Crisis, do you wait for it to be forced to act? Or do you stay attentive to what needs to be done and take charge of it before it falls apart?
We’re all managers, no matter how old we are and to which social standard do we belong. Despite our gender and whether we work or not, we’re all managers. Managing the “Self”.
Self-management, according to Oxford Dictionary of English, is: “management of or by oneself; the taking of responsibility for one’s own behaviour and well-being”. And this ‘taking of responsibility’ is a skill that people can learn, practice, develop and master.
In our crazy-busy-rushing-crushing world, Self-management became a key skill. Not only it involves time management and goal settings, it goes way beyond. It enables us to develop our motivation and avoid stress. And most of all it involves Self-regulation which means monitoring, controlling and directing our own attitudes about and for ourselves.
In my first novel, Fabulous Veils, it was both expected and accepted that Fatma, the vulnerable illiterate help, to lack self-management skills and to let things happen without interfering or monitoring. It was accepted that she acts like a poor manager; waiting for things to happen to her, and only to react with the one attitude she mastered; acceptance.
When it came to Gameela, the well-educated architect who graduated from a French school and belonged to a B-class family, it was annoying. Readers were torn between empathy and anger. They wanted to hug her and punch her at the same time. And why was that? For her poor Self-management skills. She called it love and readers called it passivity.
In a society where women were raised up to do ‘what should be done’, not what they ‘want to do’, where they learn that the only approved self-talk is the negative talk of guilt, shame and blame, Gameela was just one out millions.
To lead a revival we need to develop our self-management skills. We need to choose what we want. We need to stop giving excuses. We need to exert control over what we can. We need to motivate ourselves to speak out our truth. We need to pay attention to our emotions and thoughts. We need to evaluate our attitudes and reinforce positive ones. We need to manage the “Self” which is way more precious than the body and its biological needs.
John N. Mitchell said it best when he said that, “Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude towards us.”