I have come to the conclusion that something needs to be done and I am tired of seeing people suffering in their professional practice, barely surviving let alone thriving. Fear and anxiety stalking them on a daily basis and protective mechanisms are causing chronic defensive responses and leading to burn out. I don’t think I’m being too dramatic when I say that there are many people are running on empty and they don’t even realise it – look out for people who moan and discount everyone around them. These people persist in bitching and whining about a multitude of injustices around them. They make judgements about people, criticise and find them all wanting and believe that they are blameless and just poor victims of a malevolent and sinister forces. People around them are succeeding, getting the grants, achieving success and what they need is a stroke of good fortune and a fairy godmother, that way they will be ok too. Magical thinking is all around me – I find folk helpless and hopeless and it is so distressing to witness.
I find no solace in witnessing other people’s suffering – I didn’t enter a helping profession to feel superior and relish in others’ misfortune – that was never my motivation. I want to help people and help them by enabling and inspiring through kindness and curiosity. I had felt that this was my mission after my horrible experience in the workplace 18 months ago. Recent events and experiences have amplified these ideas and have made me wonder whether I really do need to pay attention to this and that adversity and unkindness may be a lesson I need to pay attention to. I have a tendency to just brush it off and move on but maybe I need to concentrate on sense making and also put that sense making into practice. From that excursion I can then offer space and time for harried professionals to explore their current reality and equip them with some resources that might help them thrive not just survive.
Fear has dogged my steps for a long time and I know that sticking my head above the parapet and claiming that I know stuff causes paralysis and a shutting down. Having stepped out into the real world of work and found it painful and unkind maybe I’m not going to find a cause already out there to join, so maybe I need to lead by example. Other folk aren’t going to help me spread my message of kindness and curiosity – it isn’t within their grasp to realise its potential. People are too busy being busy and dwelling in their pain and suffering. Gently and incrementally we must help people see that this doesn’t have to be the way it is and that their pain and suffering can be alleviated. By admitting vulnerability and exploring the effects it has on them they can then find new knowledge that will then equip them with the capacity and capability to allow other people to work alongside them with cooperation and collaboration. Implicit and explicit competition seems to be around a lot and it seems to result in a pernicious erosion of well being, problem solving and perspective. It’s time to call it for what it is and demand attention is given to the suffering – let’s stop it and insist we find a different way of being in the workplace. self compassion coupled with attention and curiosity has been how I’ve found my way in the last 2 years and it’s time I share that experience in practical and public ways.