During my 20s as a young woman working in corporate, I was told that I was too ‘soft’. That I needed to ‘toughen up’ and focus more on the ‘task’ at hand, than the ‘people’ in my team.
Keen to please my mentors I tried to be less emotional, more direct and results focused. In the eyes of others, I was growing stronger and more successful; but inside, I felt awful.
After years of trying to please others, I quit that job and joined an organisation looking for someone with a flexible attitude, who cared about others and didn’t count their time by the minute. They wanted a leader who could empathise and encourage people to keep going through tough times. They thought I was perfect for the role. I found meaning and felt extremely fulfilled.
What this taught me was that I had needed to change my job, not myself.
Have you ever been in a personal or work relationship where you’ve thought “if only the other person would change one or two things about themselves, I would get on better with them?”
If we are honest, I’m sure most of us will acknowledge that at some point we have tried to steer another person to see our point of view, only to find that although they agreed for a little while, their old habits and attitudes came back quickly. This is not them being awkward, it is the way they are wired and it takes a lot more than a few polite nods to change a lifetime of patterns.
Sometimes others may try to ‘change’ you. Have you ever wondered why? Usually it’s to make themselves feel more comfortable and/or understood. Unfortunately, no two people see the world the same. We each have our own view of every situation, (ask any police officer who has taken witness statements after an incident!)
If you are focusing on trying to change yourself or someone else, stop now! This is a waste of your time and energy.
I’m not talking about healthy personal development, I’m talking about being driven by judgment, manipulation, anger, fear or other negative emotions that steer us away from growth. Instead focus on the positive emotions of love, sharing and thoughtfulness because these will push you forward.
Be who you were born to be, and if you don’t know who that is, don’t stress about it!
Maybe right now your purpose is just to love yourself and accept those around you. You will know when you are ready to take your life to the next level, your inner adviser will alert you mentally and physically. Click here to listen to this recording I made for you.
And if you need someone to walk alongside you as you journey through this time of discovery, just reach out, I will be waiting.