I was going to write about something joyful or inspirational this month, tis the season and all. However, I thought you might get more from a recent, somewhat uncomfortable, lesson that I learned. My gift to you this Holiday season is sharing my discomfort so that you may benefit.
One of my great joys is connecting people, mostly in a business sense. Recently I connected a friend of mine (who I will call “Friend”) with an acquaintance (who I will call “Acquaintance”). The purpose of the connection was for the potential of Friend providing a valuable service for Acquaintance. Last week I received a call from an upset Friend as she had just left a meeting where Acquaintance was rude, argumentative and generally disagreeable. I found myself fuming that Acquaintance would behave in such a way and I really wanted to call him out – my heart was beating a little faster, my mind was racing and when I looked at my speedometer I was even driving faster. WHY was I so upset about the behavior of Acquaintance? This wasn’t my encounter, it wasn’t my business conversation and I certainly didn’t know anything that had happened prior to walking in to that meeting that may have upset Acquaintance…where was this rage coming from? (These are the questions I asked Self.)
This week I received a call from Friend with an outrageous continuation of the scenario and I was beside myself about the way Acquaintance was behaving. After reacting just as strongly, I asked Self what was really bothering me about this and I quickly, although not comfortably, recognized that I was taking the behavior personally! And when I looked a little more I recognized that this isn’t the first time that someone’s bad behavior has had this effect on me. We’ll just say that when people are being jerks, I don’t take it well, whether it is about me or not. It is in these times that I am not being my true Self and it’s ugly.
We all have a MAIN thing that takes us out of our game, allows us to behave irrationally and most often keeps us from taking good positive steps forward. Some of you may share my MAIN thought of jerk-like behavior but there are a lot of other responses that aren’t ‘fight’ responses, for example being in a situation where you feel stupid or you don’t know the answer so you “freeze.”
Because of my coach training I was able to work through this relatively quickly because I know that when I am feeling frustrated, cynical, all-tied-up-in-knots, I am wrestling with my MAIN thing.
What is the MAIN thing that stops you in your tracks and keeps you from moving forward with an idea, a project or even a relationship?
For the next two weeks, pay attention and take note of what is driving you bonkers, shutting you down or making you feel like you are less than awesome. See if there are any patterns that could help you identify your MAIN thing. The beauty in taking the time to know your MAIN thing is that when you notice it happening you can shift your attention to something that is more interesting, empowering, fun and worthwhile.
How often have you held onto a grudge, talked behind someone’s back, avoided situations and encounters, didn’t try something you really wanted to do, said harsh words to someone, felt stressed and in knots, or went into ‘hiding’ because some thing was getting in the way…probably your MAIN thing.
Now that I’ve taken the time to ask Self the uncomfortable questions about the situation I have been able to re-focus my attention on things that are for me to work on, to move forward and to empower Friend to create a plan to produce excellent results out of her interaction with Acquaintance.
I’m not proud that I have these ugly moments; thankfully they usually happen when no one is looking, but not always. However, I am human and I have human moments day-in and day-out and I’ve learned tools which support me to show up as my best Self more often than not.
This would be a good time of year to look at those patterns, as holidays often bring about extra opportunities for our MAIN thing to come to the surface. Decide if it’s more interesting to listen to the ugly conversations or to be in a great frame of mind to be in-joy with the season.