Before We Can Find Balance With Others, We Need To Keep Ourselves In Check – Part 2

Leadership Lesson: With others and within ourselves, enhancing our awareness of and openness to a deeper understanding of extreme positions advances progress, so we’re using our time effectively and avoiding outright dismissal of one side or the other.

Continued from Part I

Tolerating Negativity vs. Eliminating It

Negativity should never be tolerated at all, but it’s included in this list of items to balance because (a) we can’t pretend it doesn’t exist, and (b) sometimes you can’t just simply end relationships that are toxic — some may be people we can’t walk away from, such as family. And so, then, we need balance.

So, the important thing is to make sure you’re doing what you can to put any person who is toxic on (polite) notice that the toxicity is neither needed nor welcome. You also need to do what you can to continue building positivity, growth, development, and value in other areas to make up for that toxicity.

Too many people forfeit who they are and what they can do because they listen to the toxicity of others who have nothing else to offer. So, make sure the negativity is not overwhelming you.

Expecting Too Much of Education vs. Being Realistic

Education is on this list because people say you need it. It’s important. But along with everything else on this list, you need to be cognizant of how you approach and use it. A person can have all the education in the world yet not the right attitude to utilize it effectively.

We have to take into account for ourselves, and for others, what kind of balance exists between how much knowledge is achieved and what it’s used for. So, to balance, we can’t easily dismiss someone who is not educated, and we shouldn’t blindly pledge allegiance to someone who has all the education in the world. Consider the person in front of you, and take into account a holistic view of who they are and what they can provide.

Forgetting Suffering vs. Appreciating Its Worth

Naturally, we’re not inclined to talk about the bad things in life – the sadness, negativity, or hopelessness that might exist out there in our world. Why give any energy to talking about it? That’s just giving more energy to it? Right?

Not really. Avoiding anything completely, like our fears and weaknesses – acting as if they’re not there – only holds us back. If we avoid them completely or ignore them, how can we learn from them? How do we find a genuine appreciation for the good, the positive, happiness, etc., if we don’t take the time to recognize how far we’ve come and the progress we’ve made from the bad, the negative, and sadness, etc.?

So, no, you don’t have to inundate yourself in any uncomfortable memories, but it doesn’t hurt to remember where you came from and what you want to do to avoid going back.

Following Your Passion vs. Not Following Your Passion

This is one area that needs a healthy dose of moderation in the conversation. You typically either hear Follow your passion! or “Follow your passion!” is stupid advice! And the debate goes on like that, as if the only two options are to either ignore what you feel gets you fired up or fire on all cylinders blindly — and irresponsibly — into the come-what-may of your goals.

Granted, it will work differently depending on who we’re talking about, but if someone has a passion, they shouldn’t just dismiss it.

At the same time, they need to be disciplined about how to approach it, in order to avoid being blind to the emotion of the passion. Keep both the fire and focus going.

Related: What People Teach Us: Lady Gaga And The Discipline For Passion

Commiserating vs. Complaining

There is nothing wrong with getting things off your chest – within reason, of course. Some people may have the perception they shouldn’t complain, and that it’s looked down upon.

Not really.

Complaining, like anything else, becomes a problem when it’s taken to extremes. It becomes problematic when a complainer is not being realistic in their explanations, they’re doing it too much, or they’re doing it to someone who has no patience for complaining.

Instead, take those three points above and work off of them to get a realistic sense of the complaining/commiserating spectrum:

  1. You need to be realistic in what you’re complaining about. Is there anything you can change? Have you tried to change it? Or are you merely accepting what is?
  2. Also: To the repeat offenders, when it comes to complaining, move along. After a while, it gets stale when someone hasn’t taken the initiative to change something they’ve complained about for so long.
  3. Lastly, pick and choose who you’re complaining to. Complainers usually do it to anyone within earshot, but what does that really get them?

Commiserating means you’re interacting with someone who shares or understands your right to have a distaste for…whatever it may be. So, be realistic about what you’re complaining/venting about. Don’t overdo it. Don’t cry “wolf!” — doing something for so long or so often that it loses its effect.

Make sure you’re commiserating with someone who is on a similar page — aware of the need to air concerns — as you, and not someone who doesn’t want to listen.


In the end, the most important message here, as well as in any coaching session, is that nothing is cookie-cutter. What works for one person will not necessarily work for the next 50,000. We’re all that different.

And although similar steps and advice may not work from person to person, there are minor tweaks which truly allow us to customize and tailor our work with the person in question.

The same goes for how we handle and approach things internally.

All of these – confidence, emotions, being offended, comparisons to others, trusting others, tolerating negativity, education, suffering, passion, and complaining – how do you handle each?

Each of these is so different, existing in a such a different space than most of the others. But moderation needs to exist in the utilization of all of them.

We need that balance. Accepting advice to go to one end or its opposite will not work for everyone, meaning when we interact as a community. Each of us individuals can’t go in expecting our own desire is going to solve a more communal problem.

Always make sure you determine how any advice or claims apply to you.

Related Post: How Do You Break Down Advice To Determine How It Applies To You?

Locking yourself into one side or the other of any issue or any idea paralyzes you into thinking about things only from one angle and one perspective.

You need to think about floating between ideas, adjusting as you go, to make sure you’re accounting for the changing circumstances that exist in both life and work



Leave a Reply

Share CiO
Hide Buttons