Monthly Archives: June 2014

Like a Hamster in a Wheel

I believe people come into our lives for a reason. It might not be readily obvious, and the timing may not even be immediate when we learn why he or she arrived. But there’s always a reason for us to cross paths with those in our life.

Sometimes it’s to fill a need, and other times it’s simply to show us how far we’ve come.

I have recently noticed this in work. I work with a guy who is just phenomenal: he’s hard working and dedicated, smart and really truly cares, and he’s very positive. Rarely do you see him without a smile on his face and a willingness to help anyone who asks. It’s refreshing to work with someone like him in what can be such a cynical corporate environment.

But lately he’s getting really burned out. His willingness to help is taken for granted and taken advantage of. He works a lot of long days compensating for those around him and he’s getting frustrated.

How familiar this seems.

I’ve had similar struggles in my work experience, and have worked long days and even lost a summer working towards a launch at a prior company. I was consumed with my work and though a part of me loved it, a part of me greatly resented it. Especially when my extra efforts weren’t appreciated.

Now I see the same in him, and though I’ve had some struggles with balancing my work and life in my current role, overall I have managed it reasonably effectively, and now I have the opportunity to step back and view my accomplishment. I also can share what I’ve learned to coach someone who hopefully can benefit.

How cool is that?

I’ve also seen this in my personal life too. Sometimes people come into my life at the right time to expand my life and my heart. Other times, they arrive simply to show me just how far I’ve come. It’s so easy to fall into old patterns of behavior, and I find that I do fairly often. The trick for me now is to realize what I’m doing, and to make a conscious decision to choose to continue, or to choose to do better for me.

And not blame myself for not seeing it at first. This is the hardest part.

This has been a huge work-in-progress for me. So when that person arrived and I finally stepped back and saw the lesson for what it was, I’ll admit I was frustrated at first for allowing myself to step right back into that role. I allowed my life to jump right onto that roller coaster that I know all to well from my past. Boy was I mad that I let myself do that yet again.

Then I stepped back and smiled.

Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me realize how far I’ve come, and how I can do better for myself. I may always react in the same ways, but I can then step back and make better decisions. I can love myself enough to decide that I am worthy of so much more, and to go for it.

The games are over and I’m jumping off the ride. I choose me.

Thank you.

Lessons

 

The Other Side of the Pancake

Integrity is an important value to me: being true to my work, following through and honoring commitments and being consistent with my beliefs and actions. It’s not always easy, especially that last part, but I continue to try. 

One thing that recently showed up for me to work on is my need to be right. Ironically, I’ve had this conversation with people, that goes something like this, “Do you want to be right, or do you want to get what you want/need?”

It’s so much easier when I’m not the actor in this play. 

I’ve mentioned before that I wanted to be the female personification of Perry Mason when I was a child. I dreamed of being a lawyer, walking into a courtroom with a commanding presence, all confident, poised and prepared to make my case that will prove my point. I practiced over and over doing just that. Here’s my belief/thought/feeling and here are the reasons for it. This is why I am right and you are wrong.

Bam! Gavel down on the bench.

I recently had an issue with someone and as I was silently building my case, I realized what I was doing. This is someone I enjoy, and while I am hurt and angry and do believe I should express my feelings, I don’t need to go so far as to build a case as to why she sucks. I was so busy doing it that I felt my heart harden and I was working myself to the point of demanding an apology for the perceived infraction or else.

OR ELSE.

Yeah, I was going there, and what a crappy place to be.

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 Do I want to be right, or do I want to get what I need? Maybe there is a middle ground, however, as while I do want to communicate to get what I need, I don’t need her to throw herself on the sword to do it. Because I have a fairly good idea that she’s also considering her beliefs and feelings and they aren’t showing me in such a favorable light as my thoughts are.

I recently read an article by Dr. Phil in Oprah magazine (yep, I sure did!) where he talked about a pancake, and no matter how flat you make that pancake, there is always another side. It’s not easy to see that when you’re the female personification of Perry Mason building your case, but it’s still there.

I took a step back. I put aside all of my (superb) reasons why I was right, and why I had been so cruelly wronged that I simply had to have an apology, and tried to see the other side of the pancake.

And you know what I learned? I’d rather get what I need/want than be right. It felt so much better.

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