adjective \ˈsər-vəl, -ˌvī(-ə)l\
: very obedient and trying too hard to please someone
I’ve been pondering lately the mindset of kindness that many of us hold. And while on the surface it is a good thing, it may also not serve us well. It came to me that I should write about this as I stood at the teller window in the bank last week. There is a flat screen TV on the wall nearby that shows weather, news, bank promotions and for the first time I saw it show a word and its definition. The word caught my attention: servile. It’s an adjective—that means it describes something (for those of us that did not pay attention in English)—and its definition is, very obedient and trying too hard to please someone.
I consider myself to be servile, as a matter of fact I know I am. Many times I’ve been given the feedback that I’m too nice, or try too hard to please others and have them like me. Sound familiar to any of you out there as well? “So what’s the problem?”, I asked myself. Most times I’ve answered, “No problem, all good.” I now am working on and through the fact that maybe this mindset—while it will still be a dominant one for me—does not serve me in some instances, and with some people. The definition of mindset I use in my work is… “a fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person’s responses to and interpretations of situations.” And here’s the thing…the actions we take from this mindset produce the results and reality we now have.
I’ve also had quite a few coaching clients that have uncovered this same insight of themselves. One of the jckrbbbt principles is know thyself, and an examination of the mindsets and beliefs that we hold and operate from is a great way of practicing this principle. I’ll often ask people to do this by writing down a few words that describe themselves, and then asking what others may write down.
So, over the next week…think about the mindsets you’re holding…ask others what they observe. And then, where there’s the opportunity to shift that mindset…give it a try…we’ll probably all be pleased with the results.