May 20, 2014
When Vulnerability Turns into Whining by Jerry Murray
I heard myself repeat the same refrain several times over the past month – My first quarter was the craziest first quarter I’ve ever experienced. It’s a true statement (I think).
The craziness came from every direction: New things to work on, new relational truths to work through and new concepts to consider, all in addition to an already full schedule. On top of that, I left the state three times and country once for a combination of work and fun. The barrage of activity resulted in reading less, exercising less and meeting fewer times with friends for the purpose of accountability and encouragement.
As I’ve looked back at the quarter, I’ve concluded that my busyness kept me from seeing and dealing appropriately with several small (yet challenging) issues. Over time, the neglect required some emotional repair work.
I didn’t start out whining. Certainly there is value in healthy vulnerability for everyone, especially for leaders. Being a leader can feel lonely from time to time. But we can’t just go it alone. It’s appropriate to engage a trusted friend to help you see your blind spot and to develop greater self-awareness. That is where I started. Thankfully, I have a few friends who led me to truth pretty quickly without beating me over the head.
The truth of my situation became evident in fairly short order, and I formed a plan. The problem for me was that after I gained some insights and determined the pathway to overcome my issues, I wasn’t yet finished wallowing in my stuff.
Admit it…most of us do this from time to time.
We hear good advice and even agree to a plan of action in person, but we delay behavior change. What’s worse, sometimes we even continue to complain about our situation because it feels so good to have others validate our emotions. I’ve come to see, though, that the shortest distance in the journey to overcoming is in taking productive steps rather than continuing the refrain about my current situation.
Change is hard. It often makes us stronger, wiser, more relevant and more effective. But again, it’s hard. The wisdom, encouragement and accountability of a trusted friend or advisor is always an effective way to improve the likelihood of successful change.
Be honest; don’t hold back logically, emotionally, relationally or spiritually. BUT, if you find yourself holding back…begin again to take productive steps toward the change that you agree is best for yourself and for those around you. Moving forward will reflect well on your character and will honor the friends that are walking alongside you. Save the whining for when you really need it.