Where are you coming from?

“What’s the place you’re coming from?”

“How are you existing?”

“What’s your inner stance?”

I had thought that I was understanding these questions and the distinctions they’re pointing to, but now that I’m doing stuff, I’m realizing… I don’t think I am.

I led a team exercise today, in which my manager did not participate at all.

I had a great bit of feedback from another colleague after. He pointed out that I need to understand other people’s motivations better. It hurt to have someone tell me this, because this is something that I historically was very good at doing. In the past.

But not now. Because right now, I am coming from a place of “I need to get this result”.

And so I’m rather myopic in how I’m operating. I have a filter on, and the filter is maybe not the filter that would even best serve getting that result.

“Who are you committed to being?”

What is a “who”? How do you define a who?

Every identity is a role. It is relational. It is a meaningless question to ask “Who are you committed to being?” without asking what your relationships are.

Maybe that is the key to answer the question. Who do I want to be to the people I interact with? What do I want my role in their life to be?

So what do I want my role to be? How do I want to do that role? What results do I want to have in that role?

And of course, we’re multifaceted creatures with many relationships, and have to switch back and forth.

Is that what an inner stance is? A way of being in a particular relationship? In a particular situation? How you relate to yourself?

Why am I doing this again?

There is something I want to learn about myself. There are unexplored possibilities, and I want to explore them. I want to see what I can do, and get really curious about that.

Why do I want to pay off my mortgage?

Because getting rid of the need to “pay the bills” means we can ask more interesting questions. We can maybe shoot for something that could fail spectacularly, without getting sidetracked by the quest to pay the bills…

Is that the sidequest? Or is maybe “the bills” and all the things we do in relation with our family kind of the point? The who we are in those key relationships?

Who am I committed to being?

Today, I was pretty uncommitted to being anything good. I was impatient with everyone, raising my voice a lot when the kids wouldn’t get going. I was in a pretty bad place.

I’m sick. The kids are sick. The wife is sick. I’m tired.

The inner soundtrack is on, playing the greatest hits of “Why try”, “This is what happens when you try to do something”, “Self-improvement always leads you to this place”, and “Just quit”.

But quitting is where I was. I’ve been “quitted” for years, more or less avoiding any real attempts at serious growth. Even my high performance was driven by the thought that the standards for the workplace were way higher than they actually were. That people wouldn’t value anything less than I could do.

When I realized people actually would tolerate a huge underperformance compared to potential, and that high performance wasn’t that highly rewarded, my circuits flipped and I got really lazy. I did not try very hard. I couldn’t get myself interested.

And here I am, back to entrepreneurship, because I don’t want to play a game that ultimately has no big payoff.

But again – who am I committed to being?

At work, I want to show up in a powerful way for my team, and ask them to show up too.

At home, the same.

But how do I do that without overstepping and trying to “fix” people. How do I offer others a gift rather than burden them with expectations? Sometimes expectations are a gift. How do I do that?

Who do I want to create? What do I want to create in my relationships? Who is the person I want for those other people in my life?

I say “I don’t know” because I am already feeling the pain of trying to be that person. I’m feeling the pain of striving and missing the mark. And of doing it in front of others.

I’m feeling the pain of being burnt out today and not wanting to push on.

Do I want to commit to more things? Do I want to keep going?

Yes. Somehow, I do. Somehow, this is the path.

The path goes through all the shit.

The person I want for others is the person who finds a way to integrate his almost irritating desire to help others become more of themselves with a love and acceptance and real belief that they’re already awesome. To look at someone and see the good and call it out. I need to find that.

I want to commit to becoming a great leader, because leaders are the ones who tell better stories, who help others tell better stories, who help people get out of their own ways.

Where am I coming from now? I’m coming from a place of “I want from you”. Where am I committed to coming from from now on? “I want for you”1

  1. Also see “Beyond High Performance” (a book) and some other articles by Novus Global and Metaperformance Institute. That’s something I’m reading right now, and this particular distinction is really resonating as something I am not practicing well at the moment. ↩︎






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