For those of you reading this who haven’t a clue what a Weeble is take a look at the following you tube clip. And it also makes good viewing for those of you who just want a stroll down memory lane when tank tops, flares and glam rock were all the rage!
Remember them now and that annoying jingle, ‘Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down’? (Please accept my sincere apologies if it’s now embedded in your brain too.) And did you also pick up from the clip that there was a Weeble called Wendy? Which is rather apt, because I have spent too many years likening myself to a Weeble in the sense that when life throws me a curve ball I might wobble a bit but I don’t fall down.
Correction! In the past I haven’t just compared myself to these invincible little characters with a smiley face and ability to bounce back up again, I have proudly declared my weebleness to the point of patting myself on the back. I truly used to believe this ‘weebleness’ in me was one of my strengths and that always bouncing back was a good and positive thing.
That was until, I had an awakening, an epiphany, a light-bulb moment, call it what you will, but I finally realised how futile it is to be a Weeble. And here’s why ….
The only reason a Weeble can wobble is because its’ legs have been replaced with a spherical base where it is heavily weighted. It’s movement therefore, is totally dependent upon someone picking it up and placing it where they want it to be. It has no autonomy, no independence or ability to avoid situations that might cause it to rock. And rock it will, with the least amount of force. It is totally vulnerable and largely unsuspecting of whatever life can throw at it. Yet its’ smile & expression is permanently painted on its’ face whether it’s upright or face down on the deck underneath someone’s thumb. Not surprising though because after all it’s just a toy.
We, on the other hand, are alive and have the cognitive ability to make choices for ourselves. Whilst life might knock us off balance when we least expect it to, we have the opportunity to use that past experience to better prepare us for future knocks in the hope that next time around we remain standing.
For me, the weight in the base of the Weeble symbolizes its resilience, which, in my opinion, would be far more useful if it were stored elsewhere and in closer proximity to using it more effectively. Consider therefore, moving this weight, resilience, northwards and absorbing it into our core, our heart & indeed our brain. The most obvious and immediate benefit being that our centre of gravity (the thing that keeps us standing) has shifted, making us less vulnerable to wobbling.
Now consider how better equipped we are in connecting our gut feelings and our heartfelt emotions to our body’s hard drive, the brain; the mass of grey matter that drives our every move.
In reality, the way it works is like this. We experience some stress or anxiety over a particular situation. We might feel it in the pit of our stomach giving symptoms of nausea or rushing to the loo. At the same time we feel an emotional ‘pull’ within our heart, maybe even a strong desire to react in a certain way. Then our brain kicks into gear and we process the situation to decide how to best act once we have ‘weighed up all the options’.
For me, that figure of speech of weighing up our options, holds the key as to why we shouldn’t be a Weeble. But instead should focus on how best to apportion our strength throughout our entire body to build resilience and help maintain our balance as we navigate our way through life. Ultimately it ensures we think on our feet and not with our feet! (Lovingly described as ‘up here for thinking, down there for dancing’.)
So the next time you feel someone or something is knocking you off balance stop and ask yourself these 3 simple questions …
· What knocks me off balance?
· How healthy is this for me?
· What can I change to prevent it happening again?
We all have different coping strategies, but for me playing that annoying Weebles jingle in my head and imagining a big fat thumb holding me down pressing my face to the floor does the trick. It stops me in my tracks. It wipes that supercilious grin off my face, realigns my body balance and helps me say ‘No’. After all, it’s okay not to be what others expect us to be. It’s okay to stand our ground if we don’t feel we can conform. And it’s more than okay to disappoint another to be true to yourself.
So, I hope this inspires you to erase the weebleness from your behaviour, to redeploy your inner strength and keep balance, and the courage to say ‘No’ when you need to.