Think of a time where you acted in haste or felt you “had to” do something from the sense of someone or something stronger than you, what was the outcome? Often when we’re in these situations we perceive there isn’t time to pause. Yet taking a breath and pausing is very powerful.
In order to listen to our inner authentic truth we must first quiet ourselves enough to hear that still small voice from within. My experience is this voice comes from our core, a visceral message that moves up in our body. Messages on the other hand that come from the “gremlins” in the mind berate us or move down.
Listening to our authentic voice can be scary – especially when the other party seems “bigger”, appears to “control” our fate in some way, or we believe our view is in the minority. Recently I had a series of interactions with another business that appeared this way to me. A vendor that I invested a significant amount of money with kept deviating from our scheduled appointment time.
I had to examine my motive and let go of the temptation to act out of spite. Remembering a compelling quote from Eleanor Roosevelt, “we teach people how to treat us” I reflected on the situation and my options. To continually drop everything and juggle my schedule felt negating to my true self and disrespected other business commitments. This clearly is my feeling to deal with no matter their intent. Seems we sometimes lose sight and make another’s intent the issue. How many times have you made the focus someone or something else to avoid taking responsibility for your response? Other people are simply being who they are and we always have a choice how to respond.
The next time the vendor called outside of our agreed time I paused and chose to let the call go to voice mail. Completing the responsibilities at hand, the call then was returned when originally scheduled. Both parties were professional and business was conducted appropriately.
Imagine if instead of honoring my truth I answered when the call came in and then snapped at the person on the other end. This would affect my serenity and ability to perform effectively.
Some may see the vendor’s behavior as wrong. Let’s say that’s an accurate assessment. How does that serve anyone or help the situation?
Maybe you’d want to inform the person of their inappropriate behavior. Have you ever done this only to be annoyed by their inability or unwillingness to acknowledge their actions? Then what?
Isn’t it amazing that we’ll agree we cannot change another’s behavior yet act as if we can? Empowerment comes from consciously choosing our response. I pose when we think we get annoyed at someone or something else, more times than not we’re irritated with ourselves.
Listening and acting according to your inner truth on a daily basis is a muscle that requires practice to be honed. As a result sometimes we’ll succeed and sometimes we’ll fall – that’s the very process of growth. Imagine your life when you replace waiting, wishing or hoping someone or something to change with choosing your response to create the outcome you prefer. How much happier would you be? How much more effective would you be?