"I need to point out a colleague's weaknesses but he won't listen"
Dear Ayal, I am hoping you can advise me on a matter related to both business and friendship.
I am in my mid-thirties, and for as long as I can remember, I have always second-guessed my place in the universe, especially with regards to my career. I believe there are several reasons for this:
- Since early childhood, I was always curious about many different subjects, making it hard for me to know where I should best focus my energy, time, and talent.
- I was taught to believe that people are morally obligated to discover and make full use of all their talents. Consequently, no matter how productively I spent my time, I always had a nagging suspicion that I wasn't working hard enough to identify and develop my strengths the way I was meant to. Even when I excelled at something, I felt emotionally burdened by self-doubt because I was afraid that success in one area meant an atrophy of skills in other important areas.
- I am a survivor of several traumas, some of which occurred in early childhood. Even though I no longer feel constant fear in my life, I sometimes wonder if my capacity for hope, trust, and optimism are still very fragile in light of what I had to endure. It is quite possible that even now, I have a harder time than the average person at envisioning a positive future, trusting my intuition, and taking small but calculated risks, and that these anxieties are what keep me from making confident choices.
Everything was going so smoothly until very recently, when the person who introduced to me to this field asked me to help him start a business. I'm honored that he has chosen me, but I now have doubts as to whether our working relationship will succeed. First of all, he has no experience in business management. Secondly, he has the kind of headstrong personality that will not allow him to admit when he is wrong or uninformed about something. Third, as his business partner, my main responsibility would be to advise him on matters related to marketing, fundraising, and public relations, and in order to carry out that responsibility, I would have to identify all his weaknesses and then work with him to create strategies for either eliminating or downplaying those weaknesses. And therein lies the problem. Although I admire my friend's many strengths and compliment him on those strengths fairly often, I cannot help his business succeed if he will not own his weaknesses and work with me to take corrective action. No matter how gently and how reasonably I point out what needs to be done, he seems to ignore or downplay what I say. He only wants to hear praise.
I think my friend chose me to work with him because I have an analytical personality, a shared passion for the field, and relevant business skills to complement his own set of strengths, none of which are business related. Also, because I've assisted him on several previous occasions, he knows that I am a big champion for his cause. However, I feel that the situation is becoming more futile with each passing day. How can I possibly help his business succeed if he won't meet me halfway by taking an honest look at all the work that needs to be done? He won't even develop a business plan, which is the one thing that every business needs.
Lately, I've felt like a nagging spouse, an overbearing mother, and a wet blanket all rolled into one, and I hate being put into such a judgmental role. I can honestly say I've never had a working relationship that felt quite like this, nor have I dated any men like him, so I don't know where this dynamic is coming from in terms of my past. (I should also add that I'm happily married to another man, so in case you were wondering, my relationship with this other person is purely platonic and has no potential whatsoever to become romantic.)
I have tried to speak my truth, but he already has so many critics and detractors who are frustrated with him for the same reasons that he frustrates me. As a result, he has become too hypersensitive to stomach even the most constructive criticism coming from friends.
I've asked him repeatedly if he ought to work with someone else, seeing how he disregards all my advice. However, he keeps insisting that I am "the one." He says he feels a deep-seated calling to work with me, but when I ask him to elaborate, he is unable to provide a satisfying explanation. It's very puzzling, and I'm started to feel emotionally manipulated, even if he doesn't intend it that way.
Because this person is the one who introduced me to this field of work, I sometimes wonder if I owe him something on a cosmic level, and this is why I feel called to work with him despite the ongoing frustrations. However, I don't want to fool myself into thinking that the synchronicity of our meeting automatically means that we are destined to run this business together. Maybe we were only meant to be friends. I also know that I don t have the right or the power to change his behavior and that it may be best to let him sort things out in his own time.
Should I persevere a little longer to see if we can work together in harmony for the highest good, or should I make a clean break and move on to something else? I just want to understand why he was placed on my life path, and why I was placed on his.
Hi - OK, let's get started. Well, this issue of second guessing yourself seems to be connected to some karma you are working out. I think some deep body work would help with this, to release it from the muscles, especially if that is the intent that you put out inwardly while you have these sessions. Due to this karma, you have perhaps, had to experience some times of feeling alone, or you have experienced times of being in seclusion. I think that you can ask to now be released from this karma, and open yourself up to being willing and ready and able to receive greater gifts in your life - in just the perfect time. This issue is also connected to Trust, and as you open to accepting that good things that are right for you will appear for you at just the perfect time, you will increase your tendency to "allow" things to happen rather than trying to "make" them happen.
I think that some of the frustration that you are feeling with your friend and the work you are in is this need to try to MAKE things happen, rather than being in the natural flow of it. This means coming from the heart, not the mind. Every time you find yourself looping around with thinking, trying to make or force something, or you feel upset, etc., that is a red flag telling you that you are in your mind, not your heart. That is the time then, that you need to allow your consciousness to travel down from your mind and enter your heart space. There are many ways to do this - remembering a time you felt a lot of love for someone or something; feeling grateful for something; blessing others silently and sending out pink energy to others from the heart, putting your hands on your heart and breathing deeply into it, etc. Then you regain your harmony with the flow of the Universe.
To achieve abundance and a sense of power in the world, we first need a sense of internal expansiveness, and this comes when instead of constricting things, you open to that sense of abundance in the Universe - this comes with an open and trusting (not naive - that's different) heart. The quality of giving and receiving spiritual, mental, and physical pleasure (allowing) is located in the 2nd chakra. That is located at the pelvic/genital area, Tune into this chakra, I suggest, by sensing it, or scanning it, allowing your consciousness to go there, to truly and honestly be willing to feel what's going on there - 2 times a day for the next 3 months. See if there is anger or doubt or fear there, instead of love and trust. Work with healing this chakra, and see what happens. A good book to read and get some guidance on this for you would be Gary Zukav's The Heart of the Soul.
Issues of disappointment need to be explored and released. As long as you come from patterns of expecting disappointment, like a blue print, you will continue to create it. You are definitely dealing with issues of personal power in relation to the outside world, and the situation with your friend is simply a mirror of that for you. You feel powerless and unheard there, and this situation is simply matching your own, internal issues. It's never about another person, place, or thing. Everything you experience is simply a mirror for you to show you your own, internal landscape. If you are still coming from the place that the traumas that happened to you were because someone or something else DID SOMETHING TO YOU, then you are still coming from victim consciousness, and victims have no power. They see that everyone ELSE has power "over them" (not true), but they believe they have no power of their own.
If you still believe that, then you will still be holding onto those traumas and feeling fearful of others. If you feel fearful of others, that energy is felt and will get mirrored back to you in such ways as : no one listening to you, or honoring you, or taking your advice, etc. because you have no power - only fear - behind your energy.
Everything gets created from the patterns of energy you carry and send out into the Universe. If you want to change something in your life, you must first see what pattern of energy from WITHIN YOU has created it, and then you change that - then your external world - the mirror - will also change in order to reflect back to you your new pattern of energy. When you clear those patterns, you will create different situations for yourself where you will be heard and recognized and honored. But first you have to honor yourself. I think that you came in to get this, this time around, and the traumas that you mentioned probably were mirrors for you, showing you that you still carried the pattern of not believing that you have your own power. In order to have power, true authentic power, which is the power of a loving heart, we need to feel safe - and, in order to feel safe, we have to be connected within to our own Source. When you Trust Your Source, you have safety. Therefore, to help you feel safer, I invite you to do the following 4 times a day for the next 8 months:
The Pink Shield of Protection
Visualize yourself standing in a tube of pink light that surrounds you like a wall of light. (About 12 inches away from your body, completely surrounding you). The pink light is alive and it emanates strong, loving energy - like a sun giving off strong rays of light. The pink light sends strong love inwardly to you and also sends strong love outwardly to anyone you meet. Nothing but love can penetrate this wall of pink light that surrounds you now.
Also, to communicate with your friends, and to begin to regain a sense of internal power, I invite you to do the following (use when needed):
The Rainbow Bridge
Close your eyes and breathe deeply. Hold the firm intention of entering someone's dream. (Ask for permission to do this first, and if you get an inner yes, then go ahead). Imagine or visualize a scene of you and that person together. Visualize yourself lovingly guiding, communicating, or sharing with that person and having a loving interaction together. Give the person any messages or requests that you'd like to deliver. Be sure to pause to listen to the person's replies and then respond appropriately. You can also do this in a meditation, and ask to meet that person's out on the rainbow bridge. This is a great place to communicate and connect in a pure way. You can walk out on the rainbow bridge from one end, and the person you wish to speak with walks toward you from the other end. A good place to enter the rainbow bridge is from a structure that you see in your imagination that is your own special place of power. It can be a hut you walk to in the woods, and the bridge stretches out of a window there. Or, it can be a temple or a palace - but it belongs to you alone. It's good to walk down a path to get to it, in a meditation, and then you will see the bridge arching up from a window or doorway.
As you learn to trust yourself, and you connect to your heart, which can only create love - you will trust that you can (and you will) relate to others from a clear, safe, loving, strong place that you have grown from within yourself.
I think that's enough for now.