What do you like to leave at the door?
At a seminar I attended the keynote speaker advised us to leave our troubles at the door when we go into the office for our workday. She said that we should imagine our troubles as baggage, and we should just drop that suitcase right on the floor at the door before we walk through. We need to have our game faces on to be successful, and that requires putting the distractions aside. Very sensible.
Then, some time later, a career expert talked to a group of us at a luncheon. She asserted that too many people leave part of themselves at the door when going to the job. Furthermore, iff we can’t take our whole self through the door, we won’t be happy… because we aren’t being authentic. We want to be accepted for who we are. Yes, I agree. Most of us do want to be real and be loved for it.
Believe me, these two women do not know each other! They didn’t confer about using the same image of leaving something at the door. Of course, leaving our troubles at the door so we can be functional and leaving part of our personality at the door so we can fit in are very different concepts. However, I do find it ironic that I was at both of these events hearing the same analogy!
I couldn’t help but wonder about what I tend to leave at the door. I’m pretty good at being focused at work, but, honestly, I don’t always leave my troubles at the door. My heart isn’t a steel trap. Besides, is anybody really capable of shutting all that stuff off everyday, all day? I sometimes do leave part of myself at the door, but as I’ve grown older, I must confess that I don’t do this as much as I used to. Now I sorta think, “If they don’t like it, they can lump it.” I guess I’m entitled to a little eccentricity now that I’ve jumped “over the hill”!
Recently, I’ve asked myself what I would like to leave at the door. First thing that came to mind, and it popped in there pretty quickly, is that I’d like to leave my inner critic at the door. In fact, I’d like to leave that creature at every single door I walk through!
Julia Cameron suggests giving the inner critic a personality. The idea is that by making the inner critic into something we can identify and amplify, we’ll make him/her easy to spot. Then we won’t be caught unawares when he/she shows up. It’ll also be easier to distance ourselves from the mean ole voice we bring on ourselves when we unleash the critic. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, and it’s true… if we talked to others the way we talk to ourselves, we’d be appalled. By the way, Cameron said that her inner critic is an effeminate gay guy who speaks with imperial and sarcastic tones.
I close with this question… what would you like to leave at the door?