In my work with executives, highly skilled, good people, with great intentions, I frequently see out-of-place and unrealistic demands that they place on themselves, usually with great “justifications.” I also see so many of them readily assuming unrealistic and inhumane demands from their company. It is easy to blame all this on today’s demands, yet with little effort, we discover that this level of expectation existed long before this position or this company.
The surprise comes when they see that even as they reach the level of highly-functioning, even highly-successful, adult they tend to believe they have outgrown any and all the wounds and damages that may have occurred in childhood and yet they have not. The logical question is, how could I still be wounded and yet be so functional? I must be fully healed, correct? The answer is no, not really. It’s a possibility to that healed but it’s not a common occurrence.
As I work with these clients, I can see that for some the situations of their childhood may have been processed and released, they may have forgiven anyone and everyone who wounded them, yet as we do our work together, the consequences of those old wounds can be enormous and still highly impacting the quality of their lives today.
Forgiveness, if you can, only begins the healing process. The next step is to see how you are living the results of those wounds in your day-day life. If you were forced into protecting younger brothers and sisters, does your need to protect govern all your relationships now? Do you see protection as an important part of relationships? Do you obsessively protect others from failure?
If you were placed in impossible or violent situations and forced to take on adult roles well above your age-appropriate capabilities, have you continued those stress levels? A child in that situation lives in terror of failing someone and of what the consequences may be if they do. As an adult, he or she will take on full responsibility for things far above their pay-grade or beyond their responsibilities. They will need to be over-responsible just to feel safe.
When raised in a home where you needed to be perfect, the demands you place on yourself as an adult are far beyond reasonable. You have no excuse for mistakes or indecision and so you bring that belief into your expectations of others as well, family members and employees.
Letting the wounds go and forgiving others, is a wonderful gift you give yourself but noticing the consequences of them in your life, now, and eliminating them makes you completely free.
Quality of life, living without a tendency to anger, frustration, hurt, stress, and so forth comes when we recognize and then release the consequences of those wounds. Loving the person you have become, loving the gifts you possess, brings peace, warmth, joy, natural patience, compassion, and understanding for yourself and others. We all deserve it.
As a coach and a consultant my goal is in supporting those who see these tendencies impacting their work and personal lives. We deserve to follow all of our dreams, no matter who big or outrageous but from a place of adventure and joy not from stress and unrealistic demands.
Call if you are ready to succeed because you can, rather than because you must in order to prove something that doesn’t need to be proven. Our purpose, our life, and our journey are meant to be blessing not a survival course. If you don’t wake in joy, you are in survival. Start living in health, it makes the trip so much more enjoyable, lighter, and laughter-filled.