Every new adjustment is a crisis in self-esteem. Eric Hoffer
Adjustment definitely indicates a shift from the status quo. For almost everyone this shift brings with it a number of questions relating to ‘what happens next’. With the rare exception of very desperate people or extremely positive people, most normal people would be circumspect about the adjustment, primarily because we are concerned about how what the possible negative impact of the change would be. Desperate people will go with an attitude of it can’t get worse whilst the positive people will look at it as another opportunity around the corner.
The bigger problem of adjustment though, is its impact on our self esteem. Invariably the adjustment is because of changing circumstances most of it not initiated by our self. Worse still if the adjustment is forced up on us our ego will first question the authority and authenticity of the source of change. The human mind will then go on the defense and conjure up imaginary negative impact of the adjustment so as to take preventive action if and when the eventuality happens. Job transfers are a classic case of an event requiring a major adjustment. Beginning with accommodation and schooling of kids, it also raises worries about the new work environment, the quality of work, the type of superior one will have to deal with and the cultural and social adjustments one has to make.
Our upbringing and personal nature also play a major role in either minimizing the crisis of the self-esteem problems in adjustments or precipitating it. There are times when we take a high moral ground and refuse to budge from your position even if you realize that your argument is weak. Eg. When we refuse to give alms to a beggar ostensibly because you are opposed to encouraging beggars but realistically because you do not have any small denomination currency. Other times we make the adjustments with poor grace and an even worse temperament. Road rage is a vivid example of such behavior. Our inability to cope with change particularly technological change is a major crisis in self adjustment. While we would love to own the latest gadgets, finances permitting, we actually hesitate even when we can afford to acquire the gadgets simply because we fear w may not be able to operate the equipment. Eg.The latest mobile telephones are a rage with the youngsters but don’t cut much ice with the older generation who put on a façade of ‘not really requiring the features’ to justify themselves.
A good test of knowing your own ability to cope with adjustments is to check on how often you decline opportunities, ask yourself how weak is your argument for declining and what are the first thoughts that come to mind, when you see a change coming. Finally also ask yourself if you are ashamed to attempt and fail. If the answer is an overwhelming yes, then you have a major crisis of self esteem on hand.
Remember: “The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment, it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone.” Orison Swett Marden
- Assume that you are travelling in train with your family and you have reserved seats. At a certain junction a very old lady enters the compartment and requests you to make a small adjustment and let her sit since she has no reservation and she has to go to another place which is 6 hours away. How will you realistically deal with the situation? Will your response be different if the lady entered at 9 am or 9 pm?
- Go and attend a concert or play or musical show or a magic show or a circus or any program preferably of a genre that you have never been to. For best results go alone and avoid all temptation of taking a friend along. Examine your own feelings before, during and after the show. Irrespective of the quality of the show or your ability to appreciate it, did you enjoy the experience?
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