Hello SOTGC community,
Projects here, meetings there. Responsibility, decisions, and always the pressure of wanting to be better and to make others proud. We head from one running track to the next, always presuming that our inner and outer health naturally pulls along. What, however, happens when you trip so badly that you break a stiletto?
I had this situation come around at me last year when I had my tibia bone broken due to a sports accident. What followed was surgery with metal implants and about two months of not being able to get back to work or manage a daily routine at home. All the while, there was this feeling that things would fall apart without my competence at work, and, naturally, projects could only go down the drain. Panic had a tight grip on me and my frustration level was high. I kept wondering why something like that had to happen TO ME – and what I did wrong to deserve something like that. Surprisingly, neither my work fell apart nor did any projects fail, and, in retrospect, the accident turned out to be a needed lesson for me to learn.
So instead of a free-ride to the highway to hell I found that sometimes life needs to thwart you in order for you to be able to hold still and really learn something. I don’t know how many times I have read books about inner balance, about good work-life balance, or about using your resources efficiently. I always felt like I understood what they said, but I was never able to change anything about my dear habits.
So what is the essence of what I learned?
- Time heals all wounds. I am impatient. I would love to change the world right here and there, and whenever a new idea comes up I really have to pull the leash to stop myself from running off with it (and dropping everything else on the spot). Concerning my health, I had to learn that things go exactly the way my BODY wants and not what my brain calculated for my healing process. And that was a really hard lesson for me to learn. If you accept that your body controls your healing process, you will find that time does heal all wounds – at a speed that is self-chosen. All you can do is keep your head up.
- If you are appreciated, then your work will wait for you. My work actually waited for me. And so did my boss. I did show a disposition to work from home while I was not able to drive to work. I found that I didn’t need to be present all the time to manage a team or processes – all it needed was a good overview of what was going on. So free yourself from wanting to control everything on the spot – in reality you are much more advanced and will be able to keep things organized even when not present.
- Focus – Decide. In the past, I tried to be everywhere at the same time and still had the feeling that I was not getting anywhere. I abused my inner resources, always running for higher goals and never having the feeling of getting anywhere. I learned that focusing on something means that you will have to discard things and try to concentrate only on the things that are really important. It also means that you will have to say NO and train your ability to make decisions.
- Treat yourself like a goddess. You might think that sounds stupid, but really, if you are not going to be the one treating yourself kindly, with respect, and, most importantly, with love – who else will?! Always ask yourself before taking on something new: Do I REALLY want to do that? WHERE will it bring me? And, WHAT does it do for me? Since I am aware that I am responsible for my wellbeing, I tend to keep much better care of it.
- Move on! Try to be in the present instead of pondering why things went wrong or happened like they did. That was one of the key facts that I learned. That attitude will help you get away from problem-centered thinking and will develop you into someone who has solutions foremost in mind. It will also make you into someone that is highly appreciated in team work since you are the one keeping a cool head.
- Appreciate the “little” things. Being tied up in a hectic daily routine can easily make us lose focus of the little things that happen around us. However, in order to have an inner balance, we need to hold still, sharpen our awareness to see and feel small gestures, small changes, and small developments. When was the last time you actively noticed that someone praised you for something? Being able to see what happens around us brings peace and serenity and lets us focus more clearly.
Looking back, I am grateful for the chance to actually calm down and thus find more inner stability. I have learned that I am much stronger than I ever thought I was and that whatever stands in my way I will overcome with time, trust in myself, and good care keeping of my resources.
It would be wrong for me to say that I have reached the end of the road and that I can call myself a pro for inner balance. However, I am proud that I have found the awareness to finally hear my inner voice and that I have started to decide depending on what my inner voice says. Seeing how good I feel, I have decided to stay on that road and to keep a guarding hand over myself.
What are your experiences? Have you had a traumatizing situation that changed your life or your habits? How did you cope?