Chapter 9 is about Cathy who identifies her very emotional, wears-her-heart-on-her-sleeve characteristic as an area for development. She feels it gets in the way of her being effective in her team environment because her emotional reactions, to things that go wrong or unexpected, spills over into her interactions with others.
Sound familiar? Sounds very like me. Can’t remember how many ex-bosses have told me that I need to be less emotional.
Going back to Cathy. Her exploration and journey into this change, following a framework that Kegan and Lahey features in the book, makes her realize that it isn’t her emotions that is an issue, but instead the high expectations that she holds for herself, especially. For example, a good Cathy in her book gives 150% percent of herself (she only expects 115% from other team members).
“It doesn’t take much to imagine how a belief in this level of personal effort leads to extremely high stress (self-imposed though it may be), which increase the likelihood of becoming emotionally over-whelmed. Everything is high stakes when your performance expectations are so high”.
Digging deeper, it’s this fear that she’s not good enough. A lack of confidence and self-belief in her that drives this high performance expectations. A fear of disappointing herself, a fear of failing others.
I received a text this morning from an angel from across the pond. She read my recent blogposts and said “You are an amazing woman, mother and wife and are not defined by the jobs/education we have or participate in. Own YOUR journey and be happy in each moment as this is your life.”
Delighted to hear from her, I replied to say thank you for her encouragement, and didn’t think about that message until I came across Cathy’s story in the book.
Her boss’s feedback to Cathy- “Your value isn’t tied to what you do. It’s your special insights. You value is you. It’s the way you are present in what you do.”
I couldn’t get past that line. It was almost exactly the message my friend had texted me not 12 hours ago.
It’s what I’m doing right? Have you noticed? I haven’t. Part of this habit of blogging, is not just about sharing my experiences, it may as well be, a channel by which I have been communicating my insecurities. It’s really my way of trying to assure myself that I am a good mother, a good wife, a good responsible student, but at the same time beating myself about it and tearing myself down, because I don’t want to end up disappointing myself, disappointing you. So everything is laced with this negativity, masked as humility?
My friends, the ones who know me well, I think they can see it, spot the patterns. See the insecurities. even where I am not able to.
It must be why I’ve been cooking like crazy right? To prove something to myself? To try and make myself believe that I’m as good as I want and hope to be, in all aspects of life.
But what do i lose? I lose being in the moment, being present fully in what I do.
This doesn’t mean I’m going to stop blogging…. should i? …no i love it too much… or i won’t until it gets clearer to me that i should? …It just means I have a better, renewed, transformed perspective of what I’m doing and how i’m doing it…
( u know it…if this was written parchment paper, you’d see tear marks everywhere…)