Have Some Self Respect (Kyla)

It’s not my blog day, but I wanted to write about this now — both because I’m inspired and because it will support me in fully taking it in.

As any of you who has been in the training room with Jimmy know, he is the King of Feedback.  It’s true, too, outside the training room, but it’s quite different — his intensity is dialed down from a 10 to about a 3, his demeanor is quiet and calm.  The nature of the feedback, though, is the same — simple, straightforward, and so direct and dead on that you couldn’t wriggle out from under it if you tried.  The calmness of the delivery outside the training room almost makes it a more brutal shot — it hits you as an undeniable, matter-of-fact truth.

Such was the case when we were having dinner last night.  I had had my buddy call with Vanessa earlier that day, and resistance to work was prominent on my mind.  I was calling her from work, for one, and probably too grateful that the call gave me a reason to escape in my last hour there (the hardest one to sit through — and I literally often just “sit through” it).  I told Jimmy his prior suggestion of focusing on how I wanted to feel at work helped, but, it didn’t feel like enough to convince me to break my procrastination pattern.  I also told him, as I had told Vanessa, that there’s a certain insolence and arrogance to my procrastination.  I’m able to get away with it.  And I said while I get that procrastination costs me, I can’t seem to stop doing it — because it gives me things, too, like comfort, and honestly, time.  Sure, doing the thing right away would give me extra time — but so does putting it off (either way, the thing gets done, right?).  I told him though that I could see why I have a hard time creating value in the “time” procrastination gives me.  During that time, I feel out of integrity.  My tasks are not getting done.  My clients are being affected (even as they may never know it), my boss and coworkers are being affected, and our firm is being affected.

He asked me more about that – do I feel like my procrastination is disrespecting them?  Yes.  I do.  Have I thought about what our office would be, could be, if my approach were different?  I have, but I feel unwilling to shift and give that much, invest that much.

He then said:  “I don’t know how this will sound, but it’s what keeps coming to me as I’m listening to you:  have some self-respect.”

I felt a reaction course through me from my head to my toes, followed by lots of tingling.  My inner conversations fell silent — those words had jarred me out of my head, hitting square on my heart.  He elaborated.

“I mean, aside from how you’re disrespecting them, what about thinking about how you’re disrespecting yourself — in even just how you’re carrying yourself?”

Yeah.  What about that.  My father was my inspiration to be a lawyer, and a big source of inspiration for who I want to be in life.  He undoubtedly has shortcomings, particularly when it comes to expressing and showing love, but in this he has no match:  as an attorney and as a person he strongly valued living in integrity, and it showed–whether it was convenient for him or not was never even a consideration.  I admire that in almost all the people I look up to, including Jimmy.  He walks the walk, and greatly values that in himself — and it shows.

The truth is, when I’m being insolent, arrogant, and just downright bratty — when I’m procrastinating, surfing the net mindlessly, wasting time on gchat — I’m treating myself like I don’t matter.  That’s not who I want to be, and that’s a far cry from who my role models are.  Vanessa got at this too on our call . She asked me who I thought I was hurting by being a defiant procrastinator — the answer, of course, is mainly me, but only now do I feel myself getting present to the pain I’m causing and how much this way of being is a drag on my life.

I am a powerful, talented woman who has a lot to contribute.  I was graced with many gifts, as we all are.  My lack of humility and inability to see the ways in which I’ve been disrespecting the life I’ve been given has undoubtedly been holding me back in every sphere, even the ones I think I’m excelling in.

With this awareness, though, what do I do?  How do I stay connected to this?  I welcome strategies, suggestions, mantras, books — anything you’ve got!  For now I’m going to spend the day with the word “self-respect,” and ask myself, moment-to-moment, if that’s the place I’m coming from.


2 thoughts on “Have Some Self Respect (Kyla)

  1. This resonates so much. Wondering if there’s a disassociation that goes on that allows you to separate who you are generally, the quality/caliber of your work and work ethic from how you choose to act that last hour of the day.
    I think it’s tremendously hard to remain 100% committed and focused throughout a long day, but my question is this:
    Is it a being issue (having self-respect, being focused, etc.), or a doing issue where you actually need a mechanism or two?
    For example, how might it serve you to take a 2-5 minute break, go downstairs for a short walk, sing a song, get a drink, etc. and then. Return to work re-energized for the last hour?
    Alternatively, is it really that last hour, no matter the time or the season, and it’s purely a mental issue?


  2. That’s a good point Hadar. Although Kyla gave such great insight, maybe it’s a matter of mechanics. Personally I need to stand up from the computer every hour for my back. But then I know that having the TV in the background slows me down while working at home. The best thing I can say is to choose differently, moment to moment.


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