I was recently involved in a project that required group work. I have never been a fan of group work; I’d usually rather work alone.
In school, if we had been assigned group work, and if it was possible, I would try to take on the whole group project myself. My group members were usually fine with this because I would typically get them a high mark and they wouldn’t have to do anything.
At that time, I thought I was just a control freak, needing to control every aspect of the project. (I admit, there is some truth to this. LOL) But as I dig deeper into my motivations for this behaviour, I have realized that there’s more to it:
Slow people irritate me.
I know. I know. I shouldn’t say such a thing! But this is me being honest. So, there it is.
From my perspective, being one of the youngest in a family of 9 kids, slowness was never really tolerated; I had to keep up. I learned that fast was good, slow was bad. Fast was acceptable, slow was unacceptable.
I learned this as a child. And it worked for me as a child. It served me. It kept me safe, made me acceptable, and it brought me a sense of belonging - my family is fast and I belong to this fast family by being fast myself.
This idea that “fast is good and slow is bad” has influenced my life, even my adult life, whether or not I am aware of all the ways it has.
One of the ways it has influenced me is finding slow people irritating. We, as humans, don’t like in others what we don’t like in ourselves. I don’t like slowness in me (it makes me feel like I’ll be left behind, makes me feel unacceptable, makes me feel like I don’t belong, slowness is unacceptable), so I don’t like slowness in others. Slowness irritates me.
Like I said, I learned this as a child, but I am not a child now. This idea/belief doesn’t serve me anymore. As an adult, I can choose what I believe to be true. I am beginning to believe that maybe fast isn’t always good and maybe slow isn’t always bad.
I think it is important for me to work on this belief some more because, more than likely, one day in the future, I will be slow and I won’t be able to do anything about it. I will need help. I will need to rely on others. I will be that which I now believe is unacceptable. And if I don’t work on letting go of this belief, that means I will not accept myself. And that is a situation I want to avoid, much more so than avoiding group work!
I am going to work on shifting this “slow-is-bad” belief now for a few reasons: 1) it’s stressful to always need to be fast and I want less stress, 2) so I can have more compassionate latitude and patience for slower people, 3) so that I can love and accept my slow future self, if one day that slowing down should happen, and 4) so that I can love and accept that part of my present self that is slow sometimes.
Because that slow part of me is acceptable. Right here and right now. And that’s the truth.
Can you relate to this?
What belief would you like to shift?
I invite you to work one-on-one with me to shift your beliefs that no longer serve you. Just send me a message and let me know when you’d like to start. I’m looking forward to helping you.
Here’s to conquering stress.
The Stress Experts
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