Meta-view: The big picture or perspective.
Meta-view. This is a word that keeps popping into my head everyday - multiple times a day - and I have been trying to get myself to sit down to write about this word for the past two months! Pedal to the metal, Lindsay. It's time to put fingers to the keyboard and get typing because Meta-view is a word that has been resonating so strongly for me I can't seem to get away from it. I realize that I have used Meta-view for years without really knowing that it was my own coping mechanism for when things felt strange, uncomfortable, or out of place to me. Let me explain...
I recently started a new job (on September 15 to be exact) and right before I started my new job, I went to Chicago for a weekend coaching fundamentals class that my friend graciously helped me attend. I had signed up months before wanting to take the class as professional development for my day job where I am a career and development coach for students on a college campus and for my consulting work where I coach clients on their careers and leadership. The class had only about eleven people from all walks of life - they worked in advertising, some were entrepreneurs, others were former business executives and one was even a published author and certified coach. It was an intimate and revealing setting in that you couldn't really hide behind a facade, you had to bear all and dig deeper into yourself (amidst this room full of strangers...) in order to be an active participant. Throughout the weekend, we talked about the various coaching methods and strategies for working with our clients, colleagues, friends, and family, and we coached each other on real topics we grapple with as people. We talked about Meta-view.
Being the introvert that I am and surrounded by people constantly for three days straight was hard, uncomfortable, inspiring and exhausting all at once. It was a little touchy-feely which makes me squirm, it was a little anxiety-ridden as I don't like to be the center of attention or the spotlight. There were several scenarios like: "let's go around the circle and introduce ourselves to the group, say one unique thing about ourselves and what our passion is." It was, however, revealing and helpful. It forced me to articulate what I had going on internally at that moment which is similar to how I am feeling now as I approach month #2 in my new gig.
Although I really do like my new job, I am still feeling more nervous and unsure of myself and my surroundings as it is all still very new. I am working with a group of (great) people that I don't know very well, and I have a totally new routine. As a sensitive person in general, I am feeling a little less confident, slightly more jittery, and I am easily drained at the end of the day. I am also a harder critic when I evaluate myself because I am learning new things everyday and have to ask a lot of questions. For someone who is independent and doesn't want to bother anyone, this can be hard too. I am still establishing myself. I like people to know me and I like knowing them. Can't we just speed up the first few months to where we all feel comfortable?! I know in time that familiarity will come, but it is the coping mechanisms that get us through these periods of transition and Meta-view is what I do almost subconsciously, and it helps!
When something embarrassing happens, I am having an off day, feeling shaky, and not on top of my game, I tend to get mad at myself. But as I get older (and hopefully wiser) I find myself looking at myself in a gentler lens and I give myself more of a break. I also take myself less seriously, it's not all about me. Shifting focus to other people helps me, too. I ask myself "years down the road this will be amusing and insignificant. No one is really paying attention to you anyway, they have their own problems and worries to distract them. Who cares if they think you're crazy!? Everyone has off days. We are all human afterall and are allowed to show emotion! This helps me put little daily foibles and embarrassments into perspective for myself and keeps me focused on what really matters to me - my family and friends, my health, and doing the best I can. I do appreciate my 30's for this bigger perspective that I cling to. Meta-view is a really great coping mechanism to help you stay in the present and it is my new best friend when it comes to change.
What are your coping mechanisms for yourself when you are feeling uncomfortable, not confident or just out of sorts? Pinpointing them and practicing them regularly is so helpful!