Addressing Yourself

by on October 8, 2014

Addressing Yourself

The question Why? on a cork notice boardI was riding in my car a few weeks back on a late summer day.  My mind got to wandering about the upcoming few weeks.  I knew I was going to need to take a couple of days away from my regular activities for a medical procedure.  A couple of weeks beyond that I knew I had planned a long weekend getaway with my wife.  Both instances would lead me to me modifying my schedule, particularly as it related to servicing my clients and facilitating the job support groups that I lead.

As I was riding along a question popped into my head that I sometimes hear uttered at a business networking group that I regularly attend.  The question is “Why do you do what you do?”  It is meant to prompt those who are part of the group be able to explain to the other members what it is they actually do in their business and what value they provide.  I wrote a piece a while back on how questions beginning with the word “why” will make your listener uncomfortable.  That is no different when the listener is you, as opposed to another person.

Continuing along, and realizing my discomfort with the question, I changed it around a bit.  I asked myself, “What was I going to miss most about my daily activities when I was away from them in the upcoming days?”   I also asked myself “What gives me the most joy in working with my clients and support group members?”

The answers flowed far more easily.  I realized how much I enjoyed the joy on a job searchers face when they saw how a networking connection led them to an interview and a possible job opportunity.  Seeing someone going from no idea of how to proceed forward with their search and beginning to take charge by developing a pitch that introduces them, a marketing plan that displays what it is they want to do next, and a resume’ that accentuates the value they bring to a possible employer, is another high point.  When the focus changed from “defending” what I did via the “why” question, as opposed to experiencing the feelings that I experienced from the “what” questions, it made all the difference in the world.  It brought out my emotions at an entirely different level.

It is not uncommon for individuals to fall into negative thought patterns and to “beat themselves up” when things are not going well.  And yet, that is just the time when they need to recognize the positive steps they have taken and the progress they have made in moving forward in their life.  We’re all so surrounded by a “result oriented society”.  While results and measurement have their place, to base everything only on the result and final outcome and not recognize the positive steps in the process along the way, is just defeating oneself.

When you find yourself in a period of negative thought, take a step back and look at the questions and judgment you are directing toward yourself.  Are you asking yourself “Why” questions?  Are you only looking at what you targeting as the “final result” and not recognizing the steps that have gotten you to where you are now from where you started out?   Don’t let others standards dictate your measurement of what brings pleasure to you in your life.  You have only one life.  Enjoy living it at the level and standards you choose it to be.

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