Earlier this week, I was reminded of the consequences of distress. Perhaps you caught the mistake. On Tuesday, I sent out an email to 9,000+ people advertising for the Servants By Design Summit, and in the title I used the wrong version of Your/You're.
I was/am mortified.
The team at Servants By Design tries our best to LIVE the model that we promote. We live it by intentionally meeting our psychological needs, using multiple perceptions, opening channels, and unfortunately, by showing our distress.
I am a base Harmonizer. This is the most genuine and authentic part of my personality make up. Which means, in distress, I make silly mistakes that undercut my ability to believe I am valuable, desired, and wanted.
Here is what it looks like in real-time...I was on vacation the week before and came back with a very long to-do list and juggling multiple projects at my various jobs.
I know the difference between "your" and "you're". In fact, I am sure I have scoffed at others who have made the same mistake. With stress high and without pausing to take care of my psychological need, I worked harder in an effort to please others and complete my task list.
I caught the mistake almost immediately after I sent the email. Whenever we send these types of emails, I get a bunch of automatic replies that bounce back. As soon as I saw the first one, I realized what I had done. My stomach turned, and I started sweating immediately.
Here is where distress twists the knife. The next three days, I stewed over the mistake, questioning my worth in light of my stupid error. Harmonizers are prone to the myth that we are not worthy or lovable unless we please others. It was tempting to allow this mistake to justify a more significant, darker truth about my value and my worth.
Again, at Servants By Design, we try to LIVE this tool. So if I recognize my distress, how do I move forward? The answer is I meet my own psychological need. For the Harmonizer, this means getting recognition of my person or unconditional love and by meeting my sensory needs, or being in comfortable, relaxing spaces.
This happened in two ways. First, it happened when one of our co-owners sent me an email. She had seen the mistake but didn't jump straight to correcting it, instead, she started the email with
I love you.
She reminded me that this error did not change my status as a beloved child of God worthy of grace and desired partner on our team.
Second, I spent time in my favorite place. Which for me, is on my porch swing with my guitar after the sun has set.
These moments helped me recharge my battery and reframe the mistake. This mistake didn't happen because I am stupid, lazy, insignificant, or unlovable. It happened because I was in distress. Thanks to Servants By Design, I can respond to that distress appropriately and effectively.
If you don't know your distress sequence yet consider joining us for the online course. We will explore the distress sequences and interventions so you can avoid the same mistakes I made!