Do you feel like the days blow by in a flash? Is it often task after task, minute after minute, meeting after meeting? I know that even as I read this I feel frustrated, anxious and YES STRESSED. The good news is it does not have to be that way. Each of us; you and me, we OWN IT. Don't believe me? Let's dig in.
I know from my own experiences, it's easier to blame others, when we feel out of control in our lives and our work. This is what I call the blame crutch. We turn outwards instead of inwards. We do this to reduce the build up of negative feelings such as guilt, frustration, anger, fear, resentment etc. We turn these feelings onto our work, spouses, colleagues, clients and vendors. Let's face it, we put it on everyone else but ourselves. Perhaps one of these sounds familiar:
"I can't get out of that meeting because my boss asked me to "X" OR "I have to do it this way because (INSERT SENIOR LEADER NAME) told me to "X" OR "I don't have time because Y just called and..." OR " He said X so I did Y" OR "The client called and now I have to X - followed by, it's URGENT".
I know that for many of my teammates and my clients I hear the same story; "I don't have enough time to go to the bathroom, do my work, respond to emails. How can I even entertain the idea of doing more during the day?" Often times followed by a big sigh.
Let's stop for a moment. Take a pause. I want to challenge each of you who are willing to lean in, listen, and learn. This will create an opportunity to take back more control so you can breath each day and feel your stress fall away. It should feel like a weight is lifting off your shoulders. Now how does that feel? I'm not going to over complicate things. I want to share 3 tips with you so you can reconnect and throw away your blame crutches.
#1 PAUSE and take a breath (I'm only asking for one today). Before each meeting, before each new conversation, or before each new activity in your day - PAUSE. By pausing and taking a breath you are consciously creating a moment for you and your brain to reset and reconnect.
#2 REFLECT on your day. Take a moment, perhaps make it a team or family sharing activity. Start by sitting for five minutes and writing your thoughts down. Ask yourself an honest question: Was I caught in the blaming crutch today? Explore, be honest with yourself and others. Try to remain non-judgmental, allow the day to open and unfold in front you. Notice what arises. Important tip: write down how you feel, the emotions that come up and even the sensations you notice in your body for example, tension in your shoulders or jaw clenching.
#3 SELF-COMPASSION. Be kind to yourself in the process. You are learning more about yourself and those around you. Treat yourself with a tablespoon of kindness. We are all perfectly imperfect, that's what makes us beautifully human. Take a moment when you reflect and remind yourself that your awareness is growing, you are growing and that is a powerful step forward.
There is no reason we can't all break the blame crutch cycle, the reality is it takes mindfully conscious work. Until next time, live the change.
For more information on how to reduce stress, anxiety, break habits, improve decision making, build confidence & resiliency, or manage overwhelm, with the power of mindfulness, self-compassion and storytelling. Please reach out to email@example.com or visit my website https://admitone.ca/doublejstrategic/