As I sat there, I contemplated Werner’s Pentagon of Performance, particularly the ‘Stifle Yourself’ corner.
Several times the question came up about what ‘stifle yourself’ means in my Pentagon of Performance.
“Stifle yourself” was a catchphrase used by Archie Bunker in the series All in the Family.
What it means to me is to exercise a bit of conscious self-control. We’ve all experienced situations where we have verbal diarrhea, we allow ourselves to become excited when deep down we know it’s not in our best interest, or we do something that we know we’ll regret. Whenever we say to ourselves “I’ve got to do something [now]!,” it’s often a cue to stifle ourselves.
Numerous examples of where ‘Stifle Yourself’ are applicable to personal protection.
- Talking to the POlice
- Telling others about the extent of our preparations for the Apocalypse
- Rushing the shot
- Not practicing despite knowing our skills are weak
- Chasing criminals after they cease to be a threat
- Closing with predators when we could just as easily move in a different direction
- Intervening in matters that don’t directly affect you and your loved ones
- And many others
Numerous examples of where ‘Stifle Yourself’ are applicable to life in general.
- Buying more paper products than your family can use in a year
- Selling or buying assets when the market isn’t favorable
- Reposting memes about popular topics for the 1000th time
- Talking when we should be listening
- Offering unwanted advice
- Offering unwanted emotions
- And many others
Stifle yourself can apply to both action and inaction. Procrastination is a good example. Procrastinating is merely giving in to the desire to put something off that needs to be done. That desire to procrastinate (inaction) is something else that can be stifled.
Often fear is often at the root of actions and inactions that need to be stifled. Uncertainty is another. My friend and colleague Nick Hughes has a very pertinent question that is often worth spending a second to ask ourselves.
Am I doing [or not doing] this because I need to or because I want to [because it makes me feel better]?