Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough time, energy, or money (or like the photo above)? This might be a loaded question and your response is, “EVERY DAY!”...and have you paid attention to how you feel and react when one or more of these resources is pinched? Do you get snippy when your day is scheduled with back-to-back events? Are you more sensitive to others’ feedback when you’re tired? Do you have heightened anxiety when a surprise, large-ticket car or house repair is required?
One of the reasons we find ourselves in conflict is because of limited resources, which often have to do with time or money. Someone asks us to do something, we say “yes” without thinking about it, and then we realize we don’t have the time or energy to do what the person asked OR we have other things that are more important and because we committed to something additional, we don’t have the time to accomplish them.
I remember a situation I was in a couple years ago when I got so angry at someone because they backed out of helping plan an all day event. I literally was seeing red and breathing fire. After I took some time to reflect on my strong emotion, I realized that I was angry because I didn’t have the time or energy to plan the entire event. I was looking forward to working with another person so that the responsibility wouldn’t fall solely on my shoulders. I didn’t want to and couldn’t be responsible for tickets, registration, food, scheduling, and keynote speakers and no one else was stepping up. I was angry because of my limited resources.
I am a person who is known for getting things done, and I bet you are too as a leader. Things happen, conflict arises, and we need to pay attention to what our emotions are telling us. I wouldn’t have grown from this experience if I hadn’t taken the time to explore my emotional landscape and see what it had to tell me. The next time you feel a strong emotion, maybe it’s because of the limited resources button.
Questions to ponder: How do limited resources affect your reaction and response to situations (whether at home or at work)? What patterns do you notice in your behavior when you’re limited in time, energy, or money?
Stay curious friends!