I had a whole different blog update for today, but I scrapped it because I had a great conversation with someone who was facing some challenges. Some of the big life questions were bouncing around in their head and were on display in their body language.
This person had a lot going on and was facing a fair few life choices. Their stress level was high, so we decided to unpack a couple of things around what was causing the peak in the stress level.
During the conversation that we had, it was clear that they were working very hard to please several people in their life, but in doing so, they were not putting themselves into any of the choices that they had to make.
I called them on it. I asked where they come into on all of the choices they were being asked to make, bringing out some strong emotions. The person knew that none of the options would make them happy, and only when I asked the questions did they confess. They were doing things against their will, and doing so was making them happy. This was all because of peer pressure and groupthink. Sounds like some alignment issues were going on within the group.
I pulled apart some more of the onion, and it was a cathartic conversation because more of the dilemma was exposed. More of the emotions followed, and the clarity of the core issue was uncovered.
It’s cool, I said, good to have the problem out in the open because then you can face it and deal with it.
I positioned a way of thinking with this person that might get them to listen to themselves more. It was a lesson for me, too, as we talked through some of the options. I realised that I don’t pay enough attention to my own thoughts sometimes.
But it is clear to me that the one consistent factor in life is yourself…
The person you wake up with and go to sleep with every night is you. The person that is with you every moment of the day is you. From the moment you are born to the moment you die, your one constant in life is you. People move on and through your life, but the one person that is always left is YOU!
I didn’t present this idea to them as a way to be selfish because I don’t believe we should be selfish, but we should start with our own self-care and then look to support others. It is the whole oxygen mask on a crashing plane thing; fix your own oxygen mask first before helping others.
What can I do now?… Was the question hanging loosely in the air!
Honesty is the best way, I said in reply.
It is ok to change and admit that you want to try something else. Be open with the people that are driving your agenda and tell them you have a change of mind. Tell them you want a change.
In fact, that is the brave choice that not enough people make in life. The option to make a change or to stop something that they are committed to. The ability to say NO.
When you give others your change of mind, and if they don’t get it, then it is time to change them out for someone else.
No matter what you are changing.
Change is never easy, but it is worthwhile.