Column 09 – Let Your Light Shine by The FlyLady, Marla Cilley

Our success in FLYing comes at the heels of two important words: Persistence and Consistence. When we look at our own history we see an inconsistency in how we looked at our housework. You know the old story of stash and dash, crisis cleaning and then crash and burn. This left our homes in shambles after a few short days. Then we would beat ourselves up because of it!

I had to deal with this when I made my final attempt at getting organized in 1999. On January 1st, I spent all day looking at why Pam and Peggy’s card file system never worked for very long for me. It was not that it was not a good system; it was, but it was how I did it was the problem. I would go gung ho for several days and then run out of steam. Then the guilt would enter into the equation and I would not want to look at the box and stick it under the counter.

As I examined why their system only worked for a little while; I realized a major factor. I was working too hard and not letting the system to work for me. I had not ever established habits. I only let the cards guide me and it didn’t matter what order they were in. If getting dressed popped up at 3:00 in the afternoon that was when I did it, that is so alien to me now. I also had way too many cards. With my perfectionism, I thought if one card was good then a card for everything I do would be much better. Boy was I wrong. That abundance of cards was overwhelming! I would give up!

Giving up is our lack of persistence. We do this all the time when we say we don’t have time or that is too hard. We just throw in the towel and begin to whine, “that too hard, too many emails or she doesn’t understand my situation is different.” We are persistence in one area of our lives; we hate change. If you are not finding success it is because what you have been doing is not working. Doesn’t common sense tell you that you have to change something and try again.

Thomas Edison through trial and error and persistence eventually discovered the filament that would glow in a glass bulb. Every failure for him was one less thing that he was going to have to try! Failures are a good thing. They teach us what not to do the next time. That is if we don’t get hung up in our failures and beat ourselves up for them. Use them as a learning experience and keep plugging away.

Every mistake I have made in my life helps me to grow and become wiser! If I had given up I would not have become FlyLady. If we don’t learn from our mistakes we are destined to make the same ones again and again! So looking back on that fateful January 1, 1999, I realize that I had never established a habit and I had been too hard on myself. That day I determined that I would be nice to me and practice one habit. Shining my sink was all I had to do for the whole month!

Let’s just say I was persistent in my quest to get organized and along with that persistence I used the consistency of doing one thing every day to help me find the peace that I knew was out there! It worked for me and it has worked hundreds of thousands of people as well. When you find something that works you stick with it. We don’t try to reinvent the light bulb every time we screw one in a socket; we trust it and don’t waste our time trying to improve on it. We are very creative people and we love to do things our way or shall I say try to make better a system. This is when we skip the foundation babysteps.  I am giving you a light bulb that works! Trust it and take the first steps of shining your sink and being nice to yourself. As you establish the basic habits you are going to begin to feel your light shining brightly! With your habits established you are free to follow your dreams and use your creativity in ways that bless you instead of ways to sidetrack you. You can’t skip the most important steps of Persistence and Consistency.

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