They say choose your battles, but how do you know which battles are worth fighting? Which battles to pick, and which ones to stand down and let pass?
When you’re in the thick of it, how do you tell the difference between single-mindedness and narrow-mindedness? Between strength and stubbornness? Between self defence and paranoia? Or between letting go and letting yourself down?
I had a few moments recently, where I needed a sanity check. Moments where my instinctive reaction to something was at odds with my usual trusting, accommodating nature.
“Am I mad? Is it just me…?”
I needed to know whether this battle was worth fighting, or whether I was just being picky.
So I asked: people who had been there before, people who knew me well, people I could trust to give me their no holds barred honest view.
Overwhelming the response came back, confirming my instincts. “Don’t settle.” “Give them hell” “No this isn’t how it has to be.” “You have to fight tooth and nail for what you want as I did.”
That was the rally cry I needed – to stop questioning myself and fight my ground.
Sometimes we can be too close to a situation to have a clear perspective, or we can have too many conflicting perspectives to follow our instincts. Sometimes we find ourselves in new territory where we don’t know the lay of the ground or the rules of the road, let alone whether to fight.
That’s when a sanity check can be so helpful.
Someone to challenge our habits and tolerations, to highlight what we’ve come to accept as normal.
Someone to challenge where we short change ourselves, go into self-destruct, or make downright bad decisions, to pull us up and say “what the hell are you doing?”
Someone to point out the stuff we’ve been avoiding, to get us to look right where we don’t want to look.
Someone to be the calming voice of reason encouraging us to stand down when it’s not worth it, or the rally cry we need to stand our ground and fight when it matters.
Someone we can turn to and ask, “Am I mad? Is it just me…?”
Do you have someone like that?