Clear Confident Leader Weekly Observer, Issue #63
From the Greenbelt of Boise Idaho, Dark skies
We have nothing to fear but fear itself. – Franklin D. Roosevelt
In any situation that you encounter, you can either respond to what is occurring, or you can respond to your ideas and emotions about what is occurring. – Peter Ralston
I was driving to a meeting thinking about a difficult situation, and my mind kept returning to one outcome: deliver a clear message about what needed to be satisfied, or else. This thought had been coming up for the past few days as the meeting approached, and it was intensifying as I moved closer to the meeting place.
I paused realizing my body was contracting and the resulting tension was leading me to “lock-on” to a specific outcome, and “lock-out” contextual understanding and other possibilities. I was so focused on getting through what I felt and thought to be conflict, my perception shrank to very narrow tunnel vision. I was stuck responding to my reactions instead of what was really occurring.
Stepping back, I reflected on what fears had been triggered that led to my body to react. I realized I’d fallen back into my long-lived habit of tensing to protect and driving to control to make it through difficult situations. The more I ran the story in my mind, the more I was responding to my ideas and fears about what was occurring.
What was really at risk here? Yes, a clear boundary needed to be communicated. And, what was at risk was an important relationship. If I shut down and focused on control, I was likely to create the risk I was most concerned about.
We develop reactive habits as we grow up, enabling us to cope with life’s situations as best we can at the time. These reactive habits have gifts and strengths within them that we can creatively utilize, when the habits are not in control of us. Learning to see our habits as they arise, enables us to accept their wisdom and let go of their control, and choose to respond to what is occurring.
I work with teams and leaders to create better results through the conscious practice of leadership. Let’s create a better future today!