Today’s thought: A hurtful act is the transference to others, of the degradation which we bear in ourselves.
I have been feeling blue recently, dissatisfied, confused about what I wanted and oppressed. I had trawled through all the possible reasons why – all of the reasons seemed reasonable and I just thought that I would have to endure the sensations.
I saw my therapist yesterday and told her how I had been feeling. I also told her how exhausting I was finding one of my colleagues. A colleague who had been telling me how negative and dissatisfied she was feeling with her job and the organisation we work for. My therapist returned to the way I had described how I was feeling and told me that she thought I was experiencing transference; that my colleague had transferred her insecurities and anxieties on to me.
As soon as she said it wasn’t mine, I felt a release! I didn’t have to feel those feelings because they weren’t mine to feel. I am also not responsible for her feeling those feelings either! I could let go and find my usual stance of positivity and enthusiasm once again. Have you ever felt negative, but unsure why? My therapist explained to me that I could test to see whether what I was feeling belonged to me or to someone else by simply asking myself what it was I had to do during my day and see how I felt about it. Sudden, oppressive feelings were likely to belong to someone else; more reasoned feelings to me.
I know that I am going to have to be honest with my colleague the next time that they start in a negative vein. I have to protect myself from their emotions and I need to try and help them see that they have power over their own feelings; they have choices they can make and can control their situation positively if they take time to stop blaming others and start taking action towards making their world how they want it. I think I will start by displaying a quotation on my office door: Those who spend their time looking for faults in others, usually spend no time on correcting their own. It will serve as a reminder to me as much as anyone else that I want to run a supportive team who lift one another up and don’t tear one another down.
I am going to be watchful for the destructive forces of transference in the future; it can make me someone I don’t want to be.
Today’s Thought: The moment you feel you need to start proving yourself is the moment you need to be silent and walk away.
I have a break coming up and I am going to use it as time to become more comfortable with who I am. I am going to define my core values and begin the practice of living by them.
A lot of what I do revolves around trying to prove myself to others: prove that I am clever; prove that I am organised; prove that I have read the latest document or research; prove that I can use the right buzz words; prove that I can lead others and have an impact. No wonder I am exhausted.
All I really need to do is be myself; do my best and be kind. If that’s not enough, then maybe I don’t want to be that other person. If I cannot be who I honestly am, then I am living a lie and that doesn’t meet one of my core values – to be honest.
I have a challenge coming up tomorrow: I need to work with someone who I feel challenges my honesty value – I think they are better than me and they have a fierce nature at times and my natural default setting is to avoid confrontation, so I find myself bending to their will or being manipulated and I dislike the way it makes me feel. I feel twisted and concertinaed and ultimately unhappy with my choices and actions.
If I am going to practice my core value of honesty, I need to be ready to stand firm in the face of confrontation. I cannot let fear rule my decisions. I want to be a strong, honest and kind person – it should be easy, but it isn’t and I just have to accept that, put on some armour and get out there and fight for my core values so that I can be the person I truly am.
Today’s Thought: Burnout is what happens when we ignore the soul whispering against an unhealthy job or relationship.
All this time I thought I needed to change who I was to be better at my job. I can still change habits; responses and make my practice as good as possible, but maybe I have reached a point where I have started to listen to my soul….maybe because it is shouting louder and maybe because it has now become less about proving myself and more about making myself happy.
My job is making me unhealthy and unhappy.
My reality is I need my job to pay bills; keep a roof over my head – all the usual stuff.
My other reality is that I will lose myself if I continue to fight my soul and spend every waking moment worrying about my job. It is time to face the reality that I am not cut out for it – not because I am not good enough, but because it is not feeding my soul.
Do you feel this way? Are you fighting to stay afloat and putting off life for your job? Take stock and think – do you want to have spent most of your life doing something that makes you unhappy; something that prevents you from experiencing life the way you want to?
Sometimes we forget we have a choice, but we do – we really do have a choice. We might not be able to just walk out of a job immediately, but we can all take small steps in the right direction and that’s what I am going to do.
What feeds your soul? What were you good at as a child? Find it and do it! It will make you feel that sparkle of excitement that you had as a child; that freedom you had as a child and that sense of fulfilment you had as a child. You never experience life more purely as you do when you are young; this is what we are all searching for and to find it, we must return to those moments of joy from long ago. That was when we were at our most honest – find your true path by speaking to your most honest self; your inner child.
Today’s Thought: A life spent seeking the approval of others, is a life spent without joy.
I have ended up in a job that destroys be because I have constantly sought approval of others. I do the job less well than I could do, because I constantly seek the approval of others. I have ignored opportunities that would have made me happier, because I constantly seek the approval of others. I am literally paralysed by the fear of disapproval.
Over the next few weeks, I am going to work hard to approve of myself. Whenever that familiar feeling of discomfort creeps in; the one where I feel the terror of disapproval (that I am sure didn’t originate with me; I am sure it belongs in the past with an ancestor or two), I am going to stop, breath and see whether I am doing anything that really does warrant disapproval.
Seeing as I am doing my utmost to lead an honest and kind existence, there should be little that I disapprove of. I am hopeful that this will help me to build up my self-approval and in turn my confidence and courage to follow my dreams. The dreams that make me vibrate with excitement for the joy that they would bring – not just the dreams coming true, but the action of working towards them instead of living a half life governed by fear.
If you feel the disapproval of others and the restrictions it can bring, I urge you to analyse where the disapproval comes from. Is it valid? Obviously there are clearly actions and thoughts that it is appropriate and important to disapprove of – anything where another person can be hurt or belittled or tortured or marginalised in relation to things they cannot control or for the pleasure of others should quite rightly be disapproved of. However, if you feel disapproved of because you want to do things differently or be a different person to the one you are now, then that may not be valid disapproval. It’s OK to fight it – it may bring you freedom and best of all acceptance of who you are.
Today’s Thought: Leadership can be defined in hone word – honesty. You must be honest with the players and honest with yourself.
I had felt for a while that I was doing better with this, but just recently I can see the damage I have done by not being honest quickly enough. Problems linger; practice doesn’t improve and the outcomes are therefore poorer than the powers that be would like.
The problem I have is that I don’t always see the problems; I am so caught up in my workload that I don’t get out and about enough to check what is going on. When I do, I mostly feel everything is fine. It’s rare that I don’t. The issue is that when I don’t, I bottle it when it comes to telling the troops!
I am disappointed in myself; I recognise why I am gutless at delivering the difficult messages – I know everyone is working so hard, trying their best and I cannot stomach kicking them in the teeth by telling them it isn’t good enough. I know so much about them that I know if they are having a tough time at home or if they are struggling with their mental health and I feel so sorry for them – it just seems inhuman to bash them when they’re down.
It’s leading me to the conclusion that maybe I am just not cut out for leadership. I often hear positive comments about my leadership style; the problem is that if it doesn’t deliver the wanted outcomes then whether people like my style or not is irrelevant. I am questioning whether I want to live with the constant worry; constant self doubt and constant running to keep up with the ever changing goal posts. Maybe what I honestly need right now is the courage to make a change – a change that will lead to a happier life; a life that I find fulfilling and one that isn’t always tearing me apart.
I will continue to improve myself; improve my skills; practice delivering the difficult messages, but alongside this I will start to build a life that I want to live. A life without fear and a life more full of the creativity that sustains me and makes me buzz with the excitement that life should offer.
Honesty brings such clarity.
Today’s Thought: I respect people who tell me the truth, no matter how hard it is.
The institution in which I work is reaching a crucial point. Next year we will be inspected and it’s imperative that it goes well. I can feel the pressure building; the fear beginning to invade me and I wonder whether it’s all worth it. I have to make it worth is by bringing more honesty to the table.
One aspect of my role that I struggle with is giving people difficult messages about their practice. I like and respect my team and I can see how hard they try, so if they are doing something that isn’t as good as it could be, I struggle to give them the message. I know I have to change this as I am disadvantaging them. If they don’t know better, they cannot do better.
My growing courage now needs to turn its attention towards delivering difficult messages in an assertive, honest and kind fashion. For us all the be successful, I must start now.
To this end, I am going to set myself a goal for this week. I am going to deliver one difficult message and try not to cushion it in cotton wool. This is how the root of the message is lost; it’s how confusion ensues when the reality comes to light. My team will ultimately feel betrayed if I don’t start to tell them the reality of our situation now.
This aspect of being honest is less comfortable for me. My instinct is to protect others; to carry the burden and to try and fix everything myself. History shows me that this is not going to give me the results we need, so I have to change my approach.
If I can be honest with those that are superior to me and do so without the fear of judgement now, then I have to use that courage to be honest with those that I lead; ensure that they have the right weapons with which to fight and that means I need to tell them the hard truths as well as the easier ones.
Six months into my honesty quest, much is changing – some easy, some difficult but all better. I must keep this in mind as I take on this next honesty challenge.
Today’s Thought: Fear has two meanings: Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise. You choose!
For so long many of my decisions have been based on controlling my fear. Most recently, my fear of asserting my true beliefs and opinions to those superior to me at work has been a major feature of my everyday life. Overcoming that fear has been key to becoming more calm.
Since I began my commitment to honesty, I have transitioned from having to think hard about whether what I was saying was truly honest to honesty being automatic. This is why my fear of sharing my honest thoughts with my superiors has been a major stumbling block – it has brought back all those feelings of discomfort that came with not being honest with myself or others. Now I have broken free of those constraints – living free of the fear of judgement and confrontation (or at least more freely), I find that I am calmer than ever.
I have faced my fear and I do feel as though I have risen because of it. Tranquility sits in my soul and I bask in its warm comfort; the fear lessens because I cannot be ‘found out’ – I have been true, so there is no fear of being caught in a lie or being found to have want of understanding. I am able to absorb constructive criticism by approaching it with assertiveness – asking questions to clarify my understanding so that I can respond with strength and success, rather than languishing in terror and hurt.
Finding this way of life requires work. No one would rescue me; I had to rescue myself and that has given me my power back.
What are you most afraid of and how will you rise above it?