Are You Chicken? Or Are You Just Playing Chicken With Your Life

At the SisterUp One-Day Workshop in Salt Lake City last weekend, I asked the audience these questions: Are you chicken? Or are you just playing chicken shit with your life?

To be clear, we’re talking about two different, yet related topics here:

  • One is the actual chicken.
  • The other is what comes out of a chicken.

First, let’s talk about being a chicken . . .

In case you didn’t know, it’s super easy to hypnotize a chicken. Gordon MacKenzie relates a story in his book, Orbiting the Giant Hairball, where he and a cousin mesmerize an entire chicken coop. Apparently, they simply drew a short chalk line on a patch of concrete; then placed a chicken on the pavement while holding its beak to the line.

After several seconds, the boys removed their hands and the chicken stood motionless, break to the line in a hypnotized state. MacKenzie notes that chickens in such a state must be “place kicked” back to consciousness.

He compares mesmerized chickens to humans when we join certain organizations, religions, and companies. How many times have you felt like you’ve been taken by the back of the neck, pushed down and placed in a position to hold a line . . . a corporate, social, or religious line?

Have you been told?

“This is how we do things.”
“These are our guidelines.”
“These are our policies and procedures.”
“This is how life works.”

Unless we are wise and awake, we could become chickens. We could be hypnotized by a line of philosophy that has very little to do with our unique and destined path.

I believe it’s imperative we find our own equilibrium and remain committed to the intimations of our hearts. It’s critical that we have an authentic map for personal growth even while blending our lives within a company culture, social culture or religious culture.

Let me expand this visualization a bit by saying, it’s equally important not to become a chicken shit.

Here’s what I mean. At any given point in time, we might have been taught that it’s noble to “be kind no matter what others say or do to you,” or to “forget about your needs and take care of other’s first,” or to “always be helpful,” or to “solve all the problems you can (even if these problems don’t belong to you).”

When we assign our actions to such beliefs, we become human “fixers” (a.k.a. chicken shit). We spend time caring for and fixing the lives of others while ignoring the one life we were given full responsibility over—our own.

It’s so much easier to fix, control, give to and help than it is to mind our own business and take care of what is rightly ours to control. To put it frankly, when we ignore the one life we have in order to meddle in the life of another, we are playing the game like a chicken shit. What’s worse than being called a chicken shit? Well, the results of playing the game like a chicken shit:

We attempt to control people and outcomes while deluding ourselves by calling it kindness. Chicken shits are thereby big, fat liars.

We become increasingly intrusive and often produce guilt and shame in our interactions. Guilt and shame are not happy colors.

We seem like we’re being helpful but actually, our energy is more of a backhanded way to control and manipulate. Again, nasty habits all around.

We create obligation where none is necessary. Anything not necessary is often called a waste of time, energy, and resources.

Like I told the attendees of the workshops, it’s not easy being a chicken or a chicken shit. To that point, I would suggest you stop wearing yourself out, just pay attention to your own life and be you. I say this because I’ve been caught in both corners. Neither is productive, neither makes us happy. Live the life you were put here to live!

Download this free tool to help you stop playing chicken with your life. 

Lyn Christian is a Master Certified life and business coach and owner of SoulSalt based in Salt Lake City, Utah, working locally and internationally. She will talk more about how to stop playing chicken with your life at the SisterUp One-Day workshop in Los Angeles on Saturday, May 6. Limited tickets available! 

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