Being followed by idiots…

  • reflection

Being followed by idiots…

The call was rather panicked and she said it was super urgent. She needed to speak to me ASAP. I was highly curious and wanted to see what was going on, although I had my suspicions that I knew what the call was all about.

To preserve the reputation of this gorgeous woman who has experienced one of the biggest “ah-ha” moments in her life, I’m going to call her Lisa, not her real name.

Lisa had recently started a new job in the financial services sector. This was her 4th move in 5 years so her resume was starting to look a little patchy. Her biggest concern this time that prompted the move was that she had become impatient with the “idiots” she was working with.

So I get the call… It’s 3 weeks into her new role and we have a mentoring session planned for a few weeks down the track. It’s urgent. I call her back and a deflated and anxious Lisa says, “why are all the people I work with idiots who don’t get it?”

Okay this will be interesting. This is her 4th move in 5 years, so the only constant is Lisa. The company, geography, corporate culture and the people are yet again different. How might it be possible that Lisa has once again stumbled on her arch nemesis in the workplace… “the idiot.”

In NLP we have a concept of something known as, “perception is projection.” In the prime directives of the unconscious mind what this basically suggests is that what you see in others is a reflection of yourself.

What this concept allows for is to find a deeper understanding of your personal role in the experiences you are having with others on a daily basis. Appreciating what you notice in others by reflecting this on what you are not seeing about yourself is a way to gain personal freedom, reduce your stress levels, get along with people more harmoniously, develop a mental toughness and be kinder to yourself and others.

In the 1970’s NLP was developed by Bandler and Grinder. One of their observations was not what people do, but how they do what they do. Through observation and researching the work of experts like Milton Erikson and Virginia Satir they were able to see how our behaviour blindsides us to ourselves and through this discovery Bandler and Grinder were equipped to create processes and concepts that enabled the “ah-ha” moments of self realisation that are the pathway to lasting change and personal freedom.

One of the simplest ways to experience your personal behavioural blindness, which everyone has, is to notice what you see in others and what your judgements and perceptions are. This is especially telling on experiences that trigger you emotionally and for want of another term “press your buttons.” This takes a willingness to look kindly and honestly at yourself as the sorts of reflections you are likely to see will be things you’ll find ugly and annoying. Instead of labelling these observations as good or bad, ask yourself a better question like, “how could I use this reflection to bring out the best of who I really am?”  What you see in others is often a reflection of you.  Have you ever heard someone say,  “No judgement, but,….” Okay. That’s going to sound like judgement!

What if this becomes overwhelming or you get a fright when you see your own shadow? The biggest gift you can give yourself is self compassion and empathy. Just recognising the reflection will go a massive distance toward appreciating even more the behaviour that serves you. Above all you are not your behaviour and you can change your behaviour in a heartbeat.  Speak to someone who cares to listen and if needed find a mentor or coach.

Lisa saw the “idiot” in other people and being followed by idiots this was frustrating and annoying to her. Learning about her own perception as a projection was a moment of freedom for Lisa.  All of her life she had continually moved on… in jobs, relationships, even where she lived hoping to find people that she felt understood her. Lisa has discovered that she first needs to understand, and then be understood. The first person Lisa needed to understand was herself.

Since this discovery Lisa has transformed and is happier and more confident than she’s ever given herself the freedom to be in the past. Her work situation is reflecting this shift and she’s never felt more liked and more productive in her entire career.


Madelaine Cohen Author

Lipstick Learning is an initiative of Sydney based business leader, Certified NLP Trainer (ABNLP), entrepreneur and Master NLP Practitioner Madelaine Cohen. Sharing information and joining forces with people who choose to lead. Madelaine has more than two decades of inspiration from her businesses in consumer products, sports marketing, executive coaching and healthcare. She takes a leading role in mentoring executives and training business leadership in large and small enterprises. Why? Inspire people to lead and together we can create lifetimes of health and happiness. To find out how you can lead with even more authenticity and ease, contact Madelaine through Lipstick Learning. Madelaine welcomes connection & networking so if you have something to ask or share, go for it.