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Tag: self-reflection

Worry.

Worry.

I’ve been thinking a lot about worry. I’m thinking that it has to be one of the worst emotions. Sadness, pain, rejection – these are all emotions that are felt after an event occurs. Worry is really just anxious anticipation of something bad possibly happening. It’s an unnecessary evil, but also human nature.

I used to think that a little worry was a good thing. It meant that you deeply cared about something enough to actually worry about it. But now, I feel like nothing good comes from worrying. Feeling worry makes me feel worse about everything else too. It’s like all of my insecurities become elevated. And stress is just another form of worry.

Worry doesn’t actually prepare you for the pain, rejection, or sadness that a traumatic event invokes. We worry as a defense mechanism thinking it will ease negative affects, when really, it seems to almost invite things to go wrong. How many times have you reacted with, “I knew something bad was going to happen”?

I’m a big believer in mind over matter, and I truly believe in the Buddha saying “What we think, we become.” I’ve seen this ring true in my own life and in the lives of people close to me.

Everything in life takes work. So while I would like to say, try not to worry and let the chips fall where they may. It’s not that easy. There really is power in positive thinking, and we need to turn that worry into faith, hope and/or prayer.

We may not have the ability to control the outcomes of things in our lives, but we do have the ability to control how we feel about them. Sometimes that means owning our pain and sometimes that means changing our thinking. But this takes a lot of work and practice. We have to self-reflect enough to be self-aware, so we can self-control.

And this is just as much of a reminder for me, as it is for you.

Courage.

Courage.

I was reading through some of my old blog posts, and this one proved to be a good reminder of equating vulnerability with weakness.  When I read the statement, my mind instantly conjured up the image:

vulnerability = weakness
vulnerability = courage

I recently took two risks, one right after the other.  The outcome for each was not what I wanted.  And truthfully, I’m still in recovery.

The first was personal, and I was terrified to make the move.  The first few days, I felt totally rejected.  I cried multiple times and spent the weekend hunkered down in my house. I even worried I was falling into depression again.  This outcome hit me hard.

Courage is “the ability to do something that frightens one.”

The second was professional, however the premise behind the conflict was very personal.  I considered withdrawing, because I was fearful. Since the outcome did not fall in my favor, again, I felt rejected.  My feelings were hurt.

Courage is “strength in the face of pain or grief.”

Recovery is a process. While time has passed, and I’m feeling better, I’m not 100% myself again.  But I won’t ever be 100% the person I was before these incidents occurred. I will have grown.  I will have learned, and I will come out a better person because of them.

My goal for this year was to embrace courage.  As 2018 nears a close, I’ve been taking some time to reflect on how I’ve stood up to my courageous goals.  Often we think of courageous acts in life-changing decisions and bold moves, but courageous acts occur in much of our daily activities.  It can be as simple as voicing your opinion when your opinion is in the minority.

While you may not be able to control the outcome of certain situations, there is empowerment in the risk of being vulnerable.  It’s not the result that defines the person; it’s how you handle the process and the aftermath.  It’s finding the benefit in every situation, even if the only benefit you can find is growth.

They say that you should find comfort in the uncomfortable.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year, it’s that I’m actually starting to accept uncomfortable as a new norm. I’m starting to embrace it in some situations, like introducing myself to new people.  This simple gesture is something that has terrified me in the past.  Being courageous during those small moments of vulnerability, I’ve developed new contacts, built my network, found mentors, and made friends.

Focusing on the benefit brings empowerment to vulnerability.  For my two situations, I knew that no matter the outcome, I was going to learn from both.  While it didn’t make either any easier to endure, and although I’m still not quite “over” them, it’s made it a little easier to move on.  Right now, I’m just feeling the side effects.  I’m assessing and self-reflecting, which means I’m growing.  So maybe the next time I take a similar risk, the blow will be a little less hard.

Learning Leadership.

Learning Leadership.

The more I strive to be in a position of influence within my industry and my community, the more I find myself in disagreements with people.  In the end, we’re all fighting for what we think is right.  Sometimes, you come out on top, and sometimes you are defeated.  And sometimes the only thing you can do is agree to disagree.

Some people are naturally born as leaders, and some people develop the skills later on.  Everyone has the potential, but not everyone has the desire.

How you handle disagreements tells a lot about what kind of leader you are.  In fact, I think that is what can distinguish you as being a leader or not.  Disagreements need to be handled politely, tactfully, with grace, and self-reflection.  Sometimes you have to take the blow so your team doesn’t have to.  You cannot learn from the experience without reflecting on what went wrong, how you handled the situation, how you contributed to it, and how you could have prevented it.

I don’t always handle disagreements the way that I should.  But that’s okay, we’re all human and make mistakes.  It’s recognizing and admitting that I don’t handle disagreements well that differentiates me as a rising leader.