Category Archives: Definitions

#223 Phobias

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Everyone has phobias. These are deep rooted fears that sometimes drive irrational behavior. Whether you get away with showing your phobias depends on how much power you have. Thus innocent people get locked in an asylum, while the powerful get to become dictators of a whole country.

If everyone has phobias, you have nothing to be ashamed about. How phobias get created is interesting, psychologists and psychiatrists make a living by trying to answer this question. Thus if you go to a shrink about your phobias, they will see your world thru their lens, and may make you sound crazier than you are.

If you go to a friend or well wisher, you will likely get bad advice if such friend or well wisher is seeing your world thru the lens of their phobias.

Your best bet is to explore your own phobias by developing deep self awareness. As you self awareness increases, you will go thru the stages of grief. While the Kubler-Ross model has five stages, my theory is that different people have different number of stages. The more stages of grief you go thru, the bigger your task of understanding your phobias before you attain mastery over your phobias.

Thus, if you are in a blue mood, use it to discover your phobias, and establish where you are in the stages of grief. It will be more productive than reacting with anger or other negative emotion.


#215 The weight of expectations

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Wherever you go in the workplace, you will feel the weight of expectations. It can be inspiring and energizing, and you can raise your performance because you are expected to. It can be crushing, and many high profile careers have imploded under the weight of fan expectations.

The following points are worth noting about expectations:

  • Expectations exist because people tend to “judge” quickly and have difficulty suspending judgment. This is natural, don’t make it worse by judging people who have expectations.
  • It is prudent to set expectations before your audience sets one for itself. This is easier said than done, a diverse audience and limited time means you will pick and choose the audience for which you will set expectations. The ones you ignore will be disappointed.
  • Don’t make it worse by setting unrealistic expectations for yourself.
  • Setting the right expectation is more trial and error than science. This means, learn from your mistakes, apologize and adjust quickly. Prepare diligently to have a better shot at setting the right expectation.
  • You may have no expectation of yourself. This is a state of mind that requires complete openness and flexibility.
  • If you think to yourself, “I cannot do it,” you have negative expectations of yourself.

Not meeting expectations can be demoralizing. Unfortunately, the negative feedback and “judgment” received over he years leave scars that are hard to ignore or remove. The first step is to stop the “self talk” in your head, both positive and negative. Be in the moment and go with the flow. The proper expectations will begin to reveal themselves.