“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Many times we allow others to dictate the rules and pass judgment on us. Of course at work our superiors do it all the time. The problem is bosses are not always correct in their conclusions of our work or behavior. Why one boss finds our work very good while another condemns it is frustrating. It is because like everything else, it is subjective. My idea about how to go about building something will most likely differ from your ideas about a structure. The person who gets to dictate is the person with more power. This does not mean they really have a better plan. It simply means they have the control over the rules. When one dictates the procedures, one also dictates the desired result. Even if we follow someone else’s guidelines, there is no guarantee of the outcome. The only guarantee is that we will take the blame if we are not successful. The truth is many people are diminished and insecure because others fault them at work or in any group project or situation. The result is devastating to the person blamed, who begins feeling inadequate about everything they attempt.We might think about the child on a sports team who is rarely played, so his job is to warm the bench. He loses precious time to improve his ball skills while the players who get more field time advance impressively. What happens is the athletes playing regularly build their confidence while those players who frequently sit out most of the game, build their self-doubt. At times this can carry over into other areas of their lives. Adults who have trouble getting along with the boss are in the same situation. They can’t seem to get it right or improve whatever their boss is recommending. It would occur to any thinking person that it is not deliberate and the person is attempting to please their boss. After all they don’t want to lose their job. Curiously the insecure person doesn’t know how to get off of the damaging path they are treading.
The person becomes subordinate, has self-doubt and low self-esteem. These feelings add to his or her dilemma. What this person might have attempted before their insecurity fills them with fear. They are already under scrutiny and can’t afford to make any mistakes. They begin doing everything by the rule book without any thoughts of good or bad. In the end they fail totally because the odds have been successfully stacked against them. The sorry part is that they are now diminished as a person and innately feel like a failure. They have lost their self-confidence and desire to try anything new. It carries into all areas of their lives and we now see a depressed person.
At one time this person was relevant and viable and had some self-worth. They felt competent at making decisions. The point is they are still the same person. They simply allowed themselves to be defined as a person, by somebody else. This definition is far removed from who they really are and what they truly are capable of doing. They need to understand this or they will dive into a full blown depression. It is amazing the power one can wield over another without permission. It is astounding that people would hurt another so deeply without a care. If a boss is upset with someone’s work, they might simply get a mentor to intervene. They also might help the person with suggestions in a kind manner. Firing someone or ripping them apart is loathsome. There are other ways to deal with a person that would yield better results, keep their confidence intact and aid the workplace in the process.
Our attitudes, looks, age and personalities unfortunately enter into decisions others make about us. We may not be able to control these matters. What we can control and must control are our own beliefs. Our character is known to us and a higher being. Just because another person ranked higher in the job sphere does not mean they can dictate who or what we are. We must believe in ourselves and our abilities and leave no room for doubt. Having confidence and feeling adequate does not mean we can’t accept criticism and input from others. Even the boss has crossed the line if we feel subordinate, stupid, incapable and immobilized. It really is our choice to refrain from believing this defines us. We are so much more than that. We are so much more than others even know about us. We might have to learn new things but we are capable of learning. Given the correct tools advice and help, we can accomplish much.
If we are uncomfortable in a work situation, we might think about switching areas within a company, switching hours or teams or attempting to find employment elsewhere. We always have choices. We should never feel boxed in. When we believe we have no alternatives, that is the time we shut down. We might have to look around and search for our answers elsewhere. We might team up with another worker. We should be comfortable asking others for help or we might take a refresher course. What we cannot do is lose our value in our own eyes. All the wonderful things we do, can do and will do are lost if we give up on our-self. One person or one group’s interpretation of what we are is ludicrous. Step back and put the whole scene into focus. Sometimes change is good and might be the right thing to do. We can’t be afraid to step out into the unknown and take the chance. If we reflected we might realize things would not be any worse and they might just be better. Build your self-confidence and trust your own delineation of who you are.
“Don’t be afraid to take a big step if needed. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.” Anonymous
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” Dr. Martin Luther King