The anger turned to sadness, but still there seemed no way out. There was some shame, too, as there always is, because as hard as I work and as long as I have been focused on improvement, such lapses as I describe in the previous post, always make me wonder whether I am actually getting anywhere. This post and the three which follow are meant to record, in case I doubt myself again, that I am getting somewhere. They also detail how written reflection and a well-intentioned, open discussion are key to dispelling the clouds which obscure the purity of who we truly are.
The heaviness of the previous two weeks provided a cheerless reminder of what happens when I allow myself to be pulled out of centre by my emotions. And all because I had a problem with selling. The shame, anger and sadness it caused felt like a sustained hangover. It went on for days. Bad hangovers are enough to make you doubt whether the indulgence of the night before is worth it. Certainly, my indulgence in my belief of how the world should be, is not worth feeling like this.
Therefore, just as the feeling of sporting defeat can inspire future victory, this experience can serve to inspire me with regard to my future behaviour. In order to avoid feeling like this again, all I have to do is let go of my beliefs and expectations. Recall the pain they cause and let go.
We met again and agreed to use the opportunity to extract the maximum possible learning from a situation which had made us both angry. He arrived with a solution to my selling problem, but first we sat for almost three hours, working through what had happened. Having already taken time to reflect and write down our thoughts, much of the ground work had been done. Written reflection is an intimate exercise in which one’s unfiltered honesty becomes the foundation for insight and freedom.
Despite all I’ve learnt over the years, right up until the start of the meeting I found it impossible to let go of my arrogance. However, as soon as we convened, the familiarity of the situation took over. The whole session was so reminiscent of my training days: detailed reflection, forensic evaluation, and the humility of an intention to learn and grow.
The solution he brought with him was to put aside my sales script and come from within. Act and react from the depths of myself because that is where the power of my work lies. There is a tangible difference between when I try to sell and when I speak from the heart. It worked, of course, and the irony is not lost on me that the same advice was all I had needed during the previous two meetings as well. Simple, perhaps, but clearly not always easy.