The Personal Leadership & Success block week at Columbia was everything I wanted it to be: Fun, inspirational, thought-provoking, motivational… This week has been a different story.
The class provided an array of frameworks and exercises to identify and re-script default behaviors and emotions, which will help you uncover an optimal version of YOU. We practiced these in class; they sunk in and they made perfect sense.
Returning to work this week, I’ve already had numerous opportunities to put these tools in action. I’ve come to realize that re-wiring a brain is clumsy work. No surprise, it’s a lot harder to apply these frameworks in the wild than it is in a safe and focused classroom environment .
For example, a “bad news” email hits my inbox. I react with a sharp spike of disappointment, and start down a negative path. I can catch myself, and start to unpack the Automatic Negative Thoughts and Self-Defeating beliefs that hijacked my focus. I feel better for a while as I calm my emotional reaction. Once I’m back to ‘center’ it’s only a matter of time before the “bad news” catches my attention again and hijacks me once more. This time I’m dealing with the added frustration from my awareness that I’m losing the fight.
If the class made one thing clear, its that personal growth isn’t a overnight thing. It take time, work, and care. I’m not discouraged by these early failures. The ‘added frustration’ from self-awareness is a actually a positive signal that I’m doing something right. Sort of like waking up sore after your first day back in the gym .