How do you see yourself?
As the person you are? The person you are not? Or the person you want to be?
While none of these are necessarily wrong, there is a healthier way.
It was just a couple weeks ago that my fiancé and I were leaving a conference that we had attended. As I am driving down the street, we notice a car in the wrong lane. It was a left turn lane but going in the opposite direction. There were barricades on both sides and oncoming traffic coming straight at them. We had to do a double take and make sure we were seeing this correctly. What a ridiculously awkward and frightful situation to be in! Then it hit me…
Have I ever done something that I thought was right and left me looking totally out of place? Or better yet, made me feel bad for what I thought was right in the moment?
The answer is yes, 100%, on numerous occasions. I have found that at times, I can be very fixed on my own agenda that I put myself in a box that prohibits me to be fully open and present to others. If you’re honest with yourself, you probably have too. Maybe more than you would like to admit. But don’t worry, that’s not a bad thing, if responded to in the right way.
Knowing something is the first step to growing.
I recently read a great book called Leadership and Self-Deception —> Getting Out of The Box by The Arbinger Institute.
I would like to briefly share my findings as I believe they are crucial in how we live and lead, both personally and professionally.
As people, we fall in one of two categories: In the Box or Out of the Box. A lot of the times, we actually jump back and forth between them. Here is a quick glimpse of what they look like:
In the Box
Is a space where you are confined to yourself. It is a place you view people as objects. It is a space that is full of being critical, nasty, harsh, and demanding. It’s full of self-betrayal, selfishness and unwillingness to be open to change or improvements.
Out of the Box
Is a space full of opportunity open to the masses. It is a place you view people as people. It is a space that is full of love, compassion, grace, equality, and joy. It’s full of self-improvement, self-awareness and a willingness to be open to change and growth.
Where would you say you reside the most?
I would like to say I live fully out of the box, but at times my actions show otherwise. As much as you don’t want to admit it, yours may too.
This isn’t a bad thing, the good thing is recognizing it and limiting it from happening.
For instance, just a couple weeks ago I was going into an elevator. As the doors began to close I saw someone running and lunging a hand to save the door from shutting. I just stood there as the door closed and I took a solitary ride to my 5th floor destination. As it happened, I thought, “that’s not me, that’s not my heart.” But I have come to realize that being in the box creates selfishness, while being out of the box creates self-awareness, for both you and others. Sure I was in a hurry, but it would of been very easy for me to sacrifice an extra 30 seconds to help a person. Which, might I add, I have done hundreds of times in the past, but not on this day. I was deep in the box.
It’s okay, our natural tendency is to be in the box.
We all have a choice. To stay in or out. I choose to try my best to live out of the box, to love and value all people, all the time. Which takes intentionality and a commitment to be better inside to make people around you better on the outside.
Effectiveness is less about what you do and more about how you do it.
Over the next 7 days I challenge you to assess where you reside most. Are you always concerned of your own agenda, limiting you to life in the box? Or will you choose to understand how to live effectively out of the box, and add healthy value to others?
The choice is yours.
For a greater understanding and depth to this concept, you can purchase the book yourself by clicking here.
I can assure you that this book is worth the read. It will change your approach and effectiveness in all areas of life.
Lead with greater influence, today and every day!
I would love to hear from you. Feel free to reach out anytime with questions, comments, or challenges. Let’s Chat.
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