Like it or not, believe it or not, we bring our biology and biography to work, i.e., we bring our “family” and history to work. It’s a fact of psycho/emotional life – even at work.
So, at work, many of the folks we interact with, in some way, (consciously or unconsciously, emotionally, energetically and psychologically) remind us of members of our families.
As young children we learned to act/respond in ways that (1) brought us mommy and daddy’s love, approval, acceptance and acknowledgement and/or (2) kept us safe from harm, trauma or abuse. As children, it’s also a fact of life that everyone is “wounded” by parents or primary caregivers who are doing their best, but, nevertheless – unintentionally – are wounding, harming or traumatizing their child in some way through their language, judgments, criticisms, verbal, emotional or physical abuse. This is true even in those households on Candy-Cane Lane where everything was “just beautiful and loving and no one raised their voice.” In childhood, wounding occurs.
The wounding imprint
Thus the child grows up with an imprint on their brain and carries an emotional make-up in their body that translates into feelings -feelings they are deficient, lacking, unworthy or not good enough. As the child enters into adolescence, they have come to “know” or “believe” they need to think and act in certain ways to protect their self from others- real or perceived disapproval, negative judgment, criticism or verbal or physical harm.
The 3-4-5-year-old adult
So, we now fast-forward to adult life at work (and, truth be told, at home, at play and in most relationships). Since most folks who have not done personal work are usually unaware of these childhood experiences and the resulting psychodynamics, many folks are really acting out their 3-4-5 year old emotional selves in adult bodies, wearing adult clothes – especially those who insist, “Hey I am adult; I am mature, I am! I am! I am!”
So, when these individuals face people, circumstances or events at work that can affect whether or not they receive the energetic, emotional and psychological equivalent of “mommy or daddy’s” love, acceptance or approval, their knee-jerk reptilian brain reactively compels them to “do what it takes” to “get the love.”
Consciously and unconsciously, feeling deficient, feeling lacking, feeling unworthy and feeling afraid that truth-telling might end in some type of “punishment,” disapproval or rejection, they resort to lying as one option or defense to deflect “being punished” and losing the love and acceptance they truly want and are seeking.
When folks do personal growth, and spiritual awareness work, they often discover the various ways they have donned masks, veils, and put on false personalities to cover up their sense of “I’m deficient,” “I’m not good enough” or “I need to make people like me” beliefs and self-images. With personal work, self-awareness, they uncover or discover the truth of why they are who they are as adults. With this awareness, they can then shed their self-limiting beliefs, their masks and their need to lie. They begin to see the false self-images they created to protect themselves and learn how to “show up” as authentic, as their true and real self and “tell the truth” first, to themselves and then, to others.
The truth will set you free
From this place of emotional, psychological and spiritual maturation, a place where the “truth sets one free,” folks move to a place of being real, a place they experience as refreshing, light, and honest. In this place, they have no need for duplicity, disingenuineness, faking, phoniness, or fear. And, amazingly and refreshingly, they discover “telling the truth is not as bad as I thought.” As the expression goes, “The Truth shall set you free.”
The deeper question, the curiosity, is why so many of us refuse to believe the truth will set us free.
Some questions for self-reflection:
- What was truth-telling like when you were growing up? (for you, your primary caregivers, relatives, friends, etc.)? How so?
- When did you first discover you had a need to lie?
- What did lying get you? Specifically?
- Did anyone teach you how to lie? How so?
- So, today, where/when do you find yourself lying? How so?
- Do you ever admonish others for lying? When and why?
- When you lie, do you blame it on events or circumstances and not your character?
- When others lie, do you blame it on the events and circumstances in their life or on some character flaw they have?
- Would you say you’re a trustworthy person?
- Are you a trusting person?
- Has anyone ever told you they can’t trust you? If so, what was that like?
- Do you lie to yourself? About what?
(c) 2019, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful. Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.
What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”
I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.
I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, www.truenorthpartnering.com or pvajda(at)truenorthpartnering.com
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda.