Could You Be So Right It’s Hurting You?
I woke up this morning to little snowflakes on my windshield. SNOW! Apparently New York didn’t get the ‘it’s Spring” memo. When I saw the snow I immediately felt grumpy and, after 2 or 3 minutes of pouting, I realized I have a choice. I can choose to stay grumpy and let it ruin my mood and my productivity and the way I show up with everyone I see today (and then feel like a bad dog for being grumpy and moody and pouty in the world) – or I can choose not to. As I sit and observe myself in this, I find it fascinating how reluctant I am to make the better choice.
It’s like I’m looking at a menu and I can choose between the healthy option or the fried heart-clogging option and as much as I know healthy is good, there’s a very real part of me that’s thinking….”oooooh fried…”. Whether we like to admit it or not, we get something back for staying stuck in our negativity. So we wallow and splash about in it and, like a child whose parent is trying to pry them out of a kiddie pool on a hot summer’s day, refuse to get out. Maybe it’s because we get to be “right” about it.
“It should be Spring today!” (“Yes! You’re right!”)
“It’s unfair!” (“Yes! You’re right!”)
“We deserve better!” (“Yes! You’re right!”)
No one will dispute the rightness of it all and that feels weirdly pleasurable.
I’m aware that this sort of thing, for most of us in most situations, plays out subconsciously. While many of us perceive ourselves as being pretty positive people (we do, after all, read, “Like” and share uplifting and positive quotes on Facebook), we have very little awareness of the negativity that might be lurking. Because, of course, we’re right to feel as we do.
It lives in our snarkiness, our reactions, and in our fatigue. It feasts on our self-righteous quippy tweets and posts and comments. “I’m riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight!” Ha! Take that! Like the creepy zombies that take over the world, our negative-rightness replicating itself through social media.
And while we may be right (ooooh, doesn’t that feel good?!), our rightness is costing us (you knew it was coming… right?).
One of the things that actors do, that I encourage my participants to do (and I’m continually working on myself), is to be a detective with yourself. To stay curious about how you think and feel and how it effects the way you show up in the world. If we want to be and bring our best, we have to be present enough with ourselves to determine what’s getting in our way (some folks might call this mindfulness). What are your triggers? How do they impact you emotionally, mentally and physically? How is that effecting the way you see, experience, and show up in the world?
Especially when it comes to leadership or influence, how we show up in the world determines our results.
And today, while I might be right about the snow (SNOW!), I’m noticing that my “rightness” is likely costing me in ways that I’ve never thought of before. It is a negativity-gateway of sorts.
Boo. That’s not what I’m after! I find it interesting that it’s not always the big things that derail our best, most of the time it’s the little things.
How might you be suffering from”rightness”? Where in your life are you feeling grumpy about something or someone and holding on to it because you’re “right”?
“He’s a jerk!” (You’re right!)
“It’s not fair!” (You’re right!)
“I shouldn’t have to….!” (You’re right!)
How is that having an impact on how you’re thinking, feeling, and showing up in your world? What’s the price you might be paying?
What’s the price you might be paying for being “right”? It could be your performance.
Because, while it may feel oh-so-good in the moment, and we may feel oh-so-justified, sometimes we can be oh-so-right it hurts.
©OnStage Leadership, 2016
If you are interested in attending OnStage Leadership in NYC on May 16, 2016 (half-full), in Dallas (Fall – date tbd – session is already half-full), or NYC (Fall – date tbd) please notify us of your interest. Sessions are filled on a first-come basis and limited to 12 participants.
Kimberly Davis is the Founder/Director of OnStage Leadership, a full-day experiential leadership workshop. Click here to read what people are saying! If you’re interested in more information, or in having Kimberly come speak to your group on topics around Authentic Leadership, Influence, Presence, Engagement, Purpose in the workplace, Presentation Skills, or being BRAVE at work, we’d love to hear from you!
If you haven’t had a chance, check out my recent Tedx talk or my interview with Alise Cortez on Voice of America’s Working on Purpose Channel: Bringing Our True and Best Selves to Work: Cultivating Authentic Leadership with Kimberly Davis.