It is back.
This morning it repeated what should have been a habit it stopped but still hasn't. My five year old complained that it was waking us up.
It is 8:32 in the evening and it continues. Or maybe it is just that it is back, flying straight into the window glass over and over and over. The robin has done this many mornings. The fake owl hasn't deterred it. The paper taped to the window so that it can stop seeing its reflection and think another bird is there hasn't deterred it. Perhaps robins aren't very smart but it surely is determined. It’s defensive mechanism up, the robin is determined to chase the other bird away. Except there is no other bird.
Our robin continues to try and fly to meet that bird morning after morning, week after week. And now this evening, too.
How human this behavior is. Repeating the mistakes of the past, convinced of our rightness, of what we have learned, of what we received, of what we were told. Even when it doesn't feel right, we persist. Even when we continue to experience pain — hear the same complaints, lose friends, fail to make friends, receive the same comments in reviews, get the same responses to the same behavior — we often persist. We sometimes function as wheels in a groove, in a rut too deep to come out of.
That habit, that behavior, that inclination, that burden, that expectation, that darn window persists. Except, don’t keep flying into it. Surely it hurts and the futility invites despair. Quitting can be a glorious thing. There is a time to quit.
Think about the patterns you have. How are they working for you? Do you want a future with the same results? It is important to understand the underlying reasons for our behavior and why we have not succeeded in making changes. Dr. Henry Cloud, author of Boundaries for Leaders and The Power of the Other (two of his books I love), reminds us to visualize and work our way away from staying stuck. Create urgency, make a plan, and implement the plan.
Quit what is not working despite your best efforts when you can tell further efforts will not yield different results. Flying into the window doesn't work and we can get unstuck.
Photo from Charlie Hickey
Kori is a people inclusion strategist, advocate, speaker, writer, wife and mother of two spitfires who loves to sing, cook, entertain, dance in the hallways and read when she is not equipping leaders to be inclusive and interrupt bias, and developing and implementing strategies to build bridges across differences and improve inclusion. You can also find her on Twitter as @koricarew.