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a blog by Chris Barrow

Victor or victim?

I’ve been giving a lot of attention recently to my attitude. 2004 was an “annus horriblis” – if it could go wrong – it did. Problems with support team, finances, client numbers, a UK business that grew too slowly, a North American business that grew too rapidly, a family that were refused re-entry to the USA without warning, errant teenage boys who ran up ridiculous and unauthorised cell phone bills, stolen AV equipment – and on, and on. Yes – there is a list of things that went well in the year – the evolution of a new and better support team, the creation of new coaching systems to cope with my residency restrictions, a bigger, better business and a glorious summer in Italy. i could add other “silver linings” to the list. But somehow, over the year, I have become so used to thinking like a victim that it has become my default mode. And the final chapter in this cliffhanger is about to be played out…… I heard on Friday that the US Embassy in London will be processing my application in about 3 weeks – and we will then hear whether the INS are currently prepared to allow my family to return to their home, their schools and their lives. If the decision is positive – a party, followed by frenetic and happy preparations. If the decision is negative – well I just don’t know what we will do. We don’t want to live in England, cannot stay in Italy as the children don’t want to grow up here, have played with some Canadian alternatives but we are not committed. My family just want to go home. I just want to deliver them home and get on with building my professional and personal life. Its a massive moment – the rest of our lives hang in the balance. A decision to be made by a consular official who we may never meet. That’s scary and stressful. So back to my attitude. How should I process this as each day unfolds – how do I process it at 3.30am in the dark, in bed? I have to keep asking the question at the top of this blog……. “What would a winner do next?” A winner would wait patiently, get on with business and life, think about Plan B (if things don’t go right) but visualise Plan A – the return to Florida. So I’m trying really, really hard to do that. And have re-ordered Dennis Whaitley’s programme from the early 1980’s on “The Psychology of Winning”.

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