Power of Thought – Which Voice Speaks? (Part 2)

The following has an original publish date of April 2011.
Changes: The series is redacted.

Take a look at this example: We wake up late today and have an early meeting at work. It’s actually a stressful occasion because we are responsible for the power-point presentation set-up. We don’t particularly care for the meeting but we have to set up, and we barely know what to do. We get to work and realize that the meeting and storage rooms are locked. We go to our desk to a bunch of voice-mail messages from different people including the said co-worker explaining that s/he meant to come in early, was unable to due to an emergency, however will be in just before the meeting starts and will assist in setting up. We are now in a bad mood. The co-worker has ruined our morning, and it’s bad enough that we weren’t looking forward to this meeting to begin with.

Thought checks occur effortlessly once we are honest enough with ourselves to utilize the tools. This probably already started from the previous night, when we looked at the time and mentally suggested that we should get ready to go to bed, because we have a meeting we need to set-up. We are not looking forward to this, because we can think of a million other things we would rather be doing. We are not looking forward to setting up a projector and twiddling with someone’s laptop to get it up and running. We have tapped into our perception of our job description, our opinion of the meeting facilitator and the attendees. This feeds on our perception of self-importance.

A further examination of our thoughts would lead to questions such as:Has this happened before that we have felt left-out or over-looked? Does our employer seem to do this to us every time? Why this strategy which is ultimately self-defeating – to sabotage our success from the previous night, did it work in the past to convey dissatisfaction? Angry retreats, stomping off, sulking, lagging behind, silent treatments, curt responses all describe behaviours exhibited by children as a last response to an authority dictating an action. We are not children, so whereas they can proceed to a corner and cry thereafter, we cannot do this. What coping strategy did we foster as we grew older? Do we over-inflate our ego to replace the sense of hurt?

One need not be physically aggressive in mouth and manner to put forth a point. We know this because we pick up body language and other nuances throughout the day to inform us of the others’ thoughts/feelings. What’s curious are our various coping strategies employed to deal with difficult situations. In this example we have made the decision not to be a team player and arrive early and prepared at work. We haven’t informed the co-worker that we appreciate the help setting up, noting we don’t know how the colleague’s previous night or morning was. We simply rode on our feeling of self-importance. In other cases, we may very well arrive early and refrain from comment, however, our disdain and thoughts on the situation will be evident.

Why don’t we pick up on our own body language? We’re riding on the self-importance wave where everything about this moment is about us. We don’t care about other people’s feelings on the meeting, the facilitator, the colleague rushing to hand over the key and help set-up. We don’t know why this meeting was set up by management, and what they feel about it – we only provide ourselves with answers we are interested in hearing. This coping strategy worked as a child to refute negative feelings attached to what an individual in power said or did to undermine something that was important to us.

An aggressive thought checking process will identify this and immediately seek to reprogram our reaction for a favourable outcome. Beating ourselves up for past foolishness feeds self-importance. Giving in leads to feelings of hopelessness and despair. We explored in part one how we have a neatly labeled memory bank waiting to assist in this self-defeating purpose. Remember that reflecting on the origin of our existing notions allows us to identify what worked in the past and now needs to be let go. It doesn’t mean that we are shedding our identities; rather, we are growing into them. What are your thoughts?
Power of Thought – Which Voice Speaks? (Part 2)

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