When I started High School, it was “cool” for girls to shave their legs. It was a long time ago before waxing became the norm.
I asked my mum if I could borrow her razor.
“What do you want that for?” she asked.
“To shave my legs of course”, expecting that she should have known that all the cool girls shave their legs.
“No! You’re not shaving your legs,” she almost screamed at me.
“Why not? Everybody else is,” I cried.
“You’re not and that’s all there is to it,” and with that I was dismissed.
Now being the strong willed, pig headed and rebellious character that I can be, what do you think I did?
You guessed it. I went into the bathroom and I shaved my legs.
Not content to just silently call victory to myself, I flaunted the act by going and standing next to my mother who was on her hands and knees cleaning up a spill on the floor.
I simply stood there until she figured something was up. Without looking up at me, she turned to face my legs, ran her hand up my leg to make sure she wasn’t just seeing things and then slapped my leg so hard that it stung and repeated, “I told you not to shave your legs”.
Mission accomplished, I grinned and walked off.
And I’ve been regretting that decision for over 40 years.
So what has this story got to do with “Stop Pushing Me”?
For me, it’s about knowing myself and being able to respond rather than react.
My rebellious streak has gotten me into trouble (a lot).
If I feel pushed to do something or am told I am not allowed to do something, my rebellious nature will arc up.
Thankfully, over the years I have come to recognise it and have learned to manage myself with awareness and self talk, although the initial feelings can still be quite strong.
And why is this the topic for this week’s thought?
Following on from last week’s thought, “Every team needs a leader”, it’s important for you to know your people and to know when to encourage, push or support.
It can be tricky to know the difference and timing is everything. The last thing you want to do is push someone when they are at breaking point and needing some care and attention and by the same token, neither do you want to let them off the hook when they do need to step up and take responsibility and do the work.
You’ll know which way to go if you tune in to your people and listen to what they are telling you, both verbally and non-verbally.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go shave my legs.