For many of us, stress and dread are unwelcome guests in life. We have constant obligations and deadlines to meet, but we just don’t know how to manage them all. So what do we do? We procrastinate, turn projects in late, and hope no one notices, or we don’t ask a co-worker about a misunderstanding — instead, we complain and gossip about them. Sound familiar? I call these ‘incompletions’. They show up in other ways as well: you’re the boss, but you avoid communicating with your staff. Or you’ve made a commitment to being healthy, but don’t go to the gym and have fast food for lunch.
I find that most people not only are unaware of these incompletions, but they also have a high tolerance for them as well. We’re too busy being stressed out to notice. Through my years of coaching, I’ve found stress, pressure and a lack of fulfillment occur when we don’t recognize our incompletions and aren’t responsible for them. They rob us of our aliveness.
Restore and Uplift Yourself
There is a way to clean up breakdowns in relationships, broken agreements, and commitments that haven’t been fulfilled. It starts by taking an inventory. First ask yourself: Are there any miscommunications or misunderstandings in my relationships, and what responsibility do I have in them? Have I made an agreement with someone, not followed through, and not owned up to it with the person? Have I been cutting corners and justifying it? Now go back to the people with whom you need to restore your relationship and acknowledge that you’ve broken your agreement or didn’t follow up. Ask them how that affected or impacted them. Then make a promise to do whatever it takes to ensure the breakdown doesn’t happen again (and mean it!). This takes courage and a lot of practice.
But you’ll be amazed at the results. You’ll build respect and partnership with your fellow workers and employees, and you’ll have more confidence
knowing you’re someone who keeps her word.
The key to success in dealing with incompletions is to constantly look at places where you haven’t kept your word — not just with other people, but with yourself as well. Make sure your interactions with people are complete, leaving nothing left unsaid. When it comes to making agreements — whether to yourself or someone else — be sure to determine a deadline, and put it in your calendar. If you know you’re not going to complete a task on time, be sure to communicate with the person.
And if something isn’t complete, finish it as soon as possible. I also find that it’s important to acknowledge employees and co-workers for a job well done. Try to make this a part of your daily routine. Most importantly, don’t go to bed without considering what you’re grateful for. I challenge you to find the courage to live your life this way. If you take this on, you’ll have a new sense of freedom and power. Create some aliveness in your life and take on your incompletions!
Below is a list of common incompletions. Acknowledge them and get them complete as soon as possible to keep from feeling the weight of the world.
• You have a misunderstanding with a coworker and don’t deal with it. Then you gossip to others about that person.
• A worker misses a deadline for a project, and you don’t acknowledge it is late and the impact that has on yourself and others.
• No one (including you) is accountable for making and keeping agreements; and there are no consequences.
• You or coworkers are concerned about job security, but no one asks the boss to find out what’s happening.
• As the boss, you avoid communicating with your staff.
Kelly Townsend owns Townsend Consulting, an executive coaching and consulting firm. She travels the world helping
businesses and employees empower and improve themselves. Kelly is also a sought-after speaker on business development.