Ending our suffering and the tyranny of contradictions.


in Personal Growth

She stood before the judge and with quiet confidence gave the performance of a lifetime on behalf of her client – raising salient points, responding to objections, and telling a compelling story.

I am powerful.

An hour later, in the privacy of her office, she stood staring at her phone wondering if she could pick it up to make a call on her own behalf. To tell her own story. To ask for help.

I am not influential.

He brokered an amazing deal with the most difficult clients – bringing the parties together by listening intently, diving fearlessly into the issues, and responding to their needs.

I am a great communicator.

That evening, looking at his wife across the dining room table, he could not summon the right words to bridge the silence. To say what needed saying. To hear what needed to be heard.

I am afraid to speak.

She created the most successful fundraisers – matching people and causes with creative flair and raising money that surpassed all expectations. It just rolled in on waves of abundance.

I am good at making money.

Yet, sipping a glass of wine after yet another amazing event, a review of her personal bank statement showed an appalling lack of resources. More money going out than coming in.

I am not a worthy cause.


We all suffer from our contradictions. ~ M. R. Hall

In one context, we can take on any number of difficult things and successfully achieve results that are important to us.

In another, our courage seems to shrink. Our sense of worth is diminished. We are left without words. Without the ability to take action.

What makes these situations and our responses different? I’m not sure, except, perhaps, to think that it has something to do with what we believe to be true about ourselves. What we believe is it at stake. At risk.

Clearly, in a professional context, we are being compensated to do a job or to achieve an outcome. We are cloaked in our professionalism. After all, it’s just work, right? It’s not personal.

In our personal lives, the stakes seem to be high. Choices, actions, and words appear to be fraught with consequences. We might be exposed. Our weaknesses and fears might be revealed. And, that would be deadly, wouldn’t it?

What would happen if we applied the lense of our professional selves to approaching sensitive or challenging things in our lives? Treated ourselves with the respect and care we would take with a client or an employer?

Would anything change? It just might.

We might just start changing our underlying assumptions – about what we believe to be true about ourselves. We might realize that we are powerful and capable. We might learn not to take everything so seriously. We might understand that we won’t die if we try.

We might learn that we can trust ourselves to handle anything. Really.

I'd love to pop into your inbox. Subscribe to get blog posts, an occasional newsletter, and other good things.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rasheed Hooda June 22, 2011 at


Trusting ourselves is the hardest lesson to learn, but once you have learned it and can apply it, You give yourself the most valuable gift you will ever receive.



Andrea June 22, 2011 at

So beautifully said, Rasheed. A gift indeed. Thank you!


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: