20th Apr 2013 |
Client guest post: Conviction; Friend or Foe?
This post was written by Tyrieana Long, a client of The Career Psychologist.
Few of us will have escaped the news reports in recent days about the late Margaret Thatcher. What has struck me the most is the strength of opinions that have been expressed and the fact that they have appeared to stand the test of time. For example, I was saddened to learn that even though some 30 years have passed since the miners strike; even today members of the same family do not speak to each other. Such was the aftermath of the strike. One brother chose to picket. The other chose to cross the line.
Regardless of your personal view of Margaret Thatcher’s legacy, I’ve noticed that one word keeps cropping up in the media – conviction. The dictionary tells us that conviction is a firmly held belief, which is often unshakeable and deeply held. Conviction is also the feeling of being confident or certain about something.
So maybe we begin to understand why controversy and divided opinion occur when a person leads with conviction. This style of leadership is marked by its lack of compromise and unyielding approach. As a result conviction leaders are either lauded for their bravery or criticised for their single-mindedness. There is no middle way.
The question for those of us who seek career change is how do we know if our convictions serve us well? Do we have the courage of our convictions because they are a force for good? Or have our convictions become so firmly entrenched we no longer hold them; they hold us and in doing so hold us back?
Working with Rob has taught me that our mind always seeks to protect us. That’s why we find change so difficult. We convince ourselves we have found a way forward. Then before we realise doubts creep in. The new path appears to be too scary or too difficult. A new conviction arises – “ this is not right for me ” and we turn back to the safety of our comfort zone.
And there’s the rub. Convictions have the power to enslave or liberate us. I encourage you to open your heart and find out if your convictions align with your values and the person you want to become.
After all, you may never lead a nation but you will want to be captain of your soul.