“I NEVER make the same mistake twice. I make them five or six times, just to be sure!” Someone posted this on Facebook and I thought, yes, that could describe me.
Funny how we will work ourselves into a corner (through unconscious habit) before it suddenly dawns on us that something needs to change.
“I feel stuck,” people say. “I need a breakthrough,” is how I tell them to reframe it. We want to focus on the positive. We want to come from an empowering place.
“I’m so stupid. How could I have brought myself to this place in my life? I’m a failure!”
Next we start comparing. “My peers are doing so well. I’m the only one who’s in trouble all the time. What’s wrong with me?”
We’re not used to being kind and gentle on ourselves, are we? Nor others. Most of us look for people to blame: Oh it’s because of what my mother/father/boss did to me.
No wonder we find ourselves so frustrated, angry even. To cope and self-protect, people build walls around themselves. Over time, they lose their spunk and spirit — the veneer shields their authenticity. Others brashly plunge into situations believing that the sheer force of their ego personality will carry them through. Of course, the law of cause and effect tells them, “Not!” How many of us make “failure” mean “I’m bad?” “I’m worthless?” Who taught us to think like that?
Truth is human beings were born to experience and evolve. By nature we are flawed... and fabulous. Just ask the scientists! We grow through the grace of stumbling... of messing up. Crazy love. Unrequited love. Unconditional love. We weren’t born to be perfect, we were born perfect! We were born to be gloriously fallible... fully human.
If you and I began seeing that we are complete and whole — enough — just as we are, imagine what kind of world that would be. Just think of a few people whose lives would change once they stop defending or proving their worth all the time.
What do you want? What do you really want? Getting clear about our intentions has a way of bringing us back to our senses. Remembering we have choice is to take back our power.
“I want more money. No, more than that. I want financial security.” “I want time for myself. No, not just that. I want the freedom to explore my personal interests, not just for work and family.”
“I want to be appreciated!” Sam says. “I work hard but I work in an environment that doesn’t value commitment and contribution. My workplace doesn’t value quality. Why come on time, why come prepared, why come at all... when other managers perform so poorly. They waffle through their work and then get promoted anyway because they play politics. These guys know how to get on the good side of the bosses.”
“I feel so demoralised. I know I’m relevant but unless I play ball with these guys at that level, it’s unlikely that things will change for me.”
What frame of mind is Sam operating from? Do you hear his stuck-ness? I’d say: Equality, mutual respect and contribution are high values for Sam. I’d even say Sam needs some structure in his work environment to feel settled.
What kind of a place will give you what you want, I ask Sam. What do you need to let go of, to have what you really want? How will you know when you’re in the right place?
Sometimes rock bottom is a solid place to start. When we’re down to nothing is when we’re most prepared to look at our motivations and our needs, to analyse our strengths and weaknesses. To survive, hardship is when we’re most open, eager, and determined to make changes for the better. For sure... that’s when we’re most grateful for what we’ve got.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order and confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.
What if our life was unfolding exactly as it should? Consider that the universe in all its perfection is delivering to us its best solutions. All it wants is for us to BE... be ourselves... living OUR truth.
And you know, don’t you, when you’re living someone else’s meanings, understandings and principles, how imperfect life can be.
Tell like it is
WHY don’t people say what they mean? Why don’t they just tell it like it is?
AS opposed to what? People who tell white lies or dress up their speech according to what they believe people prefer to hear? What exactly do you find unacceptable about that?
How often do you say what you mean? Do you have the presence of mind to check your meanings before speaking or do words simply roll off your tongue and then it’s too late anyway?
What does it take for someone to tell it like it is? I’d say it takes courage, confidence and freedom to speak your truth. It takes trust, self-trust, to believe that what you’re saying is right... for you. It takes you to trust the other person that whatever you say will “land” well and not cause further problems. And it surely takes someone who is intelligent enough, who actually knows what they mean, to tell it like it is.
All in all, it takes an intelligent thinking person to be purposeful with their communication. If that isn’t enough reason for people to mask their words and play it safe, you must realise that ours is a protocol-conscious society. One never knows the other person’s inclinations and where they stand on issues, so it’s safer all round to not say anything sometimes!
I get that you’re coming from frustration and that authenticity is a high value for you. Self-preservation kicks in and that’s when safer is better, rather than having to do damage control. Speak your truth to the level that you can stand, is what I’d recommend.
Focus on performance
HOW do I deal with my boss? He’s the type who plays power-control games with his staff. I’m new and I’m finding out that there are his favourites and there’s everybody else. I don’t want to find myself out-manoeuvred before I even start to show them what I can do.
WHAT does “deal with my boss” mean? When you’re “dealing with the boss” what would we see you doing? What would the office environment look like with you “dealing with the boss?”
So you’ve studied the nature of his power-control games. So you know how they can affect your performance at work. Okay... good. And you also know there are those he considers special. Check.
Now that you’ve joined, what do you want to create for yourself in this job... in this company? What’s your stand about performance and contribution? What’s your relationship to results? With this realisation, how will you choose to relate to your boss and his “favourites?” Do you “have” them or will they have you?
My invitation to you is, to stay in control (of yourself). Observe, then continue to perform. Letting them get to you is like saying, “my performance is in your hands”. What good can come of taking that stand? Say, “I will perform in spite of you”. No matter what other people say or do, be driven by your purpose and being your best self.At the end of the day your performance will be measured against your job description and your KPI, not by whatever came in the way of your results. So focus. TESSIE LIM - NST Lifestyles 17 AUGUST 2014 @ 8:03 AM