marsha Petrie Sue.

Purpose – means the development of a vision of your preferred future. Not what other people want you to do but what you want. This is the WHAT of life. In your heart of hearts, WHAT is the picture you have in your head of your life, personally and professionally in three years? How about five or ten – or even 20 years? Let’s start with 3 years. Develop the picture in detail for the next 3 years. What will you be doing – and I mean with work, your profession, personally – everything.

Passion. You have to really have the passion and desire to know the purpose is doable. If the purpose is not realistic, your passion is distilled. When you develop a purpose and move to passion – write down five reasons why this is your passion. For example, The first P – purpose – might be to make money and the passion behind it would be to have financial security, to provide success tools to your children, to retire early and pursue being a forest ranger, to volunteer your time to a worthy organization or to run for political office. I think you can see how this works.

Plan – the how, the strategies, and the actions that have to be taken to reach your purpose. The plan will never work if you don’t have the passion. Back to our example of making money – the how would be seeking a job that compensates you more, going into business for yourself (which I know many of you already have done), lead a simpler life by not focusing on materialism and so on.

Perseverance – this is the risky part. We must ask ourselves what are we willing to do? What are the detours that might help us? Often times this is when we need to get out of our own way! We can come up with some of the finest excuses – well it is on sale, I might need it someday, I may never see this again – all excuses. Perseverance is upheld by learning to say “yes” and “no” appropriately!!

This also means we have to change. Ask yourself this question and deliberate on your answers. If you could make one change in your life today, what would you do to make your life happier?

When anything begins to hurt my confidence, my future success, and everything else, I will take action. What makes you take action? If my balance is affected – I seem to change more quickly because balance is a real passion with me.

Is your life working? What could you change to become more in balance? We don’t even have to mention the perils of Britney Spears and her latest problems with the OK! magazine interview. Perhaps the rehab center popular with the celebrities should change their name from Promises to Broken Promises.

Or how about the Georgia woman has filed suit against the creators of the “Girls Gone Wild” video series, saying they used her image as a 16-year-old to promote and sell their sexually charged products. Brittany Pitts filed the suit saying she the video was for the personal use of two “Girls Gone Wild” agents. What? Pulling your shirt off in 2002 was OK for guys to see. Petrie Sue thinks Ms. Pitts is still exhibiting the toxic behavior and she hasn’t change her thinking!
Should we go on to mention the NBA coach, Tim Donaghy, 40, who is being investigated by officials to see whether he made officiating calls to benefit organized crime members that affected the final scores and betting lines of games the last two seasons in order to ease gambling debts? Oh bad behavior. Or the fired professor at the University of Colorado? Ward Churchill was accused of plagiarism, falsification, and other misconduct. Oh more bad behavior! Where are their core values and their purpose in life?
Petrie Sue also suggests continually focus on your purpose. Have the passion to take risk – no matter what anyone says. Plan your work and work your plan – even when life isn’t perfect. Fill your heart and soul with pride and confidence and your life will work. Stop being a difficult person with toxic behavior!

One last challenge. Find two people every week who are struggling with change. When their lives do not work, give them hope and love. Let them know that you care about their success and future. Do what you can to encourage them and to adapt to the looming change. However, there is a fine line between being sucked into their difficult behavior and staying real. Time to celebrate. July 31 is Always Live Better Than Yester Day!

Visit www.MarshaPetriesSue.com

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