I have this very special friend of mine and I was just reflecting on our journey together. When we initially started talking, we misunderstood each other a lot. It was like we were in the “storming phase” of the team development journey. Research suggest that a new team cannot be expected to perform optimally when it first comes together. Literature in team and people dynamics reports that forming a team takes time because members often go through recognizable stages as they change from being a collection of strangers to a united group with common goals. “Bruce Tuckman’s Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing and Adjourning model describes these stages. The storming phase is where people start to push against the boundaries established in the forming stage. This is the stage where many teams fail. Storming often starts where there is a conflict between team members’ natural working styles.” https://www.mindtools.com. I must say my friend and I had our own hectic storming phase.

The more we engaged in dialogue the more I realised that he was forming an inconclusive perception of who I am. I think to people who don’t know me well, I can come across as “weird” and to those who see life through patriarchal lens, they may perceive me to be a feminist. His inconclusive statements were portraying me as a difficult human unwilling to open and yield to understanding other people’s world views. After he had mentioned his statement about how he was going to make me more “human” because I was difficult, I was mad. A few seconds after our conversation I started to think that perhaps he was right about me. It’s amazing how we can hear nine reviews about how exceptional we are, and hear the one negative comment and it dominates our minds.

Though my friend and I have made tremendous progress in our relationship and I suspect we always bound to conflict in some way as he often says that we come from two very different worlds. However, I must say that one of the most liberating things for me has been realizing that we cannot stay mad at people for saying certain things about us. Sometimes people don’t have the “language” to express what they are perceiving or experiencing, and they will use the closest, and not necessarily the most accurate words based on their current vocabulary.

One of my personal strategic goals is to learn daily and not allow statements that people make about me to become my “truth” because the reality is no one lives my life the way I do.

Even as we still in the early stages of 2018, I want us to guide against and protect our hearts/spirit from falling into “30 seconds of weakness”. My definition of 30 seconds of weakness is those few moments in time when we choose to take, accept and believe what other people say about us more than what we believe we truly are.

I love the proverb that says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” Proverbs 23:7 New King James Version (NKJV). You are what you truly believe you are.

What creates the context for your life is your spirit not your brain. Your spirit is the better part of you and I choose to draw from that every time I face 30 seconds of weakness so that I can be sharpened to better serve humanity.