Over the weekend, I was out with my family on a bike ride. My daughter, who is 3, was riding by herself and loving every minute of it---except for the minute when she drove her bike right into a big pothole.
After she got herself situated again, my husband said, “When you are riding your bike, you want to look at where you want to go, rather than on what you want to avoid.” (Okay, he may not have said it exactly like, but similar enough…)
So what does this have to do with you and professional life?
The people in our lives (including ourselves) can be potholes or even rocks in our path. We want to avoid them at all costs because it could bring us pain or discomfort, yet we are often so focused on them that we ended up hitting them anyways.
The options that many of us see are these:
1) We avoid the trail altogether (find a new job, switch to a new team, drop the dreaded client, etc.)
2) We push and pull, and fight against the rock that is in our way (use our anger to try force the other person to leave or change)
3) We hope and pray that we won’t hit the rock, even though we can’t seem to help it (hope and pray that things will change for the better and deal with any uncomfortable moments along the way.)
But, wouldn’t it be great if we could enjoy the amazingness that the trail has to offer without having to worry about the rocks and potholes?
When I used to find myself up against big rocks, I typically oscillated between options 2 and 3, and when it got too painful, I opted for number 1.
Now I see two other ways to handle the big rocks, so that I can still enjoy the wonderful beauty that comes with the trail:
4) We can practice patience, and eventually smooth down the rock, or fill the pothole, so that we can still enjoy the ride, and not feel threatened by the rocks in our way (tap into your patience and compassion, so that we can see the smoothness that lies underneath the hard exterior)
5) Learn how to ride our bike differently and shift our focus to where we want to go, instead of where we don’t (take a look at our behavior and thought patterns, and start focusing on what we want to create at work, rather than what we don’t want to tolerate.)
If you are where I once was--loving your job, but sick of some of the rocks (people) in the way, I urge you to think about how the final two options could work for you.
If you can’t see the possibility, let me know, and I am happy to help you see what you can’t see for yourself.