“It is not the critic who counts:  not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory or defeat.” ~Theodore Roosevelt

I love this quote.  It was my husband who first read it to me. This quote was in one of the books I’m reading called Life Code by Dr. Phil McGraw.  The book caught my eye because some of the subject matter inside it.  The first part of the book talks about “real-world ‘bad guys'” and how to spot and defeat them.  Dr. Phil calls them BAITERs which is funny because they can and often do try to bait you into conflict.

BAITER stands for Backstabbers, Abusers, Imposters, Takers, Exploiters, and Reckless.  A person can be all of these things, some of these things, or just one.  This is great material for those of you who have one of more BAITERs in your life.  It gives you recognizable traits to watch out for plus ways to handle them if they’re in your life.

The second part of the book is about becoming your best self and becoming successful in life.  This is where I found the quote.  I think one of my big takeaways from this book is that BAITERs do exist–even Dr. Phil has had to deal with BAITERS.   It’s not the way I choose to exist, but you will still encounter them.  If they’re in your life, learning how to handle them and the crap they bring with them is essential.  It’s also essential not to let them detract or distract you from living your best life.  One of my biggest lessons is to deal with my expectations of others.  I expect that people will not betray one another, that they won’t backstab, they won’t steal or lie–but that’s from my point of view and the way I live my life.   I still get surprised when I realize that others do not live that way.

If others choose to be a BAITER and they’re in my life, it’s my choice how I choose to react–just like it’s yours.  It isn’t about you–it’s all about how the BAITER lives their life.  If you get hooked into feeling sorry for yourself because you were betrayed or stabbed in the back–that’s on a fast track to getting off track in life.  The BAITER doesn’t care one hoot about you.  If they did, they wouldn’t have done it.  That’s their issue and their character flaw.  Don’t get down on the low-down, dirty floor with them.  Dust yourself off and learn from your experience.

The quote above reminds me that life is about doing–and doing things with a good attitude and good effort.  If people want to put you down–that tells you much more about them than it ever could about you.  And people will put you down if you are making something out of your life.

Surround yourself with people who are going to lift you up and not put you down. 

If you hang out with others who spend their time gossiping, griping, having pity parties, and living a victim’s life–this type of group will only hold you back.  Instead, seek out people who are positive, supportive, respectful, honest, and the like.  You become like the company you keep.  If you hang around with people who put you down–or others down, if you find yourself bonding with other people over gossip or putting others down–doesn’t that make you feel horrible afterwards?  Check in with your inner self and reflect on what kind of energy you bring into the spaces you inhabit.  Are you a good worker?  Do you honor and keep sacred your marriage or partnership?  Are you compassionate to others’ experiences?  Do you tell people to their faces how you feel instead of behind their backs?  Do you exaggerate or tell untruths about another?  It doesn’t just happen in grade school–it’s rampant in adulthood too.

The quote above also reminds me of stars–like actors or those in sports.  They take a whole lot of criticism, but the really great ones know how to handle both the criticism and the acclaim.  They’re balanced, they know themselves and they don’t let others sway their opinions of themselves.  If they need improvement, they’ll admit it because they’ll recognize it and they’ll do something about it. They really have to put up with a lot of different opinions.  But, they don’t let others’ opinions of them sway how they view themselves.  They’re in there, doing their best, with a positive attitude.  Gossip doesn’t get them, they don’t hold themselves back because of excuses; they’re just out there living their best life.  They know who they are, they know their weak spots and what they excel in and knowing themselves in this way allows them not to become caught up in what others’ think of them.  It’s freeing!