I ‘m not that good at it. Worse in my personal life than my work life. It’s a mystery to me why this is, because I know I am a very enrolling person, in general, but for some reason I feel awkward, like I am using my powers manipulatively when I drive one of my own agendas forward.
I think I am imposing my will, convincing someone to do something they don’t want to do, and it stops me in my tracks. And while it is a good thing to not force people in one direction or another – what I am talking about here is far from forcing. I won’t even ask for what I want, won’t express an emotion if it possibly it sways someone’s decision making. I stay neutral, and not only do I not “get my way”, I don’t even let myself want it. And to make matters worse, I lock down my sassy, fun, joyful, authentic self, in my overzealous effort to control my excitement, passion and desire.
As Brene Brown says “You can’t numb selectively.”
And what is wrong with having my own agenda anyway? I mean we all do, whether we are explicit about it or not, we have what we want in life, in the day and in a meeting. But in intentionally overriding mine, bring it to a heel or minimize it, I think I might make matters worse. For instance one of the results of that behaviour becoming such a habit that I am not even aware of it happening is that often I will not even know what I want anymore. Just the other day – I was asked… “let’s do this, unless there is something that you want to do”. I couldn’t think of a thing – blank, blank, blank. Which is weird because I can often be a wealth of exciting ideas (just not necessarily on the spot), but I think the thing is that I have turned off the wanting switch.
You see, the little things that I might want, I really don’t care that much, so if I get them – great, if I don’t – also great. And then on the other end of the spectrum, the things I really want, that I am invested in, that mean a lot to me – I am not sure I can live with not getting them (ok, maybe that was a bit dramatic, but what is an exchange with me if there is no dramatic expression in it?). More to the point, I am not sure I can contain my emotions, like disappointment, frustration or fear, if I don’t get them. And so I don’t ask, in either case, and not only do I not get what I want, I also lose the skill set of asking, and the drive to do so.
But more importantly, why do I think I need to control my feelings? I guess mostly because I am afraid of being that vulnerable, the vulnerable that comes from being that authentic. It is exposing and not necessarily something that I need to be doing with everyone all the time. Or is it? Perhaps it is being that unreasonable, in all areas of my life, that will change it all. Being a daily radical in the pursuit of my own truth, my joy and my authentic self.
So when did I lose this? Clearly it was little places along the road, over and over again, because I do remember times when I was fully self-expressed in many ways. The clearest example is how much I flirted in university. I was in no way afraid, ashamed or awkward about letting someone know I was attracted to them, or letting other people see me doing so. Now the exact opposite is true, the more interested I am the more I ignore them. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT?!?!?
And so I wonder, where did I get the message to:
- control my feelings
- control my desires
- try not to convince.
Well obviously none of those things are very professional, and there is always the sentiment of attraction rather than promotion, and I rather HATE being convinced myself – I fight it harder than most things. But how did it become my always attitude? The norm? The default? It baffles me and frustrates me, because it is not how I want to live, is not in line with how I see myself and, most importantly, this not being invested – this is not the Signy way.
So how do I let myself get invested in my life and my desires again?
How do I make room for the feelings that come if I don’t get the things I long for?
How do I get more explicit about what is important to me?
Any insights? Suggestions? Pointers?