Eleanor Roosevelt once said: no one can make you feel inferior without your consent. He was very right. Suppose you have some intention to do something, of which you yourself are convinced it’s the right thing to do. You have prepared yourself a lot, investigated a lot, done your alignment and so on. And then you find out that one of the people you try to align with, interpretes your intention totally out of bounds. Your intention was oke but it gets not accepted. There is even a formula for the outcome of your intention: Effect = Quality x Acceptance.
So what should you do? Feel guilty? Feel ashamed? Feel frustrated? Feel sorry? Feel … ? etc. Well, an approach might be the following: the more you love your intentions (or the work that lead to them), the less you need others to love them. You should accept the world around you as it is. You are not perfect and so is the world around you and that’s ok. So you should accept more, and judge ledge. Go into flow. Never forget how a beautiful person you are. Never let another judge you for being something they think you should be. If people around you are not accepting you, let them and ignore the fact they don’t accept you. These people in fact spend a lot of energy in thinking about how things should be according to their own opinion, and thereby don’t accept the way things are. But the way things are is in fact already good enough. So by accepting that people who don’t accept you are not relevant, you build on your own self esteem. You might also take a look at as good as it gets: ‘This is it. This is as good as it gets.’ Happy accepting reality!
I used to be a control-freak. Seeing things that others did “wrong” in my judgment. Seeing opportunities for preventing others make mistakes. Adding structure where I thought others created chaos. Adding principles where I thought others must be missing them. Adding policies where I thought others needed them for damage control. Promoting standards to limit innovation where others in fact needed room for innovation. Adding governance where I thought others must be governed. Ignoring the idea that others must have a chance for the necessary learning experiences. Until I read the statement “Relax. Nothing is under Control” from Adi Da Samray. Since then I am more and more convinced that too much control isn’t desired. And if any, control should not be aimed at controlling others but rather on helping others. So I am learning now how to let go of things I used to want to have “under control”. Learning to transform my controller “role” into a helper role. And I discovered some useful instruments that support me with this transformation. They’re very easy to use and they’re free. They are virtues. The most important virtue that can help letting “control” go is trust. If you trust another person, you’re allready halfway there. Think of it this way: the cost of structural lack of trust will probably be many times higher than the benefits of structural trust. Another virtue is forgiveness. If another person makes a learning mistake and you forgive them, you’re at 75%. People make mistakes, you too! Accept it as a fact! Allow ample room to learn. If you practice patience when things aren’t quite going the way you would like (for example not fast enough) you’re at 85%. I like to compare this to the “angels” patience I must practice when training my dog for agility: it works!. And then there is respect. If you respect that not everyone has the same learning skills as you would maybe like, you’re at 90%. Not everyone is equally talented so the real “talent management” is to accept talent diversity and integrate the available talents. Acceptance brings you to 95%. And finally, add a little love on top to help take away (suppressed) fears. Now you’re at 100%. To wrap things up: 50% trust, 25% forgiveness, 10% patience, 5% respect, 5% acceptance and 5% love are useful ingredients that help me transform my role from controller to helper. The percentages are just an example, they can be adapted to any situation. Good luck with practicing these virtues and please let me know if they also worked for you. Picture source here.