~ Chris Matakas, #Human: Learning To Live In Modern Times
Call it the duality of existence, or universal yin and yang, but there is a natural balance in life, both around and within us. When I consider this applied personally, I’m reminded of my long-held belief that whatever we naturally excel at both serves and harms us at the same time. For example, I’m a proactive, high-energy person, which is great for moving projects forward and getting things done; however, I can become a bit judgmental of others who would rather remain on the sidelines and wait for explicit direction. Also, I have an extroverted, social personality – excellent for networking, but not so terrific when I get caught up chatting and run out of time to finish my work!
Can anyone relate? Are some of the things you consider your particular strengths actually getting in your way? This can be easy to ignore, especially if you’ve been programmed to believe that certain characteristics are “good” and others “bad.”
Leadership Qualities – Pros and Cons
Maybe you’re in a leadership role, and whether that’s team leader of your office sales-force or Cookie Parent for your daughter’s Girl Scout troop, knowing when your perceived success strategies hinder progress is vital information. For instance, perhaps you think it will boost morale if you build close relationships with those under you. But then what happens if you have to give someone a poor performance review? Their routine evaluation becomes a poignant personal confrontation. Or how about the manager who maintains such rigid control over every venture, that no one else is given the opportunity to lead?
The Zen of Self-Evaluation
Being able to honestly look at ourselves, including the specific behaviors we practice regularly with others, is absolutely necessary if we are ever to grow professionally or personally. After all, a quest for excellence can turn into perfectionism, and confidence on steroids can be arrogance. It may be time to evaluate how some things we think of as our assets might be holding us back, internally and/or in our relationships. It can be productive to confide in someone we trust, to get perspective on ourselves and perhaps feedback on how we might redirect or temper certain of those traits that give us trouble. Be aware, however, this requires a measure of humility, because it’s usually far easier to blame difficulties on others or circumstances (i.e., stay stuck) than look at our part (develop character).
Balance = Flexibility = Strength
In the end, what we’re striving for is balance, both within ourselves and with others. Balance gives us the ability to see ourselves for who we really are – both the positive and negative – and the flexibility to adjust our behavior and attitudes if and when they are problematic. We don’t need to be gurus to know that balance leads to harmony. Ah…Universal Harmony! Okay, how about just a calm mind, happier relationships, and greater achievements at work? Om.