It’s good to be rational, right? And the more rational the better… right?!
Somehow I managed to get to 48 years old before I discovered it’s possible to be excessively rational!
You might now be thinking:
Well duh, that’s obvious! Let me tell you about my excessively rational partner/colleague/kid!
Or, what on earth are you talking about? Being rational is awesome! I thought you had a background in engineering Jon, what’s happened to you?
Hold this idea in mind as you read on: Imagine never riding a bike, but instead dedicating your whole life to trying to understand how it works, analysing the physics of it and creating an abstract understanding of balance.
Do the following traits sound like you, or someone you know?
Capable of deep insight and understanding through objective analysis
Can be very observant and perceptive
Great powers of mental concentration
Driven towards becoming an expert
Awesome strengths, right? That’s me!
Do these statements also ring true for you, or that person?
Intense and exclusively focused on the rational processing of everything, including relationships
Can be perceived as cold, distant, and intellectually arrogant
Tends not to let many people into deeper feelings - mostly shows feelings through passion in ideas
Prefers to just watch the craziness around them - like an observer of life
High penchant for skepticism and debate
Uh-oh! At times that can be me too 😕
I pride myself on my rationality - it’s been fundamental to my success as an engineer and those strengths of observation and perception are really helpful in my coaching. I never imagined that there was a dark side to these strengths but, as with everything in life, take a good thing to excess and you’ll find yourself in trouble!
When it does get out of hand, it comes from a place of fear. I can get frustrated with others being emotional and not rational enough. I can get anxious about protecting my personal time and energy. And I can even feel different, alone, and misunderstood.
When my Hyper-Rational “Saboteur” gets the upper-hand, I’m no longer fully experiencing life but observing and analysing from the outside. This might not sound too bad but, if I don’t catch it, those closest to me don’t feel seen and heard, and that gets in the way of deeper, more meaningful relationships.
It’s going through life with a PhD in bike-ology, having never had the experience of riding a bike.
Thank you to Shirzad Chamine and Positive Intelligence for the inspiration and information behind this article.
They offer a 6-week Mental Fitness programme - to build your mental muscles and defeat your Saboteurs!
For more details: https://www.positiveintelligence.com/program
If this interests you then get in touch as I am approved by Positive Intelligence to offer it to my clients. In addition to everything that is provided through the programme, I am there to support you with weekly calls and I offer it at a more competitive price than going direct. I believe in this programme so much you can have your money back if you’re not satisfied at the end of it!
This article is part of 100 Days of Creation, my challenge to myself to write 100 articles in 140 days, each taking no longer than 30 minutes to write and publish.