Do You Push or Pull?

Ink on Pastel Paper – Words: Booker T. Washington

When I read this quote it made me think of the people in my life that have pulled me up instead of pushed me down. I have experienced both, unfortunately the pushing down was more frequent than the pulling up. That was until I learned how to navigate dealing with people who always want to push down.

You know them, they are the people who have power via a title or position AND find it very important that everyone around them know and understand that they are in control. Be it a family unit, an office, a club or committee, the powerful ones need to be in charge. In all they do it is somehow known that you will do what they say and if you don’t, well then there will be consequences. That is until we understand that their power only works if we comply, if we give in, if we let them intimidate and guilt us into submission.

I learned how to handle the down pushers by hanging around people who pulled me up. These people encouraged me, guided me, asked me REALLY good, hard questions that made me think about who I wanted to be no matter the situation or circumstances. They helped me find my courage, wisdom and engage my character. They had no need to be the center of things, their goal was to mentor and inspire me to go beyond the circumstances and act, think, move in a way that supported who I was inside. Once I learned how to use this magic decoder ring I was free to let the down pushers fall to the wayside. I did my work, respected and followed the rules without being intimidated or led by guilt. Manipulation and control no longer pushed my buttons. I was free to excel with excellence no matter my surroundings.

Which one do you do? Push or Pull? It may not be the same in all areas of your life, however chances are you have a go to method or style. If you don’t know, ask someone who you trust to be honest with you. Ask them if you push or pull, then shut up and listen. This kind of information is invaluable in helping us understand ourselves AND how to be a better resource for those in our life. It may not be what we think, or it may be exactly what we think and then we know how to get better at pulling up.

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