I have just finished the book Leadeship and Self-Decepion by the Arbinger Institute. That was exactly what I needed. Have you ever felt like you where in a funk and couldn’t seem to find the way out? That’s where I was when I decided to read Leadership and Self-Decepion late last week. I was getting frustrated because I knew there was something holding me back, something right in front of me, but I couldn’t see it. If you are blessed to have a mentor they can also help you with this. They can shed some light on your blind spots. But this book did for me what a good mentor can do- it forced me to confront some of the things that I battle with inside myself and be honest about where I have been betraying myself.
The main premise of the book is that all relationship problems are caused by our own self-betrayal. We know that we should do something for somebody and we choose not to. That gets me everyday. I can look back even on today and see several things that I could have done for somebody else, but for whatever reason I chose not to do it.
From there, self-betrayal leads to blame and justification. If you stop to think about it, doesn’t this just make sense? When I don’t do something that I know I should do, it eats me up inside. I spend the whole day beating myself up. This puts me in a bad mood and makes me overly sensitive to everything that other people say and do. I feel guilty about my self-betrayal, so my self-confidence is low, so I feel that people are judging me for my failure with myself. This creates a constant state of friction, of which other people don’t have a clue where it’s coming from. It’s my issue with myself that I am now allowing to affect every relationship in my life. If I carry on like this long enough eventually people will get sick of me and end the relationship.
Do you see what’s going on here? The next time you catch yourself blaming your behavior on someone or something else…stop! Take a minute, stop and think. What have you done, or failed to do, that you have let yourself down. This is ultimately where the problem comes from, being too focused on ourselves. If you’re struggling with a relationship, where ever it may be- home, work, church, anywhere you interact with people- take the focus off yourself. Look for a way to serve that person and see what happens. Stop blaming other people and things for your struggles. Look at where you have betrayed yourself and fix it. If you can focus on serving others and not yourself, you’ll be amazed at how enjoyable life can be. And how great all your relationship can be.