Too often we only see the drama and the negativity in a situation. That’s why we spiral down into the pit of despair, anger and resentment. But we don’t have to do that.
We can step back and observe our interactions, emotional responses and make choices about what we do next. We can
look at our current situation and ask what can I learn from this? Who am I and how will I act in this situation to express my very best self?
We always have the power to control our own thoughts and feelings. It may not always feel like that but we do.
On my recent holiday in Norway I had one of those experiences that looked like a mistake but turned out to be a great
adventure and lesson for me. As I was jogging back to the wharf my mind raced with possibilities and meaning to the situation I found myself in. I had started the day declaring to myself that ‘today I was giving up my over-organised
personality and was not going to interfere in other people’s lives.’
My self-judgement turned out to be my lesson.
In deciding to let the tour guide be in charge, after all it was her job, a series of events created confusion for her.
It started with two tours merging together, followed by black ice on the road to the lookout meaning we had to go the long way round and then the only person who knew the alarm code at the church being ill causing a 20 minute delay as others tried to figure out what to do. By the time our passionate English speaking guide had finished talking about the history of the Naidas Cathedral the bus was meant to have been returning to the boat.
The flustered tour guide forgot about our boat leaving at 10am and reassured us we had plenty of time. The other boat
passengers had plenty of time. Those from our boat didn’t.
If I had been my ‘normal’ self I would have been aware of this and would have let her know in a very nice manner. I notice
things and I watch to make sure everything is okay and everyone is taken care of. It turns out all my friends like this about me because it makes the world I’m in and create stable and safe. I discovered that ‘I’m a fully responsible for myself person who is helpful to others’ and I should stay that way.
It was an adventure that will make my 50th birthday memorable for the rest of my life! I have learned that I need to be less judgemental of my personality and that people appreciate the way I am.
Upon returning to the Hurtigruten Polarys I became known as ‘the girl who missed the boat.’ Everyone wanted to know what had happened and the telling of the story was as entertaining as it was insightful about how I function in my life.
I believe we learn about ourselves every day and in every interaction. The Johari Window presents a framework that allows us to understand that:
- There is information about ourselves that only we know
- There is information that is shared with others
- There are things about us that others know that we are unaware of
- There will be aspects of our personality that are yet to be experienced or discovered
This makes life an adventure filled with discovery about us and others.
What moments in your life made you accept who you were? What events in your life made you have greater compassion and understanding for yourself?