Should I Pretend It’s Easy?
I delivered a presentation last week and I don’t think it went down very well ☹ It was about wellbeing at Christmas and I talked about assertive communication, not having long conversations about how to cook sprouts and calling out bad behaviour. It’s not the stuff of a very merry Christmas is it but I thought people might find it helpful. Turns out I killed the Christmas buzz, for which I am very sorry. But it made me reflect, on the content of the presentation, how I delivered it and whether I should have made it more fun, which would have been more appropriate for a pre-Christmas presentation possibly. Should I pretend wellbeing and self development are easy, when I don’t think they are, so people can enjoy themselves more or is my desire to be helpful getting in the way of that, I wonder?
Personal Values Are Important
I’ve been thinking about my personal values a lot lately as I build my business and one thing that is very important to me is that I am true to myself and authentic in the services I deliver. If I teach or deliver presentations or workshops, my aim is to facilitate people’s thinking to help them find their own answers. Because I don’t have them for sure! As we’re all totally unique and delightful individuals, the things that work for my self-development, stress management, confidence building and assertive communication won’t always work for someone else so I don’t believe it’s for me to impose my solutions onto other people. I do like a case study though so I will often use my own experiences as a way to suggest how, or absolutely how not to do something!
Do I Expect Too Much?
Is it possible to be too idealistic I wonder? I say to people all the time, ‘it’s good to have high standards but don’t let them disable you’. Would it be easier if I accepted less, said that OK was good enough? Made it more fun to give a less impactful message maybe? I’m not sure if I can do that, I think I’m just going to have to carry on regardless and find the energy to keep plugging away at what I think is right and believe to be true. I totally accept that others will not share my vision or values but I have to do what’s right for me, to be true to myself and deliver a service that is authentically mine.
I do need to think much more about how I package my presentations though, clearly as I certainly don’t want people to leave me feeling disappointed but I’m not going to say self-development and wellbeing are easy when they’re not. It’s all in the delivery I guess. I’ve been to many training days, courses and presentations over the years where the content and delivery were good enough but a week later, the messages were not swirling around my head, nudging me to make changes. And I guess that’s why I want people to hear a stronger message, so they do have ideas and thoughts to take away that might, just might facilitate changes. Otherwise for me as a Teacher or Trainer, I’m not doing my job properly.
Wellbeing at Christmas
If you do find yourself in a less than helpful situation during the festive period, these are my suggestions for dealing with difficult people.
If someone tries to tell you how to cook the sprouts (or do anything) you have two choices –
- Let them do it because obviously they know a lot more about it than you do, so you get to go and put yer feet up – result!
- Or you can say “that’s very interesting, I’m going with my way for today” and smile
If someone is making you feel less than fabulous by telling you how wonderful Christmas is elsewhere (at your brother’s for instance), agree with them. Look them in the eye and agree with them, very calmly and very effectively. That puts the balance of power with you, someone has tried to bully you and you’ve called them out on it. By the end of the day you might have agreed that they’ll definitely be going to your brother’s next year – result! ?
As Long As I’m Learning
I can often feel frustrated with situations but will think to myself ‘as long as I’m learning, that’s OK’ and I did learn from the presentation last week. There are lots of clichés aren’t there, but we can’t please all of the people all of the time and I can’t win em all it seems. But to keep trying shows great resilience and because sometimes the messages I give out only resonate with people after the event then it’s a leap of faith for me to think whether something is good enough or not. And that’s where it comes back to me being true to myself and delivering services that are authentically mine. That’s all I can do, all any of us can do.
Have Faith in Yourself
So, if my recent experiences resonate with you, please have a think about how you communicate and behave, and whether that is true and authentic for you. What have you learned this year, about yourself and other people? How does that inform the way you communicate and behave now? All we can do is what we think is right, in line with our values and beliefs, to be thoughtful and considerate. We can do no more! And while not everyone might love our message, winning em over one at a time is still moving forward and that’s progress. It can be flippin hard work but it is also progress! ?
See if you can take some time to build your Christmas faith, in yourself. I’m not gonna pretend it’s easy but it’s definitely worthwhile if it makes you smile inside and out. It gives you strength too, to know what you’re about, to think about what’s important to you and to live by your values and beliefs. It’s kick ass stuff! So that when a cherished member of your family tries to have a conversation about the best way to cook sprouts, you can very calmly and very effectively deflect them onto other things, let them get on with it while you go and do something else or ask them about the best way to make Jam Roly Poly because theirs is most definitely the best you’ve ever tasted! ?
Take good care please and have a great day.
Best wishes, Karen