“Who made this presentation? It’s kind of ugly. You, aren’t you? I was convinced. You’re not really good at making visual presentations, your luck is that you deliver them a little better. “
I had heard variations on this topic many times. And the sequel was very simple: I was back in the office and told myself that I was not good enough, that I was not able to do the right thing, that I was disappointed. Perhaps I would still be there today if on one day, during such an exchange, I had not realized that I was nothing more than a receiver of words and that I had no control over my emotions. I was just actor in a scene that needed me as a director. I was just reacting to each other’s replies without understanding my own tricks. Moreover, because of this lack of understanding, I felt captive to a vicious circle: I was not able to formulate an intent to get me out of the whirlpool and even less to make a change. I have come to wonder what other situations in my life we repeat the same pattern …
I realized I could not go forward alone, so I asked for help. I received it as a personal development process whose purpose was to gain clarity, to know and to understand my feelings. The result was that I began to teach myself. As you outline paths on the map when you try to map new territories, so I made the first step in self-discovery and I was able to map my emotions. I realized that the reactions I had, the negative thoughts about not being good enough reduced to a simple but powerful emotion: fear … of failure, not to disappoint the person I saw as having authority. Through this process I turned to genuine childhood emotions, I learned to recognize them again, to name them. Although often disguised as complex adult problems, they are the same emotions and the same mechanisms that formed in childhood and which were buried under filters, social rules and projections. And this self-awareness led to a “cleanliness” of the environment, a clarity in relationships, because I began to see the emotions, the motivations behind the words and the frustrations expressed by those around me.
Everything sounds so good on paper … The real challenge from now on is not only to be aware of my and others’ emotions but to have the power to turn them into useful tools to me and not to let them dominate, so far. But that’s already a story for another time.
Cătălina Marin, Alumni and Certified Coach One2Coach