25 Feb Defense Is The First Act Of War
The other morning during my walk, I was listening to Oprah Winfrey interview Byron Katie on a podcast. Something Katie said made me stop in my tracks, stop the podcast and make notes on my phone.
Katie said, “Defense is the first act of war.”
While there were several meaty nuggets from the podcast, this one hit me in the gut. We could probably get into several conversations over this one statement. However, the context for this blog is an opportunity for each of us to look at ourselves and what happens when we go into defense mode in our personal and professional relationships.
For much of my life I defended MY truth as if it was THE truth. Years ago, I realized that it was just my truth, AND it’s still been a journey over years to stop being defensive when someone takes another perspective. Sometimes my old programming still kicks in, and I want to defend it so bad it almost hurts.
I teach this stuff, right? Yet, I still have my moments. As soon as I feel criticized or judged, a wall goes up, the communication stops, and I go into defense mode. The same thing happens when I feel someone has a different perspective that I don’t understand or agree with.
All this being said, is defense really the first act of war? If someone comes after me, shouldn’t I defend myself? If I’m being bullied, shouldn’t I teach the bully a lesson and bully back? Won’t people think I’m weak if I don’t defend myself?
Well, what I realized is, as soon as I defend, I’ve given up my power. I’m not taking it. The best way for me to stay in my power is to stay focused on my own outcomes, what I want, and what I will do.
Fighting fire with fire only builds a bigger blaze. Then everyone gets burned. If I take away the fuel, the fire will burn out, and I can stay focused on what’s important. Often we want to blame the other person for starting the fight/war. However, if WE don’t ever go into battle, there isn’t a war. It takes two people (or parties) to fight. Instead, we can focus on our outcome for that relationship, if any, and go straight to peace talks without any bloodshed.
What would be possible for you if you didn’t have to be right? What if you could openly, and honestly, listen to someone else’s perspective and just let it be their perspective? It doesn’t mean you’ve got to take it on, AND it doesn’t mean they’ve got to take yours.
It all comes down to our first key message at High5 – I am at Choice. Choose your response based on an outcome, and be the difference-maker in every relationship.
LET US HELP YOU BE THE LEADER, SPOUSE, PARENT that you know you can be!
Are you frustrated that life isn’t everything you thought it would be? Are you overwhelmed by it all and wonder why you even bother? You are not alone. Not by a long shot. AND to get a different result, you will have to DO something different. It starts with a free, Amplify Your Results call with one of our leadership coaches. You can book your call here!
Have questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.