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Maybe it's time....

Apr 05, 2021

If you have been experiencing a pattern of dissatisfaction over a period of time, now may be a good opportunity to look within for the answers.

Maybe you have had trouble with close relationships - friends or family members - who consistently disappoint you or fail you in some important way.  Or maybe you have had a series of bad bosses, people who don't understand you, don’t treat you with the respect you feel you deserve, or fully value your contribution.  Or you just can't seem to find a good job.  Every time you start over with high hopes, things seem to go downhill very quickly.  You become frustrated and disillusioned. 

And you wonder, why does this keep happening to me?

Maybe it's time to take a good hard look at yourself.  Maybe it's time to do some soul-searching.  Maybe it's time to take more responsibility for the results you are getting, to stop blaming others - or the situation - for your dissatisfaction, your frustration, your disappointment.

OK, this may feel like some tough love.  But the reality is, that every one of us goes there sometimes.  We complain, we make excuses (we might call them "reasons"), we insist that the problem is not us, but the other person, or the unhealthy environment.  Maybe we even label it or them as toxic, and we let ourselves off the hook.

When there is a pattern of making excuses, blaming, and even denying our own part in the situation, it is too easy for this to become a habit.  A habit of thought and a belief that the problem is "out there."  We don't control it; we can't influence it and we are just the victim here.

Maybe it's time to ask ourselves some "what if" questions:

What if I am contributing to the problem, even in some small way. How is that happening?  Why is that happening?  And most importantly, what could I do differently?

Sometimes, taking responsibility for things that go wrong - even if you believe in your heart of hearts that it was not your fault - can be very empowering.  What if it was your fault?  How would you handle it?  What would you do?  If you were advising someone else in this situation, what would you say?

Doing this type of role play with yourself can lead to some interesting insights and discoveries.  If you can be completely honest and open with yourself, you may learn some things about yourself that you don't like. And that's okay.  We all have things about ourselves that we don't like.  The awareness of those things is quite powerful -- and also quite liberating.  When we truly own it, it seems less potent.  It doesn't control us. We admit to the parts of ourselves that need work and maybe, we even ask for help.

As a long time business coach, I have worked with clients to help them become more consciously aware of their blind spots and the impact on others that they didn't realize and surely don't intend.  We are all works in progress, after all.

The thing about blind spots is that, while we can't see them, others do.  So, when we start to see the difference between our intent and our impact on others, we can work on closing that gap.  Acknowledging that we recognize those things and that we want to improve makes it easier to progress because we can enlist the help of others.

Friends, family members and co-workers are often willing to provide support and feedback on our growth and development. 

The secret to making this work is to be genuine about your desire to improve, to demonstrate your commitment to that, and to express appreciation to anyone willing to help you.  It is helpful to be explicit about the help you want.  Instead of asking for "some feedback" in general, ask for observations or impressions about something specific, like how you responded in a certain situation or what you could have done differently.

When you receive feedback, the only appropriate response is "thank you."  It is not to explain, it is not to make excuses, it is not to share your reasons, it is simply to be grateful and appreciative.  Feedback is a gift and honest feedback is rare.  It provides insight into how your behavior is impacting other people.  And that is always good information, especially when the impact does not match your intention.  There is an opportunity to learn something of value.  So maybe it's time....

If you feel "it's time" and you would like some help on the way to greater discovery and self-awareness, I invite you to schedule a strategy session with me.  I promise to offer at least one action that you can take that will lead to some insight.  You can schedule that here.



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