The Danger Of Repression

The Danger of Repression

by Madisyn Taylor

When negative thoughts arise it is best to address them rather than pushing them down where they will surface again.
For the last several years, there has been a lot of focus on the power of positive thinking. Many people have come to misinterpret this wisdom to mean that it is not okay to have a bad mood or a negative thought or feeling. This can lend a kind of superficiality to their relationship with life and relationships with other people. It can also lead them to feel that if a negative thought or feeling comes up, in themselves or someone else, they must immediately block it out. When they do this, they are engaging in the act of repressing a part of themselves that needs to seen, heard, and processed.

When we repress parts of ourselves, they don’t go away so much as they get buried deep within us, and they often come out when we least expect it. On the other hand, if we allow ourselves to be fully human, honoring all the thoughts, feelings, and moods that pass through us on a given day, we create a more conscious relationship with ourselves. Instead of blocking out thoughts and feelings that we label as negative, we can simply observe them and then let them go. They only get stuck when we react to them negatively, pushing them down and out of sight where they get lodged in our unconscious minds. A healthier solution might be to develop a practice of following any negative thought we may have with a positive thought. This works well because positive thoughts are many times more powerful than negative thoughts.

Rather than setting our minds up in such a way that we become fearful of the contents of our own consciousness, blocking out anything that is less than 100 percent positive, we might resolve to develop a friendlier attitude toward ourselves, trusting in our inherent goodness. When we recognize our true inner worth, a few dark clouds passing through our minds will not intimidate us. We will see them for what they are–small, dark figures passing through an expansive sky of well-being and truth.

Changes, changes, changes …

Eric Abrahamson (2000) noted in his famous Harvard Business Review –article that “To change successfully, organization should stop changing all the time.” Today we know that almost all organizations need dynamic stability and ability to change, but if there are too many changes there will be problems to manage all these changes. Often changes cannot be implemented without pain. However, an ideal change process should happen without pain.

One way to implement changes is to create modular elements of change. If change is too big, it creates a lot of stress and pain. Small change efforts that involve the reconfiguration of existing practices and business models are often the best practices of change. If we create big and massive change processes, risks are going to be bigger that planned massive change process is going to be a failure. If we can do this, change process will be organic change, not mechanic change.

To be ready for changes, we should develop change-able and learning organisations. One of the worst barriers against organic change is keen and even active refusal of learning. If we do not want to learn, all changes will be unsuccessful. Some beings are able to learn, some others are not able learn. If we want to develop change-able organisations, we must pay special attention to learning capacity of individual and social teams of organizations.

Professor Robert W. Rowden (2001) has recognized in his scientific article that there are three types of change: planned change, implementation-focused change and readiness-focused change. All these “change types” need a special attention. Sustainable, high performance depends on organisation´s ability to respond quickly and efficiently to changing circumstances in their decision environments, which are today networks, markets and crowds. Especially, our abilities and skills to make sense of changes, matter. Nowadays making sense is not easy. We must analyse a lot of data, information and knowledge. If we do not understand the nature of changes in critical networks, new markets and emerging crowds, we are out of success. Some other organisations, which do it better, will be more successful.

Today´s organizations operate in a challenging environment. In a more complex world, change has become the constant. Just add globalisation to technological shifts and multiply it by today´s volatile economic trends and the pace of change is breath-taking. Making sense of changes is today one of the biggest challenges in organisations and companies.

We should also understand that people are very interested why they need to change. Often people are very tired of changes, before planned changes. Generally speaking, the motivation of people depends on our sense making skill and abilities. If we cannot explain, in a good way, why changes are needed, we cannot motivate people to learn new things, change their habits and find better ways to work. Motivation is a key issue in change management process. If motivation level is low, change process is not going to be successful.

In change-able organizations a way of being is different. In this kind of organisation people are able to change fast, but also they are able to manage knowledge. For such learning organisations, typical characters are: constant readiness, continuous planning, improvised implementation and action learning. These characters require training and tutoring inside organisations. They do not emerge automatically in organizations.

People resist changes for many reasons. Sometimes they want to deny the needed changes. Sometimes people are anger and they blame managers and leaders. “Over my dead body” is one typical reaction to needed changes. “This is nothing new” is another reaction to changes. Sometimes people are simply confused. Then “I do not understand what is going on” is a typical reaction.

In classical Lewin´s study “Field Theory and Social Science”, he described the tendency by people to consolidate negative behaviours as “freezing”. This phenomena is still relevant for change management. Smart leaders can find ways to “unfreeze” by right messages, implementation activities and role models.

The organisational climate of change must be created every day in companies and organisations. Leaders of today need to manage implementation in ways that protect and grow business rather than destroy the very organisational skills and motivations which offer the potential for innovation and new business models. From this perspective we are living interesting times. Many organisations are not able to survive. Some others will find their ways from chaotic conditions.

Whether you are leader, manager or worker, we can ask: is your personal attitude right and mature enought to create optimal organisational climate of change?

Further reading

Abrahanson, E. (2000) Change without pain. Harvard Business Review, July-August 2000, 75-79.

Lewin, K. (1951) Field Theory in Social Science. London: Tavistock.

Rowden, R. (2001) The learning organization and strategic change. Society for the Advancement of Management Journal, 66(3), 11-16.

Changes, changes, changes …

Some Boho Thoughts

All in all, Boho-Belle helps you discover quality products with unbeatable prices every day. Thus our motto, Bohemian at it’s finest.

Bohemia is a region of Czech Republic; the nomadic, often vilified, group called the Gypsies or Romany are called “bohemiens” in French.

Boho is short for bohemian, and typifies a style of dress inspired by the lifestyle of free spirits and hippies of the 1960s and 1970s, and even the pre-Raphaelite women of the late 19th century. Boho style is characterized by long flowing or tiered skirts and dresses, peasant blouses, ethnic touches like tunics or wood jewelry, embroidery or embellishment with beading, fringed handbags, and jeweled or embellished flat sandals (or flat ankle boots).

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Boho-Belle’s Thoughts

Boho-Belle is looking forward to meeting all of the people that have supported us since we first started to venture out into the public eye and so excited about our upcoming online store, which will be found, here. Also our Google and Facebook communities for the Boho-Chic Women and guys who would like to join, discuss, share and support each other.
This is an exciting time for our staff here and we know you will all be absolutely delighted with the products we have coming in!

Love, Loyalty and Respect (LL&R)

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