My friend, Shan wrote me yesterday: ‘But Enrico…You must have been smoking cigars to celebrate completing 11 Triathlons. Read about you in the papers today. I will follow your advice and I will take up yoga again.’ This was in reference to three-time, national marathon champion Mok Ying Ren (soon-to-be medical doctor) who mentioned me in his weekly column on running in The Straits Times.
I would be happy to assist you, Shan in ways that are useful and thinking about resuming an activity is a splendid start. Next, give yourself the permission, then the motivation.
Why permission? Too often, we hear family and friends comment: ‘You make me angry?’ or ‘You are making me feel bad!’ Technically and physiologically, nobody can ‘make’ you feel bad or do anything unless you commit to it. Emotions are a personal thing, and your body determines your emotional state. With about 2,000 words describing our emotions how often do we activate other less commonly experienced emotions?
Human interactions include eliciting in others (through our behaviors, consciously or unconsciously) emotional states. Only we can give permission to ourselves for feeling happy, angry or sad. Nobody else can incite these feelings you feel, until you allow them to do so. Stop allowing others to do that. It is not nice of them, and not useful of you!
You want to avoid being a pushover; you may not like people taking advantage of you when it comes to work. Some colleagues may take full advantage of their observation about you being easy to ‘unload’ on. Some people like to seek assistance form those who are not assertive, and have not learnt to say ‘no’. You are empowered to give permission to yourself and others through your thoughts, words and deeds (as observed by philosopher, Renes Descartes). ‘I think, therefore I am.’ These phrase and mindset applies to many things in our lives – both personal, and professional.
Furthermore, many of us are not used to compliments. If you do not know how to respond to ‘How are you today?’ with ‘I’m fine. Thank you. And you…?’ then you are, probably, uncomfortable and unskilled in giving and accepting compliments. The late-co-founder of Solutions Focused Brief Therapy, Insoo Kim Berg used to teach us to deliver three kinds of compliments: Direct Compliment, Indirect Compliment, and Self-Compliment. Give and receive words of kindness and gratefulness. Practise and learn on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and electronic mails.
Leadership Lessons: Stop bullying others to do your work. There is a difference between designate and delegate. Give permission to yourself to say ‘no’. You can only give permission to somebody to blame you. You do not have to take things sitting down. Stand up, and stand up for your rights and beliefs. Be sincere. And, while you are it dish out some genuine compliments. Enjoy the responses.