Getting To The Bottom

In a recent lecture, A asked us to think about what we had been challenged by over the break, in the aspect of our own learning.

Since there were only 7 of us in the class (I love small class sizes!), we had the chance to discuss everyone’s notion of what we each found challenging.

For someone it could have been the independent nature of their placement which they found confronting. For some others it was the new client group they worked with. Or, as in my case, the different nature of the work was found to be most challenging.

One thing which A said caught my attention.

“Whenever you feel upset or challenged by something, probe deeper. Chances are, there is something deeper bothering you, apart from the problem on the surface.”

And so it came out that the one who was “freaked out” by independent work could have been responding to their fear of responsibility and accountability, something they might not have been used to. And those of us who had difficulty adapting to new circumstances and scenarios could have been responding to our innate need for stability and routine, which is not uncommon.

I found it a helpful approach to what we find challenging in life – by asking ourselves “why does this bother me so much?”, and then probing deeper into what are we really afraid or worried about. It can help us understand ourselves better, allow us to reframe our mindsets accordingly, or put necessary measures in place to help ourselves adjust.

I’ve been applying this approach to my apprehensions about the future, trying to figure out what exactly is it I am worried about. On the surface it may just seem to be me worrying about job prospects and work-life balance and salary etc… But I’m beginning to see how these seeming worries are grounded by something deeper…

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