November 2015

The Inner Characters at Your Round Table

Meet Them at the Door Laughing and Invite Them In

Bringing all your inner characters to the round table necessitates that you are aware that you have many different aspects of your self. For some, this awareness itself is difficult. For others, it is quite easy as they are used to listening to the conflicting voices in their heads.

One says, “Do it.”

Another says, “Do not. You might fail!” or some such travesty.

The first, “But I want to. I believe I can.”

The second, “Are you crazy!? You could look like a fool! Just forget about it.”

And so the dialogue goes until you give in, resigned to play it safe or you go for broke. The characters, two or more, wrestle internally until one wins and you do or don't do whatever is at issue.

The focus this month addresses bringing all our characters to the round table. What is the value? To create inner peace, easy decision making, joy, clarity, and freedom. Learn to use your round table and you will see your productivity soar. Without internal conflicts, our energy knows no bounds. With it, we are anchored in the mud.

Let's use this lens while finding out what Sally and Donna are up to.

When we last saw them, they had just met each other. After a very brief encounter, Sally accused Donna of also drinking the Kool-Aid, turned on her heel and walked out. Donna, glad that her boss, Lorin, had given her some intel about Sally, was still stunned by Sally's sharpness and close-minded negativity. The brief encounter reminded her of how she used to be and how grateful she felt now. She walked up to Tom's office to let him know what had transpired.

Sally walks briskly to her car without turning back. Almost on automatic pilot, she gets in the car and drives away. Before she's out of the parking lot, her shoulders drop and she sighs deeply. Then suddenly, she starts shaking. She tightens, trying to stop the shaking. Tears well up. Trying to stop them also, she gasps for breath. Out of the parking lot, she pulls over to the curb and starts sobbing.

“What is wrong with me?” she asks herself. “I'm falling apart. I'm so glad to be out of there. These are tears of relief. Right?”

Sally cries for a moment, then mumbles, “No they're not. You just made a fool of yourself with that beautiful woman, Donna. What is wrong with you?”

“Who cares about her anyway?” she says to herself next. “She's just one of their newest puppets. She's probably just as stupid as they are.”

“Well, at least I'm out of there,” she continues. “That's a blessing, for sure. But now, what am I going to do? Where will I go?”

“Someone will want me,” she justifies to herself. “I have a lot to offer and they'll know it. I'm not done yet.”

“You're fooling yourself,” she replies to herself. “You finally met your match and you couldn't stand up to them. You are a loser and you know it.”

“I'm calling my husband,” Sally blurts out. “He'll make me feel better. He believes in me.”

Sally finds her phone and speed dials her husband, Larry.

Sally: “I did it.”

Larry: “You did what?”

Sally: “I quit, you jerk. You knew I was going to do it today. What's wrong with you?”

Larry: “Oh, that's right. How did it go?”

Sally: “Fine. I'm out. That's what's important. I did it.”

Larry: “Well, congratulations. What are you going to do now?”

Sally: “I don't know. Stop rushing me. Here I just told you that I quit, and all you care about is that I get another job. I called you to feel better, and now I feel worse.”

Larry: “Honey, I didn't mean to make you feel worse. Why don't you come home?”

Sally: “I don't know. I think I'll go over to see James. Maybe he found the perfect position for me. Anything will be better than this place.”

Larry: “Well, do whatever you want. I'll...”

Sally interrupts Larry: “What do you mean, do whatever I want? You really don't care, do you?”

Larry: “Now stop it Sally. I was going to say that I'll be here when you come home. You keep thinking that I'm the enemy too. I'm not.”

Sally: “Well, my nerves are on edge. Quitting a job is not something I'm familiar with.”

Larry: “I remember you did it before. It's not that unfamiliar.”

Sally: “You are so unsupportive. I'm hanging up.”

Sally presses the 'end call' button. Steam is coming out of her ears and nose. She turns the key in the ignition and peels off. She is so angry. “Can't I find anyone who is supportive? What has this world come to?”

Driving to The Perfect Position, she almost runs a red light. She remembers her near accident recently and reminds herself to calm down and to drive carefully. It is hard to pay attention with so much going on in her head.

“You are a loser and this proves it,” she says to herself. “Not even your husband supports you. You are never going to find a good job again. You were a dunce to walk out of this place. Now look at you. You have nothing.”

“That's not true,” she argues aloud. “I am something and somebody will see that again. I know it. Someone will appreciate what I bring to the table. I'm not soft and wishy-washy like these people. I'm a hard business woman and I know how to make decisions and take action.”

“Right,” she responds. “The action you're taking is to walk out of the door and run away. You're a coward and you know it. You just couldn't face the fact that they didn't adore you and think you're the cat's meow. You are a loser, really.”

Sally finds a parking space near The Perfect Position. She is shaking again. She quiets herself down by shaking her head and almost yelling. She knows she can't go up to see James, the headhunter, or Bob, his admin, while she's got steam coming out of her ears.

While Sally is getting herself together, let's find out what transpires between Donna and Tom...

Tom welcomes Donna into his office. “Well?” Tom prompts. “What happened?”

“Wow is all I can say,” Donna replies. “She is a lost soul. It reminds me of how I used to be. Her negativity is palpable. What a shame. She is so close-minded. She wasn't interested in the least in hearing anything that didn't corroborate her story. She seems like a tortured person. I feel sad for her, but I bet her team will be happy she's gone. She is not someone whom I would ever want as a supervisor. How she got hired here is a mystery. Do you know how that happened? She seems like a misfit here.”

“Alex Dolman from the energy division recommended her,” Tom answers. “Apparently, they worked together years ago or went to school together. I'm not sure of the history. I do know that he thought she would be able to contribute a lot. Sorry that we won't get to see that. Donna, thanks for taking the time to meet Sally. How did your conversation end?”

“I gave her my card and told her that if she wanted to get together over a drink to find out more, she could contact me,” Donna explains. “I had just told her about the shift in attitude and behavior I had as a result of taking Rewire Leadership courses. It was as if I had ignited a bomb. She jumped up, accused me of drinking the Kool-Aid, and walked out.”

“Well, thanks for your efforts,” Tom says. “I doubt she'll contact you but if she does, let me know. Donna, it is a pleasure to meet you, and I hope we meet again under better circumstances. If there's anything I can ever do for you, please don't hesitate to ask.”

Donna stands up and the two of them shake hands.

Donna leaves to go up to her office, but as she is walking she remembers that she was going to meet with Emily about WING being off track. On the way to Emily's office, she pokes her head into Paresh's office. He looks up and flashes a big smile while welcoming her.

“I just came by to tell you how much I appreciate you and all that you do for our division,” Donna tells him. “You're a joy to work with. Thanks.”

“Thanks Donna,” Paresh replies. “I feel the same about you. Having you as a boss is a dream come true. This company, what I get to do, and having you as my boss...well, it couldn't get better than this. Thanks.”

With wide smiles and heads nodding, Donna leaves and walks down the hall to Emily's office.

What a contrast.

There is so much noise in Sally's head, it is overwhelming. No wonder she is breaking out in sobs and out of control. It is clear that she has not yet harnessed the energy of the various characters inside herself. Her inner critic and her pathological perfectionist are merciless. The way in which she lashes out at others is exactly what she does inside herself. Yet, she hasn't learned how to work with these characters so they have the reins and are like a bucking bronco.

Donna, on the other hand, is able to stay calm and collected. She is aware of her inner characters and has learned to use them well. She knows what it's like to be thrown around by her inner critic and her self put-down. She spent many years burdened by these characters, unable to control them. Now, rather than 'control them,' she engages with them in a productive way that leaves her feeling free, clear, and on her path. All in all, she is happy that she found an angel character who can sit at the head of her round table.

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