The motivation to write this entire series came when last month I witnessed a conflict arise between two professionals which quickly turned into bullying and labelling. A typical patriarchal reaction when faced with a challenge. (He later even claimed to be a “feminist.”)
It was a moment of déjà vu from my own experience earlier this year on a flight where out of four captains, I, the junior most, only woman, under check was bullied and labelled by the senior most patriarch after I called out a breakdown in communication. I am certain many of you, like me, have been in similar situations, perhaps, even more than once.
The idea was to take you through the different stages through my lived experiences. Starting with the difficulties we face in Childhood. How we cope in Adulthood. How we may learn to overcome our handicaps in Coming of age. Finally, the goal, to raise our awareness and prepare for future events in Fearless Foresight.
Most of us learn from previous experiences and expect that we will be unfazed the when it happens next. Or simply, never expect that it will happen again. We tend to criticize ourselves for not having learnt the lesson well enough the first time. I believe that we do learn from every incident. Just that the challenges keep changing.
Perhaps, we can look at life like a video game. It gets harder with every level you cross. It never really finishes. Each level prepares you for the next.
The truth is, we may have come of age but the whole world has not!
You may find yourself asking-
- how to deal with this better?
- How to get over the shock or surprise?
- How to prepare for what’s coming next?
As per my experience and learning, I have tried to put down a simple exercise of 4 A’s. Just like every exercise, you might find it hard in the beginning. Imagine it in your mind and put it to practice.
- Awareness. Recognize an unhealthy environment, situation, interaction. (This is not cool!)
- Accept the unbelievable reality. (Here we go again!) (This shit never stops!)
- Acknowledge your feelings about it. (It feels like crap!) (I am pissed off!)
- Assertive communication. After you gather your thoughts and take a few deep breaths, share your concern, request a clarification and express your feelings calmly. “I don’t think what you said was very nice. I feel offended. Would you like to try one more time?”
A reasonable person might recover from here. We are not responsible for the unreasonable ones.
The bolder and the more courageous you are, the more you will learn about yourself.Dr. Harriet Lerner, PHD from ‘Why won’t you apologize?’
I have come to realize that we all have various aspects of our persona we want to work on. I wanted to build some Gumption (I love that word.) After years of self-work and introspection, I can safely say that I have.
I leave you with An autobiography in 5 short chapters by Portia Nelson.
Which chapter are you on? Think about it! https://palousemindfulness.com/docs/autobio_5chapters.pdf
Until next time..Over and out! @thethinkingcaptain