It’s gonna take patience and time

At least I have one of those. 🙂

So, my hot-headed flash of job-crisis is over; not that there aren’t still things that need to be worked out in my job, but I’ve gotten over the immediate and compelling urge to quit and retire to an organic farm. I think I need to set a new rule that I’m not allowed to take any action in response to any emotional developments (positive or negative) in my life for a period of 4-5 days. That seems to be about the time I need to have my reactions and then find my balance.

I have some interesting challenges ahead of me. The one that I’m most curious about is the need to control my very transparent facial reactions that so clearly communicate my opinions on a matter even when I take effort to control my verbal expressions. At first, i was really wrestling with this, because I have no idea how to make my face not say what I’m thinking; but then my colleague-confidante this afternoon said it wasn’t really about separating my face from my thoughts, but achieving the kind of peace and equilibrium in my thoughts that allow me to accept other people’s suggestions and comments without having them immediately disturb me. Actually, I’m not sure I have any idea how to do that, either … but I think it may be more feasible, although it will require a great deal of mental re-training. In the meantime, I might just have to tell people to ignore my face and know that my initial reaction is not necessarily where I’ll end up on an issue.

Also, I think I definitely need to continue studying what it means to be a leader. I’m OK at it in some ways, but I’m not yet that person who truly knows how to gently guide a group toward a desired end; how to balance between exerting visible influence and stepping back; how to know when to throw my weight around and what exactly that “weight” really is. Part of this is just developing skill over time, but I also think I need to do more reading about what others have thought and come up with on the topic. Book suggestions welcome!

Another suggestion was that I need to work more to build up a) my relationships with my allies in my work environment, and b) my personal “board of directors” who helps guide me in life challenges. With relation to b), I’ve got a pretty kick-ass group as a foundation so far; but what I think is missing are other people who are in very similar work positions and environments to me and facing some of these same challenges. Basically, I think I need to add some corporate executives to my “board”, and some non-profit leaders. Come to think of it, I need some of those on my organization’s board as well!

Unlike my roommate situation, I actually feel like I can find a way to approach this and both get the things that I need and satisfy the things that others may want. That’s a nice feeling, so I don’t have to end up writing a post titled Failed, #2. I think I have to learn to be more secure in myself, and content with who I am, so that I can act in boldness and confidence but submit when needed. It’s tiring to always be in this uncomfortable, defensive posture toward so much of the world around me. I’m trying to figure it out – with my friends and family, when I do feel comfortable, why is that, and how did I get there?

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2 thoughts on “It’s gonna take patience and time”

  1. Regarding what your colleague said about achieving peace and equilibrium, etc…that can be tough. I like to think I have a good poker face in these situations, but it’s hard to say. I think one way to think of it is that this is about listening and not reacting. Just pretend you have nothing but a pair of twos but you’re bluffing for a major pot.

  2. Glad you stuck it out on the job thing. I wonder if you may be like me, and your friends/family are people with whom you felt an instant (and ongoing) rapport, an instant comfort, and that’s why you’re at home with them. And you have every right to your choice of roommates and friends, so it works perfectly this way.With work and other organizations, I’m not sure it would ever be like that, at least over a long period of time. But, if you are like me, the worst thing you could do would be to back out and try to start fresh, tempting as it may be. There’s a lot to be said for staying put through the difficult and uncomfortable times. By sticking with it, you may not get that happy “honeymoon phase” feeling, but over time you will see positive changes in the system and the people in it, yourself included. And you will learn how to change the system from within, rather than always looking for a perfect system, which may not exist.That’s my two cents, anyway.

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