Avoiding the trap of conditions

Do not criticise, condemn, complain, justify, blame, feel guilty or angry.


Healthy critique is an illuminating tool, when used appropriately. But when we try to 'help someone by criticising them through our own personal feelings of inadequacy', it helps no one. Healthy critique is hard to do well. You need a supportive environment, and unfortunately this is currently rare in most work environments. In balanced relationships you can have it, but it takes a lot of courage. You need to be strong enough to speak up, and wise enough to let go.

Condemning people

Condemning people is naive. One never knows the full story. How can we judge someone as being so far off the mark when we certainly never have all the details? It does no service to shut someone off by branding them wrong. There's always another option and we always have a choice in the matter. Another window that opens as the usual door is closing. 


Complaining without action is such a waste of time. Have a vent, sure. Blow off steam, as long as you don't breed more resentment. But don't pose as the advocate of change with shoes glued to the ground. Take a few steps towards a new solutions while engaging in discussion along the way.

Overly justifying to ourselves

Justification is a sticky trap that keeps us in the past. Sure you want to have merit for your actions moving forward. But if you're holding yourself up while revisiting your half-baked justifications which first got you in this mess of uncertainty, then you're better off simply letting go. Learn from your anti-plan failure, and do better next time. 


Blame. Ugh. Try taking responsibility instead; especially when it's not even your fault! You should never cast blame. Even when you're certain that person is at fault, and through their (in)action have brought about this issue. It's for them to own up to. And you help nothing by throwing them in front of the bus. Get on with fixing the problem instead.


Guilt is one of those gnarly emotions that, like all, exist for one thing and one thing only; guidance. It shows us that our error was indeed our fault (like the guilty party in the blame game). Don't let it burry us further down into that negative spiral of despair. Acknowledge, feel it fully, learn, let go, move on. It takes practice.   


Anger, a little further down the negative scale, can be quite dangerous. But isn't it even a little fun to feel? At this stage I think we have enough conviction in what's wrong that we also get clear about it. Things happen when we're angry, action gets taken. Usually negatively geared though, so we need to be careful.


Take a look at the conditions we keep ourselves locked to. We can only think and act clearly when not operating from a constrained place. There's opportunity at each of these checkpoints, as long as we don't spend too long there fretting.