Making You


Two situations when this expression usually comes up:

  1. the context, or someone else has the action verb and decision power
  2. it's what everyone does, you need to do the same; it's the thing to do

In both cases, this is an artificial construct. It has consequences, and may not up your score.

A driver speeding out of a driveway without looking, barely missing a neighbor walking the dog and not even slowing down to see if they were alright is rationalizing that her son is making her late for something. She has no time. When drivers tailgate, usually the same mechanism engages: "You are making me late".

The boss is calling the shots, you have to do your job in a certain way is a classic everyone understands, thanks to Dilbert. How about a context changing, as it often does in life, and now there is a different way of doing the same thing?

Are you flexible and adaptable enough to figure out a new way?

Or maybe you're too flexible, and whatever the crowd does, you figure that's the thing to do. It takes one person going fast for everyone behind them to accelerate. When someone doesn't respect a stop sign, the drivers within eyesight don't, either.

Is everyone going along a good enough reason? Is that proof that it is the right thing to do? Are they making you do it?

Nobody is making you do anything you don't want to do. Whenever the temptation to revert to autopilot feels so strong, take a breather.  

Choose what you value by knowing why and what you want to do. Chances are it involves some stretching and a little skin in the game. Don't assume it's more work, though. Sometimes going along ends up being the most energy-consuming in the long run.

A choice you have not made is a missed opportunity in more than two ways.


[image by Noelle Murata]

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0 responses to “Making You”

  1. This is salient to me these days, Valeria. I have been told a couple of times lately, “Do what the client tells you to,” but the times I argue are the times when what they want flies in the face of good practices and my own values as a publicist. Maybe that’s not good enough for some.
    Murkier is recognizing the “slippery slope” times when I allow myself to be sucked into a dysfunctional situation that I am trying to avoid. I don’t always see it coming (in my desire to put my best foot forward), then when I’m in it, I’m in too deep. Definitely not an overnight process!

  2. Spot on!
    So much of what we do is “abdication” of our rights as owners of our professional brand destiny.
    You said it best; “Nobody is making you do anything you don’t want to do.”
    Keep creating…your brand, your way,

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