Most people would rather get thrown around by the current, than paddle their own boat. They are so afraid of what they may lose by making the “wrong” decision that they are willing to suffer constantly rather than face the unknown and choose a direction.
Last month I submitted myself for a project that I believe would be a lot of fun. I was brought in for an interview, and know that I made everyone else they spoke with look sub-par. I also know someone inside the organization, who also happens to be on that team, so I have access to real-time feedback.
2 weeks went by and no word. I contacted my friend and asked if there was any progress. They had not heard anything. Another 2 weeks went by and still nothing. During this time I had started hearing things about the people with whom I would be working. Granted, what I heard was only rumor, but it was enough to cause some concerns.
Last Thursday I ran into my friend and we talked about how badly it looked that there is still no response. Not just to me, but to everyone with whom they had spoken. As I thought about it a little more I became angry. I was upset that there was so little regard shown to the people who are waiting for an answer. I contacted my friend and said “I am about to do something that I have never done before. I want you to remove me from the list of candidates. I am out. They have until End of Day tomorrow then I am gone.” As you can imagine, it is not often that people remove themselves from consideration. He was surprised, but said he would relay the message.
At the end of that conversation I felt so liberated. It was like a weight had been removed from my body. I had not realized it, but I had not taken a full deep breath for quite some time, and suddenly my lungs opened up. I deserve to be treated well. I deserve respect. I deserve common courtesy. None of which were being shown by these people.
Acting on the decision that I am worth a basic response, that I deserve better than to be strung along, liberated me. It also earned me a call from the top of the food chain at the place I had rejected. Apparently they were also surprised that I had done something no one else ever had. I spoke with the big cheese and was able to tell him exactly why I had removed myself from consideration. I laid out all my concerns without fear of retribution. I had nothing to lose. He then asked me if I would be patient and wait just a little longer, because I was definitely in consideration. Apparently he did not want to lose me from their list of candidates. I think that speaking with the big cheese, though, will cause the decision maker to not want to bring me on anyway because some of my concerns were about him. And I had just laid them out to his superior.
Regardless of how it goes, I was liberated. I put myself first. I decided how I want to feel and be treated. I chose my own destiny. I followed my instinct, and I know it was the right move. I no longer care if they want me or not. I am free.
Until you commit to a course of action, you are just floating along being taken wherever the current takes you. Once you commit, the current starts flowing in the direction you should actually be going. It is a magical thing. If there is something you want that is not showing up, ask yourself “Am I truly committed?”
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