How do you do it? How do you just ‘up’ and on the go again? How do you just transition from it all? I was once asked this question at an event where I met a group of answer seeking ladies on how people just ‘up’ and leave something they used to know. I do not clearly recall what my response was to this question. I think it was something around “You just count your losses, take all you can from it and move on” We had a nice time talking about career-oriented opportunities for women and how to cope with the status quo for those with families. We spoke out the ups and downs of being single with passionate desires to lead teams and companies and the views of the world when they hear it. We relaxed into talking relationships, and of course healthy living. It was a 3 hour long conversation with crisp wine and music to relax too.
I had an experience of what people call “Networking”. An experience that was worth the while. Different perspectives, different shades of everything I have ever known. I’m almost certain that most of us made up our minds to do something about the whole conversation we had.
Fast forward to about 2 years, working at a company that seems really creative and inspiring with lots of future ideas to work on. A place that almost creates magic and creates something that looks like a place to always work at. A place where everyone is treated with respect and your voice heard. All you can think of doing is “how do I make it work and do more with my role for this company?”
Until life happens and your place of magic takes on a different appearance. Your voice begins to fade, your ideas become rusty, you begin to doubt your contributions and worst, you begin to doubt yourself.
How do you deal with this?
It presents a reality before you to get up and start working on yourself, to be true to you. No longer thoughts about how to keep the company going. Learning is indeed a continuous process. We all need some kinda push, some kinda alarm clock 🕒 to wake us up. It doesn’t mean that growing a company you work with should not be a goal to aim for, I think you should grow along with the company. When this moment comes, when you have to move, maybe from something you have always known to something new. How do you take it? How do you transition? Especially when you want to make the first move.
I was asked this question before, now I’m trying to find answers for myself.
Living with people outside of family, gives you a hint into how different and sometimes difficult dealing with people can be. I once heard from a person that “Most people do things because other people do it without ever sitting down to understand why they should do or behave in a certain way” they do these things because it has become a norm and suddenly it makes it right.
We are really great people, and until you look beyond the faults and mistakes of others close to you, you will beg to differ. You see, one thing most people are really good at is “complaining” and hey I’m number one on this table, every other person should please fall in 😂 as much as we have plenty to-do’s with regards to getting better at the things we do, one thing I strive at doing is NOT to complain and when I do, I tell myself to chill and let us just look at it this way, what if how we see this isn’t really what it is? It doesn’t happen all the time yeah, but the few times I manage to do this, I appreciate it and no, I have not said be stupid about certain things. It is like knowing when to strive to keep a relationship and when to let go.
Everything we go through as experiences in the journey of life teaches us something. “we meet people and they either bless us or they become lessons to us” be clear about this too. Situations don’t define us, what defines us is how we chose to respond to these situations and not react to them. Well except if your reaction is “silence, while working to improve the situation” I have gained a lot from living with people and it is an interesting experience for me considering that I have not lived with people till now (Post Graduate level) . And you know this sort of maturity you would expect from people at a certain stage in your life and when you deal with these people and they behave in ways you would refer to as “this was supposed to you 10 years ago” and in my head, I will be like “Wow” we are all different. In living with people I have come to realize to an extent how people relate with situations, interpret them and respond or react with them and also with other people. I have learnt that upbringing informs about 60% of the actions we exhibit in the face of these situations. I have drawn a conclusion that let’s me cope with People.
“People behave in these really interesting ways because they honestly don’t know better and to them, this is the best way to handle or deal with the situation”
“They are just so pissed at you for things they can’t talk about or things they don’t fully understand. Most times, it is about something they have heard of you”
“You don’t behave like them and they feel insecure when you are there or with the things you do”
Imagine people getting offended that you keep friends who care about you 😂, so hilarious, honestly I can only imagine this. So should you tell your friends not to care about you because some people don’t like it or should you stop working hard and giving in your best at something you really care about because it makes others uncomfortable? Hell NO! It is not your problem and it is not your fault either, the best way that has worked for me is thinking about either of the 3 things above and not pay attention to how or what they feel.
One more thing I have had to learn is “putting people in their place”. Not all battles has to be fought with violence. Most battles are better won in silence and in understanding exactly how this person or people should affect your life. This knowledge will create a “boom!” effect, and you win the war too. In your dealings with people, learn to accommodate and learn how much of the things you should accommodate. Know that we all have our own perspective to how we see things and what these things truly are. Stop complaining and appreciate the differences in people, it somehow gives meaning for the things we do and we learn from it.
One last thing, “when people show and tell you who they are, please believe them” (and I mean in actions not words) don’t make excuses and it doesn’t mean you should not talk to them. It should inform how best to live with them and it doesn’t make them bad, it is what makes us different and In these differences we have our strengths.
For almost 3 years and counting (to my knowledge), we have been advised to go back to the drawing board, to find out more facts, truths and deeper meanings to our existence. Some of us go through this process alone while others do so with people to guide them either as mentors or psychologist and therapist. We take to different methods to achieve this goal, while some take time off entirely from work and other social gatherings, others might choose to go to a whole new location to be alone and think while some people might choose to become presently aware of all their activities and and choose to ask the question “why” at all times.
How many of us understand the word ” Self Awareness”? True, it is a self discovery process. The time to begin to realize that you are you because of all the things you can and cannot do. The time to discover what truly matters to you and what does not. The time to understand you as a person. This is what we are told. This is what we should be doing.
However, as to everything else, there are stages In the pursuit of understanding who you are and what you stand for. These stages or levels as you may choose to call it helps us to get the most on this self discovery process.
I like to agree with what the author of “the subtle art of not giving a fuck” pointed out in his book about self help gurus ignoring the important value based question such as ” why do you feel the need to do and be anything in the first place? How are you choosing to measure success or failure for yourself? “
Self Awareness Onion Revealed
The first stage of this self discovery process or Self Awareness process is to understanding your emotions. Things like, the feelings of sadness, happiness, love, realising that you are feeling any of this emotions is the first layer of the onion peeled. Unfortunately for some of us, we do not move from this layer, we tend to just understand these emotions and fight it if it is an emotion we don’t want at the time. I know this feeling very well because I am in it too. The best of us would have a discussion about it with people who matter to us and the rest of us would just not talk about it. Why? Because somehow, it makes us feel vulnerable and we do not want to feel this way.
The second stage of self awareness is the ability to ask WHY we feel certain emotions. What do these emotions mean to us? “Why do you feel angry? Is it because you failed to achieve some goal? Why do you feel lethargic and uninspired? Is it because you don’t think you’re good enough?”
This WHY questions helps us to understand the root cause of the emotions we feel that sometimes overwhelm us. I tell you that achieving this level of self awareness is pretty difficult and needs a lot of practice and patience to answer these why questions consistently and accurately. Hold on, when I say patience, I am not talking about a few weeks, It can take you months and sometimes even years. The most important thing is to be true to yourself no matter what. I remember after graduating from the University, I so badly wanted to further my education, because that is what I should be doing next right? Well for me it wasn’t entirely the reason, I wanted to further so I can read really hard and become the best graduating student because I missed it while in higher education.
Growing up, there were some emotions we felt at the time that felt inappropriate, at least our mothers did great at making us feel this way. You need to free yourself of these emotions and let yourself understand exactly how you feel about them. This is the second layer of the onion peeled..
I like to quote the author for this third stage –
“The third level is our personal values: Why do I consider this to be success/failure? How am I choosing to measure myself? By what standard am I judging myself and everyone around me?”
Our personal values is the sum total of who we are and what we stand for. If we choose these values wrongly then everything we are goes wrong. For everything that we feel about any given situation goes back to how valuable we perceive it to be.
By the time you get to this level, you must have learnt the subtle art of not giving a fuck… 😂 The feeling of all your findings about yourself will make you powerful. Why you may ask, Isn’t it obvious, ” Know and understand yourself well enough and you have control over the other things to life ” at this level you will find out that what you thought mattered to you, did not really matter. It was simple a feeling to compete with another because you felt it will make you more powerful. At this level you will truly understand that life is not a competition but choosing to do/be You and finding out how to relate with you. Making your own difference in the world with the choices you make based on how valuable you perceive it to be and what metric you choose to measure it. In all your findings, you will experience peace within you only when you are true to your emotions.
Now I ask you – why do you want to go on this Self Awareness Journey anyway?