When comfort doesn’t come

I struggle with being assertive.

Being nice? Having fun? Keeping things light and fluffy?

Welcome to my comfort zone or my discomfort zone, depending on the day.

Lysa TerKeurst says it best:

Having a comfort zone doesn’t mean you’re always comfortable.

I’m being stretched in this area at work. Accountability in the work place, especially for those of us in management positions, means holding meetings to discuss progress.

Guess who’s the bearer of bad news?

Yeah. Fun-loving Audra.

And most of the time it’s not terrible news. Managers are just trained to notice things that are not going well–and then come up with strategies for improvement.

I’ll be really honest with you. I have to pray a lot when receiving instruction and correction. When my thoughts are allowed to go off alone, I take it personally–and even my controlled thoughts find me vulnerable.

Receiving instruction with grace is always a choice I have to make.

This is one struggle that can send my emotions and relationships into a tailspin. One of my goals for next year is to deconstruct this area and come up with a battle plan.

IMG_1566For now, though, I’m sitting in a hard place. Things have gone wrong and all I can do is clean up the mess.

Can I give you some advice?

Don’t ignore warning signs.

Don’t put off conversations.

Pretending everything is okay, will be okay, can be okay is not helping.

Which brings me back to being assertive in the workplace…..

If management teaches you anything it’s how to conquer fear, especially when your fear pops up as a subject in a meeting about your personal performance.

Here’s what I’m learning as I face up to my insecurities about giving/receiving instruction and correction:

Dealing with a problem is always uncomfortable. Stop waiting for comfort to come along. It won’t.

2 thoughts on “When comfort doesn’t come

  1. As always, very well written.

    I truly understand how you feel. I was almost like you in my younger years when it came to how I felt and reacted when I would receive corrections or any type of constructive criticism. EXCEPT, that I was such an emotional basket case that I would cry more often than not. I believe that women, by nature, are just more emotional beings than men. So, we tend to take any criticism very personal.

    As you well know, life is a learning process. You can’t expect to do everything perfect the first or even the tenth time around. Experience is a great teacher.

    Learning how to become a great manager is a huge learning curve. Not only do you have to learn how to supervise people, you have to learn how to take responsibility for those who work for you, as well as perform your job duties. Try not to fear hearing how you could improve your performance or how it is not a good idea for you to do something a certain way. It’s all part of the learning curve. It has nothing to do with you personally, it is only offered as a way to help you have a better understanding of how certain things operate in the workplace.

    And remember, it’s always a good idea to listen to what experienced & successful people have to say. You may not always agree with their advice or comments, but they didn’t become successful by blind luck.

    With me personally, I don’t know if I was able to overcome my sensitivity with age or by being beat down in law school. I’m thinking a little of age, but mostly law school. Law school turned a super sensitive shy person into a courageous and confident woman. I have learned that the more confident I am, the less “hurt” or “offended” I am by any corrections or even harsh criticism that I receive from anyone.

    I’m not saying to go enroll in law school. I’m just saying that once you are confident with yourself, then a lot of what people say to you and/or about you won’t even phase you. Your confidence will be your comfort. There will be no more fear.

    I think that you are doing a remarkable job, both professionally and personally. I didn’t have a clue when I was your age, and you seem to have an organized, well thought out structure for your life. You know what you want to do, you have made the courageous steps to make it happen, and soon you will have accomplished one of your life’s goals.

    I know it takes time to build confidence and overcome fears, but you are doing an outstanding job by facing your fears and conquering them.

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