The more you learn about listening, the more you realize what a skill it actually is. It’s something everyone can do, sure. But it’s not something everyone is necessarily good at. And I’m not just talking about listening with your ears. There are lots of ways to listen. Yet we often do whatever is the bare minimum and whatever is easiest.
Have you ever been listened to? Like, really really listened to? The type of listened to where you can feel it in your bones? Where when you’re done speaking or communicating (however it may be) there’s a pause while the recipient takes it in and further validates that you were really listened to and not just heard?
So many times in conversations we just wait for our turn to talk. We may be thinking of something or want to steer the dialogue in one direction, so we obsess with getting our thoughts out so that we can talk about the thing we want to talk about. It’s not listening. It’s patiently waiting for your turn to scream into the void towards a specific person who is also only hearing you while they patiently wait for their turn to talk.
I hope you get listened to. It’s a wonderful feeling.
I make it a point to listen often and as much as I can. I don’t always nail it. But I do make a consistent effort. And because I’m often willing to be more patient and listen more intensely than your average bear, I find myself often interrupted by people who are so eager to get their thing out, they can’t wait another moment. My usual immediate reaction is to defensively and interrupt them back to steer the conversation where I wanted to go. My other typical reaction is to quietly get frustrated and judge the person who interrupted me. Who are they, after all, to think their ideas are more important than my own?
But I’ve recently changed tactics a bit. I’ve realized that by getting frustrated at people who constantly interrupt and judge them, I’m wasting energy wishing for them to be someone they are not. Or I’m wasting energy putting too much clout into their thought process behind the interruption. As if they meant to do so as an outward act of aggression. Or by actively waiting for them to stop talking so I can get back to my thing, I’m wasting energy sitting on pins and needles rather than just going with the flow of the conversation.
So I’ve been making an effort now to stop wasting energy. Instead, I’m going to view interruptions as an opportunity. They’re a chance to actively work on staying present. They’re a chance to practice my flexibility and willingness to just go with the flow.
And they’re a chance for me, most importantly, to listen.
Back again, friends.
In this episode, we talk about Mercury Retrograding. (Yeah, it happens, sorry).
I mention finding perspective.
I give a quick shout out to my hubs.
I talk traveling.
I hint about an upcoming blog post you should check out (hey, get caught up here!).
And I generally discuss chilling out.
Mostly, I’m trying to make everyone a teacher and trying to make my acting teacher proud.
Or, maybe, just make my best self proud. Who knows.
Subscribing and rating helps out, friends. But you know what helps more than anything? You being you. So keep doing that.
For my consistent readers, you may recall that I recently posted about “Going in.” I was entering a phase of intense work on both my productivity and myself.
I thought I would come out in early December. Turns out, I’ve got more work to do.
While I already feel like I’ve made some progress, and I’m certainly working on some issues I knew I needed to work on while going in, I’m not in any big hurry to reenter society yet. Of course I’m still going out and working as usual in many ways, but it’s a mental attitude shift that I’m going through right now. I’m being extra aware of my emotions and mind and spending huge chunks of free time filling my brain with information. I’m taking extra time to work on me and reshaping my own foundation. And it turns out, it feels pretty good to take the time to do this. And there’s more work here than I anticipated. So I’m gonna stay in for a little while longer.
It’s like when you take your car in and get an estimate on some obvious damage, then when they actually open the car up they realize there’s a lot more damage than they anticipated and it’s gonna take longer than you thought. That’s what’s happening with me right now. At least that’s how I feel.
And that’s ok. We’re all damaged. I’m going through some serious physical and mental makeovers at the moment. We’re upgrading and prepping for the craziness ahead and I wanna make sure the car is in perfect working order before we go test the limits.
I’ll probably be here throughout the rest of the year. Don’t worry about me. In fact, maybe take some time for you. It’s not terrible here in the cave. Sure, emotions run rampant and there’s intense fear you’ve got to face head-on daily… but it’s kind of exhilarating, too.
I’ve learned something this past year. It’s been a difficult lesson, but I’ve learned it daggumit.
It’s simply this: Sometimes you need to pretend that you already are what you want to become in order to convince yourself and others that you are what you believe you can become.
In other words- fake it til you make it.
Yes, it’s simple. Yes, tons of people have already written about it and talked about it. No, I’m not a revolutionary for coming up with it. But if you have any shred of midwestern humility in you, you know how difficult this can actually be.
Because you don’t want to become full of yourself. You don’t want to be ego-centric. You don’t want to lose sight of your foundation and your friends and your groundings and the reality of the situation around you.
But you do want to allow yourself to own and be proud of what you are and what you believe you can accomplish. And that, sometimes, require becoming a person you are not comfortable admitting you are.
It’s scary to push yourself beyond what you believed to be your limits. It’s scary to admit that you’re putting yourself out on the line. It’s scary to throw yourself in front of people and say “This is me! I believe in me!” People will try and tear you down. All the people on the sidelines who are too scared to become themselves will shift their attention from their own fears and put them onto you and try and tell you you’re not good enough or you can’t do what you believe you can.
But they’re wrong. You can do anything you believe you can do. And if you pretend you are something or someone and do everything in your power to convince yourself that you truly are that person, you will become it. It may take a while and will require some intense change and growing pains, but you’ll do it.
So visualize what you want to become and believe that you are that person. Live it. Breathe it. And then strap in because you’re in for a bumpy and wonderful ride.
The biggest takeaway from this Femoir: The Podcast episode, friends, is that finding balance is a journey not a destination.
I mention my day job. I work at the most fun Law Office in existence. I’m a lucky lady.
I talk about working out. If you read this blog, you know that I do that a lot anyway.
I also mention counting calories. I’ve written about how much I hate it before. I still hate it.
I mention the “All In” previous Femoir podcast, too.