#296- How We Keep Life Predictable
How neat and tidy do you like to keep your life? Do job and relationship issues have to be a certain way, and do people need to fit into a particular category so you know what to expect? Black and white is predictable. Grey is messy and unknown so it’s hard to know how to act. The problem with this neat-and-tidy mentality is that it’s incredibly limiting in how you see the world and the your place in it. It’s really hard to move out of a comfortable existence if you don’t challenge your perception and your need to keep things predictable.
Here is a common scenario: you’re frustrated with someone at work because you believe they’re checked out. You label them as a flake because it’s easier to know how to act around them when that is the expectation. You don’t rely on them for anything, you complain about them to others, etc. Allowing for a grey area where they may have other redeeming qualities is too messy and complicated so you throw the baby out with the bath water. Who cares if they are also great at quickly securing executive approval or clients respond positively to them. In your mind this person is a flake, end of story.
When you find yourself labeling someone, stop and ask yourself why you are limiting the possibilities. What if you were to look at this person with empathy and consider what may be causing their behavior? Maybe they are afraid or in pain. When you approach a situation openly instead of through the lens of: they are a flake, you bring a different energy and allow for things to be different. Categorizing people and trying to keep things predictable doesn’t serve them… and most importantly, it doesn’t serve you.
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