Hello, my name is Marcus Blankenship, and I’m a wallower.
And not just an amateur one. I’m a professional, Level 80, Grand Master-Poobah wallower. I’m capable of wallowing and worrying in any situation.
Even when things are going well, I’m secretly waiting for it all to come crashing down. And when things aren’t going well, the phrase “I’ve always known it wouldn’t work out.” runs through my head. Along with its comrades, “You’re gonna fail.” and “Nothing you do makes a difference.”
My wallowing prevents me from serving you. And if you also wallow, it prevents you from serving your team.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs reminds us that unless our basic needs are met, we can’t go on to meet higher-order needs. I can’t help you unless I’m okay. You can’t help your team unless you’re okay.
When we’re not okay, we are worried about us. We can’t see outside ourselves. This inhibits us from listening, serving, trusting and collaborating with our team.
Truth be told, I realized this morning that my wallowing is why I’ve stopped writing to you as often. I can’t help you unless I’m okay.
The same goes for those of you who are struggling to stay afloat at work or in your business. You can’t lead your team unless you’re okay.
My friend Jerry dropped a truth-bomb on me a couple of months ago. He told me that wallowing was a learned behavior, and asked me where I learned it.
That means wallowing isn’t the result of circumstances? Or, having a bad day?
And it means that some of you who are reading this have no idea what I’m talking about. Because, thankfully, you never learned to wallow.
I suspect I learned to wallow at a very early age. Certainly, before I was 10.
But the question that haunts me is this: if wallowing was learned, can it be unlearned? I think the answer is “yes.” I’m going to start my journey by finishing the book “Mindset” by Carol Dweck. If you’re not familiar with it, I highly recommend it.
Safe enough to serve
As servant leaders, we serve our teams. We build relationships with them, provide them with structure and tools, give them feedback to improve. We must be watching, caring, trusting, helping and listening.
Easy to say. Hard to do.
For me, it took Jerry giving me feedback from outside myself. I got new information about myself that will help me.
P.S. Thank you, Jerry, for all you’ve done for me.