The last few weeks have been intense. When stress goes up I tend to worry about dropping one of the balls I am juggling. If in the process I make some tiny mistake, I tend to magnify the mistake and this further stimulates my fears of failure. I then make conservative decisions that narrow the kinds of experiences I am likely to have.
I was having a hard time lifting myself out of my stress driven darkness. I went to my first meeting. A friend had asked me to help because a seemingly impossible problem had emerged. As we met the people seemed hopeless. Their problem was in my area of expertise. After a time I surfaced a path they had not considered. Suddenly they went from despair to hope. The shift in them was stark.
Given my expertise, it was a fairly easy thing to do, but what I noticed was a shift in my own emotional state. The feelings of anticipatory shame disappeared. I felt increased meaning in my life. As this happened, something else happened. I felt an increase sense of confidence and my sense of stress decreased. I felt like I could handle things. I was again ready to commit to challenging experiences. This insight was really striking. It led me to ponder the connections between commitment, experience and learning. Further insights came and I was ready to try new things.
I find myself continually teaching people to ponder their own experiences. Doing so often leads to learning and the expansion of personal capacity. It is a crucial skill.
- What does it mean to reflect upon our own experiences?
- What skills come from the process?
- If you had to teach a lesson on this topic what personal experiences would you draw upon?
- How could we use this passage to create a more positive organization?