Friday, October 19, 2018

The kanchiong spider speaks: Learning to be patient

People who know me, know that I'm quite an antsy spider - I get things done, and I want it done now. It is partly what makes me a results-producing person who is loved by bosses and sometimes hated by co-workers (spoil market).

I have this tick within me that I need to scratch and if I don't scratch it, it needs to be externalised in sometimes very unhealthy ways. I will either be passive aggressive, or be slow burning, or just have a bad attitude. I will scoff and brush away things and make judgement that it is a waste of my time and write off the person/project forever.

My ex-bosses have told me that I run at a million miles and while I can cope with many things on my plate, I need to slow down for others to catch up.

So let them catch up they say.

Yet, this incredibly feeling of being a pariah, of being absolutely lonely in my pedestal of being hyper-efficient and effective, is not a way to live. It alienates when I should be collaborating. As someone who really communicates well - I lack the patience to spend more time with myself to reflect.

I guess it's a level of intellectual superiority - that because I can, I should. However true power is the ability to withhold the very same power. In Javanese/Balinese shadow puppetry - or what is called "Wayang" - the monsters are often portrayed in a wild and uncontrollable manner while the hero is someone who is almost refined and unassuming but in complete control of the situation.

I think I need to learn how to be patient with others. My anxiety to fix things - people, problems and situations - drives unnecessary pressure in both my persona life and the workplace. I'm not talking about being stressed, but rather giving undue stress to others. I don't give others the benefit of the doubt enough, I don't find out what the hold-up might be, and I am not forgiving of weakness.

There are self-defined signs of a person's weakness and I judge too quickly because of it. Just because I can understand many things easily, doesn't mean that I understand everything that life has thrown at me. I need to give others a chance to be allowed their point of view - they may not necessarily tell me - but they'll demonstrate it in their actions in due time.

I think this stems from a deep-seated fear of failure. That somehow, if things don't get fixed, or completed, I have therefore showed that I'm a fraud, and someone who is not as cool or smart as I am said to be. Impatience of this nature - to get everything right the first time - is going to be the ruin of many things. It has cost me both time and money as well as relationships in the past and friends who are brave enough who have called me out on it reigned me back temporarily.

There is no well-defined timetable or project Gantt chart of when things must happen in life. Everything happens in its own time and place - and sometimes it's the marrying up of the perfect circumstances often than not, that makes things happen.

As much as I accuse control-freaks of being disruptive, being impatient is also equally destructive. I think these recent months have really taught me many things both in my personal and professional life. In a big organisation - things happen in their own time. In my personal relationships - things have to be allowed to happen/breathe so that both parties respect each others' standards for themselves. It's a small step but I have to calm the fuck down starting today.


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