A few days ago, I found myself saying to myself – and to all those involved – that I was “DONE” with someone. I was keenly aware that a certain interaction was my tipping point. I had over-managed my internal reactions for too long by keeping my attention on working it out, going along, and had been in a bit of denial about how that situation wasn’t working for me anymore. I was angry at first, and like often happens for me with my anger, I wanted it to go away. I lack a feeling of safeness when I’m truly angry, and my nervous system becomes too nervous. Yet, as years of self-discovery, therapy, and personal evolution have taught me, I need to pay attention to the small flames of anger as they are here to inform me of something important. The moment after my revelation and acceptance of my doneness, my attention shifted to unwinding the situation in a beneficial way. Theresa reminded me that it couldn’t be working for anyone. I was moving on and it felt like the right thing to do – no doubts or second-guessing, just clarity.
All that said, I’ve been thinking about tipping points in general. I expect that there can be both positive and negative ways to tip. On the positive front, the moment you know you are really in love feels like a common tipping point. I think falling in love with your special someone happens over time, and then there’s the moment when there’s no going back, when you are all in. I also think of new parents preparing for their little one. I hear often that at the moment they first see and hold their child, their life changes and is never the same again. Real honest-to-god tipping points are the moments things change forever, the moments when your thoughts, feelings and emotions shift and you view everything differently.
On a global scale, we have witnessed positive tipping points in the case of democracies taking fire then taking root. If we look back, we will see that there were probably a million little things that preceded the moment of forevermore shift. For years, we have witnessed our environment change. We hear there is a tipping point, but hopefully we will do what needs to be done to change direction before that abyss.
On a more practical note, business has moments where there are defined shifts. Perhaps a big client leaves and you have to rethink your business strategy. Perhaps a new client opens up a new revenue stream or a product launch explodes with success. Perhaps a new CEO comes on board with a different vision. I think there are lots of examples.
I’m wondering if you notice the tipping points in your life, your work, your relationships? How do they impact you? Ponder it a bit and let me know. I’m totally curious about your experience. You know where to reach me…firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll be waiting to hear your stories. Until then, stay awake and aware, make good choices, and honor your own way of being.
Mary Anne Wampler
PRINCIPAL, TRANSFORM, INC.