Back on your feet

Fears build up within us. The reality is rarely as bad as we imagine it to be.

What is the worst thing that could happen? is always a very powerful question. We don’t need most of the things we want, and we don’t want most of the things we have.

Look your anxiety in the eyes and ask: What if I let it go? What if what I fear will materialize? What if the worst case scenario is what I will wake up to tomorrow?

I promise, more often then not, you will still be you.

And then you’ll have all the resources to get back on your feet.

All good

When we ask “how are you?”, let’s sit down and take in the full answer.

I am fine, I wish I had more time to dedicate to this project.

I am alright, unfortunately I was not accepted for that online programme.

I am well, thanks, there has been a bit of a misunderstanding with my colleague, but I am well nonetheless.

We often rush to labelling our exchanges as “all good”, and we fail to grasp the issues we might want to act upon. And then we are surprised when the minor crack turns out to be a foundation problem. We withdraw – they said they were fine, how could they lie to us? – and we make the whole situation irreparable.

Forget the first part of the answer, hand in there until the honest reality kicks in, and tackle that head-on.

How could you make more time for the project?

How can I support you in your learning and development?

What happened, and what can I do to facilitate a conversation between you too?

That’s the way to be taken seriously, to build a relationship, and to maintain the people around you engaged and motivated.

Craft your job

Most of us are not happy in their job. The good news is, we do not have to change job or wait for our managers to come up with a solution before we can actually find satisfaction in what we do.

We have the power to design our jobs in a way that can make us feel better.

We can take on more or less tasks, shift the boundaries of our responsibilities, focus on the tasks that better align with our strengths and values, rethink the way things are done, come up with new processes.

We can alter the relationships with those we work with – in the same department, in the same company, and also in other companies. Establish networks, help others, connect with them outside of work.

We can reframe tasks that are assigned to us in a way that makes us see a bigger picture, a wider purpose, a better future. For us, for the organisation, for the community.

Being stuck is rare, as at any given time the opportunities are many and diverse. Feeling stuck is much more common, and fortunately feelings come and go.

Stronger

When you are in a leadership position, it will happen that something your team has delivered will be questioned by those you report to.

What to do?

You can side with the managers. You can side with the team. Or you can communicate both ways to find a solution that serves the greater good.

The first two options are shortcuts. They do work, yet they make victims: your team in the first case, yourself in the second. On the other end, making an effort to explain, ask, compromise is an investment of time and resources when you might have little of both. And that’s how you establish relationships that will make your organization, as a whole, stronger.

The greatest enemy

We are the greatest enemy to our own purpose, satisfaction, betterment, fullfilment.

We tell ourselves stories about the world that merely reflect what we feel and fear. Others will think I am arrogant if I do that. I am not good enough. If only I could get someone who believes in me. They don’t want me here anymore. They don’t care.

We are in charge. And we have the power to change all that. Now.

I may be able to explore my past, recalling memories of incidents where I learned to hide from my life, feeling the churn in my gut that makes (and keeps) me exactly as I am. And I may be able to explore the future person I want to be, my preferred image of myself, my intended self-concept tuned to hope and maybe distracting fantasy. But between the past and the future there’s the Now, with its stubborn realities, with its unpredictability and hidden dangers. There, in the Now, that’s where the real journey is either embraced or rejected, a point at which I must make a choice about facing what I haven’t faced all along — and stick with it.

Dan Oestreich – The mutiny against our conditioning