July 31, 2009

Are You Hiding From Your Accomplishments?

Every mind must make its choice between truth and repose. It cannot have both. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ever have one of those weeks in which you work hard yet seem to get nothing done?

I found myself frustrated and worn out at the end of one such week not too long ago. So I called a good friend and colleague to get a little support.

She let me go on for a few minutes about how aggravated I was that nothing seemed to be moving forward. It seemed to me that I hadn’t accomplished very much.

“Well,” she said, “sounds as though you’ve nailed yourself up again.” Ah, the brutal honesty of a trusted friend is a gift beyond measure!

I shook my head and laughed. Not only was she right, but she went on to suggest that I do something I always tell my clients to do:

Step back. Survey the territory. Get out of my head.

I’ll say that once more: Step back. Survey the territory. Get out of my head.

So I sat down with a sheet of paper and listed all the things I’d gotten done during the week. Lots of phone calls, meetings, email, and conversations. A good bit of driving. I’d lined up panelists for a collaborative working session coming up in a few weeks. I’d helped a client solve a particularly difficult problem. I’d developed new relationships with good people, and strengthened existing ones.

The list ran on. I stopped, looked at what I’d accomplished that week, and smiled. I’d been so caught up in my own head that I had neglected to take my bearings.

There are a couple of learnings I’d like to share from this episode. One is how important relationships are to our well-being and perspective. The other is we all have our moments of doubt and frustration. But we do not have to crucify ourselves when they happen!

Stop. Survey the territory. Get out of your head. See where you’ve been.

And be amazed at the Light that is you.

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