Monday, November 18, 2013
Last week, I turned 42 and it was an amazing week full of contrasts that led up to the big day. Like any week, there was joy, pain, bad, good and an overflow of lessons that I feel compelled to share. Three in particular jumped out of my head today.
Conflict Is Good
No matter the topic, no matter the players, conflict is good. Conflict provides an opportunity to reflect and understand both yourself and the opposition. When executed healthily, conflict can be a conduit of greater intimacy and/or growth in a relationship. Even unhealthy conflict alerts you to people, places and situations that need to be removed from your life. Use conflict to grow and expand. Don't shrink from conflict even if you are not good at it. You cannot not build muscles you never exercise. Get in the ring every now and then and go a few rounds. It will do you good. Besides, if you are never in conflict, chances are you are doing nothing with yourself and need to step it up.
Inferiority Is A Lie and Optional
When people treat you as an inferior, it is only optional that you accept that treatment. We have every opportunity to repel inferiority messages and behaviors, in the moment or later. This one is big especially for soft-spoken or less confident leaders. If you are second guessing yourself due to the way someone else is treating you, it is imperative that you quickly regroup and regain your true standing. Step back and recite the truth of who you are versus the message of inferiority someone else placed on you. Repeated exposure to inferiority messages start to stick unless you combat it and combat it with all you have. Spend time with folks who treat you as equal as soon as you can after a dance with inferiority. And always cast off inferiority messages, preferably on the senders but always get them out of your head and heart.
Love and Admiration Cures All
Sprinkled throughout the week were opportunities for me to see that I am truly loved and admired. Whether it was a meeting with a client that ended with a thoughtful birthday treat or a another meeting with a new friend/colleague where I was given feedback on the reaction to my debut presentation at a statewide conference, I was reminded that I matter and that the work I am doing matters more. I had a conversation where I was reminded that I was trusted. Mixed in with regular birthday greetings on my Facebook wall were heartfelt expressions of love and appreciation of me. People from every era of my life took the time to connect last week from all over the world. For every tough moment I faced, there were many more tender moments all waiting for me to accept and discover. Love from my family and close group overflowed and filled me. I cannot even express how blessed I feel - I had a George Bailey moment more than once this past week - "It's A Wonderful Life" My life is wonderful.
There were many more lessons, big and small, but those three will carry me in this new year of my life and I hope they will inspire you in yours.