I like this quote by Doris Lessing from The Golden Notebook:
“There’s only one real sin, and that is to persuade oneself that the second-best is anything but the second-best.”
Many of us consider doing our second best in situations as sufficient. Maybe this is because we didn’t feel our best at the time and excuse our behaviour because it seems to be the best we could bring to it. Other reasons may have to do with low self-esteem, insufficient tools, lack of support and so on.
This week’s Conflict Mastery Quest(ions) blog suggests that we have a choice to bring our best self – not our second best self – to our conflict situations. What follows then, are some reflective questions to consider before a conflict arises – when you sense one is imminent – to be able to bring your best self to it.
- What is going on for you that gives you the sense that a conflict is imminent?
- What is going on that gives you the sense that the other person might be sharing the same sense, if that’s the case?
- What specifically is being triggered inside you?
- What might you be saying or doing to provoke the other person?
- How do you describe the best version of the you that you want to bring to this dispute?
- By bringing that best version (that you just described), what do you have to do to shift your attitude about the conflict?
- By bringing that best version (that you just described), what do you have to do to shift your attitude about the other person?
- By bringing that best version (that you just described), what do you have to do to shift your attitude about yourself?
- How is the best version of yourself different from the second best version of you?
- How is the best version of you someone you feel humbled and honoured to be?
- What else occurs to you as you consider these questions?
- What insights do you have?