The magic quarter second: That moment you have to choose whether you go high

The magic quarter second: That moment you have to choose whether you go high Pic: Flat Icon

The magic quarter second: That moment you have to choose whether you go high

Pic: Flat Icon

It's been called many things, Sheryl Sandberg calls it leaning in, Glennon Doyle Melton/Waumbach(?) calls it doing hard things. In my interpretation, both women share the message that doing hard things is a) doable, and b) necessary.

The thing about actually doing hard things, is that avoidance, particularly as an adult, is a very real option. Much more so than when you were a child, under the watchful eye of an adult. Avoidance allows us to defer feeling the emotions that set upon us like waves when we lean in, or do hard things. As children we seemed to be much more comfortable to let those feelings move through us, than we are as adults. As adults we tend to have our game faces on more often than not. It's kind of like going to the ocean and then not going under so we don't mess up our hair.

And yet, as I keep reflecting on, we do have an opportunity to face into whatever it is that scares us. Asking for feedback, reacting in ways that are 'above the line' (i.e. taking personal responsibility for our contribution to a problem), being constructive - not destructive. And yet, we don't always do this. There is a concept called the 'magic quarter second,' a moment in time that psychologists deem the processing of an event/conversation that has just occurred where we can choose our reaction. Sometimes we choose an 'above the line' reaction, and sometimes we don't. When we 'go low' it's a movement into the deny/blame/justify/defend route. Which is destructive and the start of a downward spiral (one that doesn't allow us to create, connect and build), but most importantly, going low allows us to avoid the weight of whichever emotion it is we want to avoid.

Full circle: Is this a reason why we choose to go 'below the line'? So that we avoid facing into our fears and experiencing the fullness of our emotions. We're scared?

What do you think?