I was in a meeting with my new Chairman. I was passionately elucidating my future plans for the business.
The Chairman looked at me, made a sign of smallness with his fingers and said, “Your businesses generate too small a revenue!”. The stress was on the smallness, the inconsequence of all that I and my businesses were doing.
Stumbling out of the meeting, I was in a daze. To be told by your boss that all your efforts and dreams, all that you stood for, did not matter in the larger scheme of things, was devastating.
As I look back at that crucible moment, I can see how it changed the trajectory of my life thereon.
For days afterward, I was pummeled down by negative thoughts and low self-esteem. I swung between anxiety, anger and bitterness.
The way it occurred to me, there were all these guys, less qualified and with less competence, who were being acknowledged because they seemed to be ‘at the right place at the right time.’
I felt small. I hadn’t done anything wrong to deserve what I had heard. From that one conversation, I seemed to have lost a significant part of myself, opening up hitherto un-noticed doors to self-doubt and self-flagellation.
But then a thought came to me, ‘Had I done enough right?’
I unburdened myself by speaking about the incident and my thoughts to my wife and a couple of trusted workplace colleagues. I felt less like an idiot when I shared what I learned from screwing up. This helped me to move beyond the dark side of my self-doubt and low self-esteem.
The incident supported me to work on that crucible moment question, “Had I done enough right?” It taught me the practice of Self Reflection. It is this that opened up for me new possibilities and opportunities of growth.
In his Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestseller, ‘The Blueprint: 6 Practical Steps to Lift Your Leadership to New Heights’, author Doug Conant speaks of his own journey of self-reflection and discovery that revolutionized his leadership and transformed his career trajectory.
Doug condenses his remarkable leadership story into six practical steps.
- Reach High – Envision
- Dig Deep – Reflect
- Lay the Groundwork – Study
- Design – Plan
- Build – Practice
- Reinforce – Improve
In today’s world of uncertainty and disruption which can leave us stuck and overwhelmed, the above six steps have the potential to lift our leadership and performance to heights that would bring us career success, joy and fulfillment.
#shaktighosal #leadershipdevelopment #performancecoaching
3 thoughts on “My Crucible moment and self-reflection”
Self reflection is so important, especially when done without judgment. We can be so harsh with ourselves.
My husband is so great, yesterday I was watching him struggle with a project, nothing seemed to be going right, and I asked him how he was doing. He said, “this is another learning day!” He understands the trouble is always opportunity for growth. And that his work is also his spiritual path.
Clearly that crucible moment for you sent you on a deeper more authentic path. Can be scary, but kudos to you for undertaking it!
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Indeed, what stops us from self-reflection are largely judgmental aspects. How we judge others, the environment, the situation at hand. As we get busy with such judgments and ascribing causes and blames, we do stop short of judging our own selves. Our judgments always emanate from us being in the center of our universe.
I need to acknowledge your husband for his wisdom. As soon as we shift our perception from the intractability of the situation, the fear of failure to that of seeing a learning opportunity, our approach, our creativity and our initiative-taking abilities shift.
Thank you for the thoughtful comment and your presence.
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