I participate in a weekly group seminar. It’s usually run by Breck, but since his heart attack, his friend Alan, who is also a coach/consultant, has been leading the group. The group is basically an ongoing group conversation about where each of us is struggling, having trouble moving forward, stuck in a pattern, etc. Breck, Alan and other group members help us to recognize self-defeating behaviors or patterns that we can’t see for ourselves.
Last night, we talked about what attributes we act like we have but really don’t. The idea is that once you discover you don’t have a quality, it can actually be a relief because then you are not required to be effective in that area. You can look to others for assistance or create structures to take care of you.
My husband came up with “reliable”. He acts like he can be counted on to remember things or to execute consistently, when he’s actually easily distracted or derailed. That works well for our dynamic because I am generally reliable, so if I can assist him in remembering things without (A) feeling like he let me down/doesn’t care, or (B) making him feeling offended or defensive, then we can actually take advantage of our complementary qualities.
When it was my turn to share, I couldn’t come up with an answer. Alan suggested that the attribute that I pretend I to have is “everything” (ugh. really? everything?). Basically, I think I have to be great in every category, rather than recognizing that I have my own unique set of qualities/attributes. When I complained that my “attribute” was harder to let go of than other people’s, Alan pointed out that the only reason I would be comparing my attribute to others is because I was trying to be great even at the exercise itself.
Today I will be bringing my attention to all the different places where I think I have to excel (i.e., everywhere).