The Curious Leader
Published in

The Curious Leader

Emotional Processes and Real Accountability

Everyone has blind spots. So how can we be accountable for what we don’t see? Here’s what I’d like you to get. Though we cannot see our emotional processes with the naked eye, we can observe them in the patterns that show up in our results.

A pattern is a series of repeated behaviours. If there’s a stack of cubes on the table, and I ask you to put these cubes in a vertical line, how would you proceed? You would probably pick one cube and align the other cubes to it. Since you can see the cubes, you can straighten your line as you go along.

Like the cubes, you can align your actions to your desired outcome. Notice your patterns. Are you behaving in a way that makes happen what you want? Or are you acting erratically — denying what you do — while still hoping to get what you want?

“It’s complicated.” Is it?

Who wants complications in their life? The majority of us say we welcome a simpler life. We want to feel good and be inflow. So, why would we invite struggle into our lives? “It’s complicated.” Is it?

➡️ Easy-breezy

A simple problem has an easy-breezy fix. For example, we run a bath and forget to turn off the tap when the tub is full. Water spills on the bathroom floor. The simple fix was to turn off the tap when the tub was full.

➡️ Mounting pressure

A complicated problem has mounting pressure. It feels harder to solve because we let the situation get worse. For example, we run a bath upstairs and forget to turn off the tap when the tub is full. Three hours later, water stains have formed on the kitchen ceiling. The kitchen is on the main floor.

The simple fix was to turn off the tap when the tub was full. Since we forgot that easy-breezy step, we made the situation worse. One could argue that we made a one-time mistake. However, let me ask you. Have you ever mopped a bathroom floor because a lot of water had splashed all over it? If you have, would you ever leave a bathroom while filling up the tub?

➡️ Pulled in many directions

A complex problem has multiple angles. Where do we start? What’s urgent? Is there anything that can wait? What is it? What will it take to feel easy-breezy again? There are many ways to approach a complex problem.

For example, we run a bath and forget to turn off the tap when the tub is full. We leave for the day. Eight hours later, water seeped through the house walls and short-circuited the electrical system. We can also hear squish-squish as we walk on the carpet from the living room to the kitchen.

Where do we start? What’s urgent? Is it fixing the electrical, drying the living room carpet, or removing the excess water between the walls? What about the water stains on the kitchen ceiling? And the soaked bathroom floor? We would need to address that too.

What emotionally drives you to do what you do?

What aligns our actions to our desired outcome is our feelings. Take a moment and look at a past result. Did that result come easy-breezy? Or did you feel pressured to act to alleviate the situation? To what extent? Your feelings speak to your actions and the patterns they can create.

Notice your patterns. Take 100% ownership of your feelings and your results. Seek to understand why you do what you do. If you feel pulled in many directions, what are you validating? Feelings affirm what we choose. Make wise choices.

Acts of God?

As much as we might want to blame our situation on acts of God — an act of God is considered an event outside of human control or activity — we are at the center of every experience we’ve had. What does that mean? Feelings validate what we choose. Always. So there is no room for “It’s not my fault.”

From the moment we were born, we have taken a series of actions that have led us to where we are today. Some of these actions have formed patterns because we keep repeating them. Are we 100% responsible for land pollution? Yes. Are we accountable for staying in a bad marriage? Yes. So what can we do?

Keeping patterns in check

Everyone has blind spots. So how can you be accountable for what you don’t see? You now know. Though you cannot see your emotional processes with the naked eye, you can observe them in the patterns that show up in your results. What are you validating repeatedly?

Anne Beaulieu, inspiring the next generation of emotionally intelligent and strategic women through:

  • Financial Emotional Intelligence
  • Strategic Planning and Implementation
  • Chartered Financial Analysis
  • Finance Economics
  • Forbes and The Curious Leader value contributions

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store