Friday, March 20, 2015

On Honoring Our Own Style

There have been times in my life where I have urged myself to “Jump,” “Just jump,” and then fallen back ashamed because I just couldn’t do it. Something was holding me back. What, I couldn’t quite figure out. And so, I stayed suspended in that moment of trying to jump and not jumping, berating myself for not having the nerve to do it.

In the past few years, I have done many things that I thought were “too hard” for me. I have traveled on my own. I have shifted countries. I have broken through a shell and reached out to that me who lay sleeping, and who was lost in the persona.

I have done this not by jumping all of a sudden. But finding what gives me courage and strengthening myself, so when the jump came, it no longer felt like a jump. It felt like something that I could either handle or learn to handle.

As I look back, I see that looking outside for answers slowed me down. Listening to too many different opinions slowed me down. I wasn’t sure of myself, so when I heard someone saying something with a great deal of certainty, I believed them.

But with experience, I see that people who are very certain about the way things work are often wrong. They project a confidence that even they, sometimes, only have for show. We might start feeling that they have all the answers. But they often don’t.

As an HSP, you might value someone’s style of decision-making just because of the confidence it gives them. Yes, they might be wrong in the end. But being so sure seems to make their life easier along the way. They also seem to fit better into a culture where just displaying confidence -- a surety about a certain position -- is looked at favorably.

But doubts and the information that they bring can be invaluable in making a decision. They tell us about the lay of the land for us. We are tuned in to subtleties, and just letting ourselves sift through our perceptions one by one, and either prove or disprove them gives us valuable information.

It makes us more flexible, if we give ourselves time to move slowly yet surely through this process. It increases the odds of our making the right decision.

That’s something to remember when we are besieged by attention-grabbing voices. They might be loud. They might be very sure of themselves. But are they always right?

If you look at the people around you, you might find that you are as capable of making a good decision as anybody else. Your style is different, and honoring that style instead of copying someone else’s might just be the key in this situation.

What if you were to move with your style, and not against it?

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