Break or Build?

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A while ago I made a decision. Unfortunately it backfired in a very time-consuming and all round not very good way!

As always… I had a choice. I could let it break me or I could use it to build me.

I chose build… eventually!

Initially as it happened, fear ran through me as I considered the situation that had presented itself. The implications that surrounded it were not pretty.

I don’t usually get rattled, but I was really rattled by this. I wanted to hide, to pretend it wasn’t an immediate problem and bury my head in the sand, but I knew if I didn’t deal with it, I’d be letting it break me.

You may be wondering what happened to cause my rattling? It doesn’t really matter what happened, as I react and respond pretty much the same whenever I am challenged in certain ways. A well-worn neurological pathway is triggered, my habitual default position kicks in, and if I’m not onto it I get sucked down the plughole.

What does matter are the choices I make, the directional shifts I take and the way I feel as a result of my actions (or inactions!).

Knowing who I am allows me to consider, reflect and recalibrate accordingly, so I can build and not break - and be more onto it when they happen. I don’t want to break. I’m a survivor! So, in this instance I gathered my internal resources together and started to build. But not before some serious self-talking had taken place.

Looking back in retrospect, I understand why I was challenged and what this meant and can see that the timing was actually a universal blessing. Hello!!! When isn’t it?

Here’s the scoop… Unpacking looked like this… I like to analyse, make decisions, deduct, conclude and then reflect - I was an academic after all ;) Whilst I know these are fantastic qualities and skills to have, they keep me in my head - which I acknowledge absolutely has its purpose - and they don’t take me to my heart as often as I want to be there.

To fuse my head and my heart requires a different connection. A universal connection. It requires me to listen to my intuition. In order to do this I need to be aware. Intuition is something that I have to remind myself to follow. I can feel vulnerable when I do this. 

The feeling I get after I face my vulnerability and listen to my intuition, is empowering in a very different kind of way to the qualities I listed above - not better, just different - it’s softer somehow, and sits well within - especially when the outcome works out well ;) Think Goldilocks and the porridge here.

Learning to let go of the self-imposed standards reached primarily through my head (thinking), reminds me I have a choice to recalibrate and rebalance and reconnect more with my heart (feelings).

Making decisions from a connected space enables me to draw on all my strengths. I like to work from a strengths’ base. Perspective is my top strength. Remembering to combine these two aspects of my self, enables the head/heart fusion I desire and makes sense to me. On their own, head or heart are not my best modus operandi - I know I am nothing without either - they are both important aspects of who I am and who I want to be, and in their fusion I am at my best.

This seems a timely reminder as lately I have allowed myself to favour a more sensible path. I have trained myself to a certain fallback position. A position of head first. The responsibility and energy required of doing things primarily from my head takes a heavy toll on me. I forget to see the big picture of things and zone in too tight. I become too sensible and stop smelling the roses. I have a strong need to break free and play. After all, my third top strength is humour and playfulness!

I acknowledge that right now I’ve swung the pendulum too far the ‘head’ way and need to recalibrate back towards the ‘heart’. So, it’s time for Ms. Sensible to step aside and make room for Ms. Spontaneous again. But not too much or that pendulum will need recalibrating again the other way and my second top strength of appreciation of beauty and excellence will become compromised!! It’s a fine balance sometimes, but awareness is key.

Remembering to fuse is also key for me.

I hope you can identify with my unpacking and make choices that work for you as a result of this sharing and maybe even take a recalibration/rebalance check on your head/heart balance. I invite you to take a moment or 2 (after) the next time you are challenged, to reflect on your reaction/response and ask yourself;

How do I respond when challenged?

Do I listen to my intuition or respond habitually?

Is the way I respond working for me or not?

If you are wondering what your strengths are, one way to find out your unique, individual strengths is to take the free online VIA Character Strengths Survey.

Here’s the link: www.viacharacter.org

I’d love to hear how you go in the comments below.

Have a great week. xxG

Gina Haines2 Comments