I always feel like I walk a thin line between being “nice” and being truly kind. Old me is a burnt-out people pleaser. To be authentic in relationships with people that used to know me before I started this journey is an ongoing lesson! See, with new acquaintances, it’s easier: they have no expectations of what I will be like or how I will express myself. But in older relationships, I still have to catch myself.
Be authentic! Stop acting and pretending, stop fawning and being “nice and polite” in socially acceptable ways. Instead, remember to show up as the kinder version of you.
It’s easy to get caught up trying to focus on change without doing the inner work. We want the quick fix: tell me what I need to do to get the results I’m looking for.
A lot of coaching is performance-based, which is great for short-term goals and wins. This coaching will often provide you with tools and habits that you can integrate long-term for life changes. However, it’s easy to get the win and then fall back into old habits. This is the difference, in part, between transactional versus transformational coaching.
Professional and personal communication is one of my biggest challenges. As an INTJ, I can be brutally honest, speaking my mind without sensing the effect my words and tone have on others. I just blurt out what I want to communicate without considering whether it’s the right time or place to do so.
I’ve found I have better skills when I write it all out in an email or written correspondence. But this misses many nuances and can be misunderstood.
Most of us have emotional triggers that we aren’t aware of until we blow up or “lose it”. These learned responses helped us to survive unpleasant situations (often in our childhood). Unfortunately, those very habits (cues/triggers, course of action or response, and rewards) that allowed us to survive in childhood now sabotage or hamper our growth and relationships.
I’m not talking about PTSD triggers: those are at another level, where it’s not merely a habit. These triggers actually require deeper assistance, such as therapy.
These habitual responses are survival tactics, often learned in our childhood. I adeptly overlook and sidestep the bigger issues when I ignore the hidden rewards of my habits. The slowing down of 2020 gave us much needed time to sit and do the inner work of looking at our survival tactics.
Even 2021 has shown me (especially on social media) how I respond to certain types of posts and comments. There are people that I have been tempted to block “for my peace of mind”. Nonetheless, my commitment to healing and working on myself continues. So, I decided that rather than block them (or engage or shoot back), I would make time to actually look at where I have lost my freedom to respond gracefully.
The more I delve into great decision-making, the more I realise the importance of alignment and self-awareness. If you want to make better decisions: know thyself!
It’s easy to think that a great decision is a choice of the best option available to us: “what do I think this might be?” But great choices take into account so much more than just good ideas.
In the corporate setting: they don’t just get the best immediate result for the bottom line or take into account your financial interests or marketing plan.
To make better decisions, find your compass.
There are many challenges to making great decisions, but some of them can be avoided with the right tools. Most of the tools I mention are ones you already know. Hopefully, you’ve already done this work. Better yet, you update and view this regularly. These tools to knowing yourself are values, passions & vision.