For anyone engaged in or facilitating transformative learning, let’s not fear those tears. They can mean anything and, in my experience, are often relief from carrying around things that no longer work. Create a sacred space for them instead of trying to force them to stay hidden.
This past August and most of September I experimented with this idea and didn’t check into any of my regular social media. I did check blogs and newsfeeds on my news reader but I avoided Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
It was an empowering couple of months which allowed me to continue work on my book and reinvigorated me for my blogging. More importantly though, I was more at peace and happier overall with my life and work. By saying no to FOMO I regained a sense of my own passions, priorities and dreams. I lived in gratitude instead of comparison.
I am now back to my social networks but am trying to put some boundaries around it – like no checking evenings and weekends or when I’ve had a bad day or am just not feeling my best. It’s a work in progress!
When does FOMO get you and what are you doing to manage it?
I base today’s blog foremost on my own ongoing struggle with perfectionism, as well as watching other perfectionists. While I know intellectually that perfectionism has a negative impact on me, putting that insight into practice still eludes me at times, particularly when I’m stressed.
I will spend hours creating something and then dishonour it by picking it apart, under the guise of “learning” or “striving for excellence.” It’s not either of those in actuality, just a well worn pattern that doesn’t serve me well.
Fortunately I have two people close to me who are endlessly cheerleading for me, and I am inching my way forward. If you struggle like me, find those people who “love the blue” in you and listen to them. Today give that perfectionism a rest and celebrate whatever you have created!
I have had several conversations the last week about how it is we change. There are many who believe that unearthing how we think about things is a key step in the change process, a great example the work of Kegan and Lahey who wrote Immunity to Change. I believed strongly in this for many years and find their model very powerful.
Then there is the compelling research of Amy Cuddy who suggests we fake it till we make it. In essence, we need to act like we are confident, happy, a leader, creative etc and eventually our thoughts will catch up because we will start experiencing something different.
As with many things these days I am starting to think it’s both, not either or … And depends on the person. For those given to endless negative rumination, faking it gets them out of their head. For those given to lots of action, getting into their heads might slow them down and lead to the change in behavior.
What do you think? What has led to your significant changes?
As leaders we do need to look after ourselves and I know many who make a visit to the spa with girlfriends a regular self-care ritual, myself included. (Not to overly stereotype but in my experience more women than men do this.)
When one of my clients said to me that the spa just wasn’t cutting it anymore, I took real notice. In the conversation that followed she explained her desire to take stock of her life, and bring some new energy and insight to it.
This takes courage and reminds me how important it is to make time for inner personal development work. The spa, while a temporary reprieve, just doesn’t really cut it when your soul is yearning.
I’ve observed and personally experienced different approaches to loss over the years. Whether it is personal or professional, minor or devastating, it seems that those who consistently “numb” (whatever that might be – working, drinking, dwelling, exercising too much, etc) seem to get stuck, often regress and sometimes even bring about their own death, metaphorically and physically.
Those who engage in learning reinvent themselves, often creating meaningful legacies around their particular loss or just finding new meaning and energy in their lives.
Some would say that without loss there is no growth or movement, that it’s actually necessary in order to create or bring about something new. As I reflect on my life, I agree. Our challenge it seems is to know when to stop circling the drain and get on with reinventing ourselves.
There is an inverse relationship between accepting what is instead of wishing it were different. The more we can accept the less than ideal boss, family, job, the less suffering we experience and, ironically, the better things get.
This is not a single moment in time, but rather a gradual process of acceptance, at least in my experience.
What’s one thing you can accept that will ease your suffering?
Checking the weather is an ingrained behavior in most of us, a way to measure all kinds of things it seems. I realized recently just how delicate the balance is between a focus on the future and an experience of the present. I spent so much time getting concerned it would rain on our vacation that I sometimes missed whatever sun did show up! I also realized that when it did rain, there were other interesting ways to enjoy my vacation.
It seems to me we may do the same in our organizations. In our desire to be strategic and anticipate what might come, we neglect the present experience and the opportunities that might be there.
Where is your focus and how does it help and hinder you?