Summary: Did you ever wonder why you want to yell out something that can be embarrassing? It stems from your subconscious. Here is what happens when you think, “What made me think/say THAT!”
Dear Dr. Sylvia,
I had an awful thing happen to me when I was talking with my boss last week.
He was making demands that seemed impossible. I stood up for myself and told him the requests he made were not feasible to fulfill.
He just looked at me with great caring on our Zoom call and smiled.
Then he said, “You’re brilliant and a real creative individual, and I know you will figure it out.”
With that, he announced that he had to get to another meeting, and if I had any issues, I could email him.
Then he added before he hurried away, “I know you won’t let me down.”
I just sat staring at the blank screen with a deep desire to scream.
Could this be from my subconscious mind? I wonder if you agree?
Pay attention to physical signals that subconscious issues are at play.
Since then, my stomach has been in a knot. Every time I think about what happened and how my boss just brushed away my concerns, I want to either punch him (of course I won’t) or run and hide under the covers (of course I won’t).
I can’t figure out why I had such a visceral reaction.
It made me remember your book “Invisible Stress (It’s Not What YOU Think!).
Usually, I thrive on challenges, and yes, as a leader in our company, I often figure out how to make the impossible possible.
Yet, I keep stewing and thinking nasty thoughts about this demanding, overbearing man who smiles when he knows others are upset.
Above all, if this is from my subconscious, I need to know what to do.
Can you help give me some perspective on how to get past the anger and internal conflict I am feeling?
Distraught and Disgusted
You are not alone when subconscious emotions are confusing you.
I will help by telling you about another client of mine who is a senior VP in a Marketing Company.
I know, I know, you don’t have the time to care about my client. However, sometimes we learn best through an indirect answer.
Stay with me. Let’s look at how the subconscious mind works.
For example, a coaching client who grew up with a demanding father was in a meeting with her boss, who gave her so much extra work she said it was breaking her back. She said she was having trouble standing up straight.
Your boss is NOT your father, mother, or sibling.
In an executive meeting, when her boss made even more demands, she finally lost it and said with great flair, “Dad, I can’t do this. It’s too much.”
The room went silent. As my client told me later, the people in the room froze.
This type of response is labeled “a Freudian Slip.”
Definition of a Freudian Slip: An unintentional error regarded as revealing subconscious feelings.
The best leaders are in touch with subconscious thoughts.
Back to you, DandD.
I am making an educated guess that you may be in the same boat as my Freudian Slip client.
No, you didn’t say anything out loud. However, someone was tough when you were a kid.
For example, the clue is your description of your upset. Most importantly, how it impacted your physiology.
At this point, most of the people I have worked with over the decades want to retreat, run, and hide, as you suggested.
They don’t, and I hope you won’t.
Again, please stay with me here as we look into the subconscious.
Being self-aware makes you a better leader.
The inner work you need to do, which I think is beneficial for all leaders, or emerging leaders, is to see where you are stuck with over the top upset and figure out what to do about it.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you should stay calm, relaxed, and collected when demands are, as you say, impossible. And I do recommend you stand up for yourself, which you did.
You get kudos for that.
However, the amount of upset you expressed seems to be derailing your health and well-being.
Todays’ reations can surface from long ago situations.
THAT is when you can do better by addressing the perspective that perhaps, just perhaps, you, like my client, wanted to say, “DAD (MOM), you always put too much pressure on me to succeed, and I’m sick of it.” Or a variation of that.
To sum up, Freudian slips lead you to the subconscious areas where you still need to work on yourself.
To your success,
PS. Ready to buy the book? Awesome! Click here to grab your copy of “Don’t Bring it To Work.“
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