Holding onto yourself

by Rod Smith

Step 1 in every exchange, crises, debate, large or small – significant or insignificant – is to hold onto yourself. This means to be deliberate, thoughtful, and to behave in accordance with your long-held values and integrity. 

Knee-jerk responses, off the cuff “decisions,” doing or saying the first things that come to mind are seldom helpful. Reactive impulses and their ramifications are probably not going to pay-off well for you in the long term even if they are impressive to you and to an observer or two in the immediate. (“Wow, I am impressed how you you let him have it!”)

Letting go of who you are, or “losing yourself” – I will remind you that all analogies are faulty – is somewhat like having a loose ball in rugby and in a flash the outcome is up for grabs. 

The power shifts and the outcome changes the moment you lose yourself – and it will seldom be in your long-term favor.

But, holding onto yourself is seldom successfully done without thoughtful preparation, a life-style of such living. Holding onto yourself in a crisis – mini or large – comes from doing so when you are not in one. It’s a frame-work of operation. It is developed in the mundane, the totally inconsequential. It is practiced day-to-day in the “little” things so it becomes a life-style when the consequential is on the line. 

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