Hello SOTGC community,
Today I want to share three insights that have helped me change my thinking patterns in difficult and emotional situations at work, at home, and even with friends. Often enough we are stuck in certain thinking patterns, and from these patterns problems start to grow and fixate themselves in our daily thinking. Soon enough we are stuck with a problem and do not even realize how much energy it takes from us. A change of perspective can often do wonders – convince yourself!
Leave the problem where it is – with him/her.
I remember reading this line in an article and it simply amazed me. Could it be really that easy, to simply give back a problem when being confronted with one, instead to feeling hurt and unjustly treated? I pinned this sentence next to my screen and promised myself to think of it next time I was confronted by something that seemed reproachful or unfair to me. And interestingly enough that one sentence helped me to start a new thinking process. Instead of feeling directly upset when I was confronted with something that seemed unfair, I started to take a step away from my emotions, took a deep breath and simply asked a few questions to understand the situation or the problem that I was being confronted with better. And all of a sudden I was in the middle of an objective discussion instead of losing my head.
Don’t try to be everybody’s darling.
It is paradoxical: We want respect from our coworkers, friends, and family and therefore go out of our way to please in every matter. In the end, however, we are left feeling like a doormat instead of gaining more respect. What happened and where did we go wrong?
It’s an old but wise saying, “You can’t be everybody’s darling.” That includes several attitude changes that you have to slowly learn in order to transform from feeling like the doormat to someone that people respect. First of all, you have to learn to say no: no to many things and no to all things that don’t directly profit your goals. You may now say, “BUT …” – stop yourself right there. Determine if what you are about to say yes to will help you reach your goals or make you happy. If neither of the two aspects apply, simply say no.
Secondly, in order to be respected, you have to be a personality. That means you need to express your thoughts and feelings and stick to them even when the rest think differently. Hermann Hesse, a German author, once said that people with courage and character are somewhat scary to others. And why is that? Because people like to fit in in order to feel comfortable and secure – but take a closer look at people that we admire: They never simply stayed in their comfort zone. It is okay to change from your opinions – as long as you are true to yourself and to what you believe in.
Don’t try to change anyone but yourself.
Often enough I find myself thinking that if a certain person behaved differently, things would be easier for me, the situation would annoy me less, or my work would be finished faster. You might have felt like that before and surprisingly: nothing ever changed into something positive. Instead, we busy our thoughts with that person and how they influence our feeling of happiness or luck. And we feel less and less happy and at peace. In the end we waste our energy on things that are out of our reach. The first step out of this situation is to stop wanting to change other people. You won’t be able to change someone into the way you want them to be. There is good news, however. There is one thing that you can change: You.
Try to change the way you think of others and focus on your core energy. Try to question yourself and ask why you are giving that person so much influence on your happiness and serenity. Usually, if we are able to get our focus back on ourselves, we find that things move back into perspective and loosen their negative impact on us.
That is exactly what happened when I stopped worrying about that one special coworker who deliberately excluded me from lunch breaks at work. It really hurt my feelings and left me wondering for quite some time until I started to shift my perspective. I realized that this coworker was actually really insecure and tried to gather as much attention as possible from people who are easily influenced. For him, I was not a desirable candidate because I am neither easily influenced nor easy to manipulate. So, when I started to distance my emotions and change my perspective on the whole situation, I found more peace and a way to not let his meanness reach me. Gandhi once said that we shouldn’t define ourselves by what others think of us. Remember that when you are stuck in a certain situation.
Now it is up to you to start changing your thinking patterns! Let me know how you feel and try to be good to yourself. Changing habits often takes more time than we think. You will be rewarded, however, with more inner peace and more energy for the things that are really important. Share your experiences with me!