Every time there is an issue there is one of my mates that loves the drama, wants to fix, loves the misery and the world is falling apart and they can look after me. Oh, how wonderful this feels when I hit that issue, I don’t have to fight this as my enabler has got this! The one that tells you “let’s sort this out”, “Stand back and I will protect you!”, “You poor darling”. That can feel like my own personal hero, the one that is always there! I wipe my tears and a can give a weak smile knowing how protected I am with this mate.
You must be thinking this does not sound so bad. Is this not support? Is this not love? Well the enabler is thinking that they are very supportive and loving. They actually jump at the opportunity, they love that feeling of being needed. I know it is done with no ill intent but more of their own fears of possibly not being abandoned if they are always needed.
But every time there is an issue, I run straight to them! I don’t even pause I dial them straight away, or message and I ask them what I should do before I even think about it myself, before I even have sat with loosely with it. I run to them before I have even exhaled. They will know what to do! A sense of relief when they answer the phone straight away.
I want to share with you what I have learnt from this and how not letting me fail and not letting me find a way out of my own black hole has done nothing but hinder me.
What I realised that every time that a mate jumped in and saved the day, that habit of calling them first became my habit, my ritual. When they were not available I would then panic, and scramble like hell for their help. It could only be them because they knew EXACTLY what to do in this crisis. I had learnt not to think about what I could do, I did not know how to deal with it myself. I had learnt to react not respond! This left me in a constant fight-flight mode. This is unhealthy, what had I become! I felt that I had become that victim mentality.
I recognised that I needed that change that I needed to deal with the issues, I needed to PAUSE, take a breath, look at my situation, sift through emotions and facts and work out what I wanted to do from my heart. I had to create my own boundaries, not those of what my mate thought I needed. I had to respond instead of reacting, I had to reflect and learn. Oh man oh man did I grow once I did this. THIS was not doing it alone, I changed my support group to people that just gave me the space to talk through it all, come to my own conclusions. They would keep me accountable, redirect back to my path.
Well I have changed A LOT! I now hear those words from my old mate… “How can I fix it?” or anything that represents that enabler of my damsel in distress and it is like nails running down a chalk board. I want and need the space to sift through this, to work it out myself, to ask advice, to someone who is supportive and will question me or challenge me. A place that I can let go of emotions if I need. This way of working through it in a supported space has fixed my mindset; how strong I am when a situation occurs… NO MORE panic mode as I know that I can handle this myself. I felt supported and empowered in making my own choices, dealing with my own crises, working through and learning from my own failures.
The biggest lesson was that I have all the tools in my tool box to deal with any situation. I gave myself permission to stop pause and respond, to create my own boundaries, to work through my own capacity levels. I gave myself permission to not be perfect but to look at any situation with interest and work out what I was feeling and what was occurring with me. How liberating, how interesting and refreshing when you don’t have that funnel of information coming in from well-intended mates that clouds all your thoughts.
It has changed my whole outlook, I really do get curious when a situation occurs. I love working through it, having less fear and the happiness in my day knowing how strong I actually am.
Once I got to here, it then made me think where in my life was I an enabler to someone’s damsel in distress mode.
I want you to be happy in your career; with my workshops we can tackle any issues that stop you from reaching that. You won't need a sea change but love who you are and what you do.