I’ve always thought inflexibly of flexibility, I am beginning to think and in two ways.
Firstly, I think I’d the flexibility of our muscles in terms of how far we can stretch in a certain direction: reach to the floor and flatten your palms against the ground in your forward bend; reach for sky and salute the sun; nearly there and closer to the splits…
Secondly, I would describe myself as flexible. I’ve always tried to mould myself and bend myself to fit in with what my place of work would like from me. This is good in a sense because I have always bent over backwards to do as much as possible in the time available to me to carry out my job in the best way possible. On the other hand, it can be unhealthy because if you bend yourself too far to fit with what someone wants from you, or what you think they want from you, it can go very wrong.
If you lose yourself in trying to be what you think others want from you, it can be a disaster for wellbeing. Moreover, what if your perception is completely wrong and out of synchronicity with reality, too? A mess.
A distortion of self, purpose, identity and values can occur and you can end up feeling lost and directionless, alone and isolated. Imagine standing at a crossroads with multiple possible directions: how do you decide what to do and where to go to without remembering the initial idea and rationale for the journey. Imagine just having routes thrown at you to follow with no space for collaboration or say in whether you think they are the most scenic, or interesting route. This kind of circumstance limits growth and affects self-esteem.
From now on, not only am I interested in what I can give to an organisation, I want to know what flexibility an organisation is willing to show me. Will they listen to me and help me grow? Will they help me and guide me if I am being indecisive? Will they fund a way to be constructive in feedback if I begin to stray from the path?
Reciprocity in flexibility is what I seek from now. I am committed to give the best of me if someone is committed to looking after me too. Flexing too far leads to breakage and a long recovery. Instead, I want to be swaying in the breeze, like a daffodil in the sun. Smiling and happy, ready for each new day, refreshed and eager, energetic to carry on.