Snippet – No.17: Self-regulation

Snippet – No.17: Self-regulation

I live on a small-holding in West Wales and lock-down has been carefully observed amongst our locals. With restrictions on our lives finally easing, I find that on the occasions I go out these days I am mostly left feeling angry, enraged even!

My anger is not at the Covid-19 virus, the restrictions on my life, the continuous queues or even our Government any longer – I am angry at the general public, my fellow human beings.

We are asked to wear face masks and maintain social distancing – which is not terribly difficult at all in the grand scheme of things. So why do people complain and want to exercise their ‘right’ not to wear a mask? Why do people feel it is OK to treat other people’s homes as their playground and leave their rubbish behind? Why do people feel OK invading my personal space?

Isn’t it positively selfish of them? Surely it is our obligation as a decent human being to think of others and to be kind, considerate and respectful to each other?

But then reflecting further (walking my dogs over the green rolling hills always helps!) I’m struck by the realisation that my feeling angry doesn’t help either. It too easily leads to me treating my fellow human beings as ‘other’ and bad, failing to see our common humanity, just as they are failing to see mine. 

Lisa McFall
Head of Business Operations CharacterScope

Snippet, Reflect, Fix

Snippet
People high in Self-regulation are good at not allowing themselves to be driven or controlled by their impulses or habits. They also tend to be good at challenging their own assumptions or prejudices about people. It is not the same as denying emotions or impulses – being shut off from emotions – but about not letting them drive behaviour.

Reflect

A Buddhist precept has it that we should thank our enemies because they are the only ones who can truly teach us what compassion is. It’s a challenging idea. Reflect on what is most likely to trigger you into anger or into losing sight of another person’s humanity. 

Fix
Create an ‘if-then’ routine for yourself. Which might go something like ‘If I find myself sparked into righteous indignation, then I’ll … (mow the lawn, knit, walk the dog, bake a cake with love in my heart).

Snippet – No.6: Thinks ahead

Snippet – No.6: Thinks ahead

I’ve always wanted to be better at ‘Thinks ahead’. Working in a finance role, and constantly involved in cashflow and P&L forecasts, my peers assume I would be great at this. In fact, I am very executional: brilliant at getting things done, but I struggle with more strategic, bigger thinking. With the uncertainty of lockdown, I found it hard to keep focussed on the goals I had set myself. Reading Stockdale’s Paradox made me reflect:

“you must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality” – Admiral Stockdale (from Good to Great, by Jim Collins)

So, I have adjusted my goals. They are smaller, but I feel able to start thinking ahead a little more clearly now… and very much still a work in progress… just like lockdown.

Lisa McFall
Head of Business Operations CharacterScope

Snippet, Reflect, Fix

Snippet
It is by allowing ourselves to think into the future that we can make the right decisions today that our future self will thank us for.
 
Reflect
What are the habits that you can put into place today that your future self will thank you for? A small step is always the right beginning.

Fix
Pick one small habit to start today that your future self will thank you for.