We live in a world that values first-impressions. Probably too much. I'm all for making a good first impression, but what comes next? If your answer is mediocrity or diminishing performance, you might as well save you energy on the good first impression.
I saw this principle lived out yesterday as I watched the Belk Bowl. Yeah, I still can't believe that's a real bowl game, either. But it is and it looked like it might be a good one - Arkansas vs. Virginia Tech. Arkansas dominated the first half. So much so that they were up 24-0 at halftime and many of the VT "fans" left. (I guess that's another article for another day). But here's the thing. Football games have two halves, not one. Notice how the scoring went, quarter-by-quarter. Even though Arkansas won the first half 24-0, they lost the second half 35-0. That's a 35-24 loss in a game that looked like it was in the bag. What happened? Well, someone that follows Arkansas football would tell you that this second-half implosion was not at all uncommon for the Razorbacks this season. Many would say this team lacks heart and has some underlying character issues.
What about you? How many times have you experienced a loss in a relationship that you felt was in the bag? A marriage. A parent. A child. An employer. An employee. A friend. These are all relationships that can start strong and diminish - even dissolve - over time if you lose heart or if there are some holes in your character.
Here's a question for you to consider very seriously. Do your relationships and your standing with people who matter most to you tend to be stronger or weaker, three to five years after they begin? If you've seen a pattern of relationships trailing off for you, this is NOT something you can blame on other people in your life. It should be a red flag for YOU to address some very real character issues in your life.
The best place to start is to ask a couple trusted friends for some honest feedback about their perceptions of you over time. It's going to hurt, but if you'll invite the feedback and embrace it, you'll begin to see some lasting change. You'll see it in your friendships, your job, and your family relationships. We start a new year in in two days. Isn't it a good time to get this part of your life on the path to health? Of course, it's much easier to start strong than it is to finish. But, if you're going to finish, you have to get started. Will you start today? Who will you call right now?
If you need some more help in getting to know yourself and becoming more self-aware, read this article from a few weeks back. Enjoy.