So often we are faced with situations where we think to ourselves, “I will just be the bigger person here.” Well don’t do anyone any favors. When I hear people say this, it makes me think that in some way they think they are being “better” than the other person. Or worse, that the other person doesn’t have it in them to do what they themselves are going to do.
Maybe it’s true, but you have to ask yourself who are you trying to impress? Are you honestly trying to improve a situation or simply attempting to show someone up? Is that what being “bigger” is about? Do you want to look like the nicer person? Or the shinier person? Or are you just trying to “appear” more virtuous on the outside while you teem with vindictiveness on the inside? Once you stop to think about it, you’ll probably find that these ulterior motives require a tremendous amount of effort and energy, almost to the point of being exhausting. Who has time for that?
Let’s take a look at an example. Say you just broke up with your boyfriend, who also happens to be your boss. You ended the relationship because you found out he’s been flirting with a few other women around the office. Of course, you still have to work with him and perform your duties, one of which includes outlining a memorandum on ways he can improve and expand his business. So you put your personal issues aside and concentrate on fulfilling your professional obligations. Most people would say they’re being the “bigger” person.
But just as you overcome this hurdle, another arises. Right before you’re about to present this memorandum, he fires you. Most people would say f@#k it and tear the report up right in front of him. After all, he’s being a complete jerk while you tried to handle the situation maturely. But what if you acted not like the bigger person, but like the bigger version of you? What would the bigger version of you do?
Most of the time, we have trouble truly being consistent with who we really are. That’s because we tend to see life as conditional, and bend the rules to suit the particular situation and individual circumstances. How can we keep track of who we really are when we are constantly altering ourselves to suit the person and moment? This is when you need to call upon your “bigger version.”
In this hypothetical situation, the bigger version of you would look for areas where you can learn, grow and excel in any situation— no matter who was at fault. Perhaps you’ve recognized that you have trouble with implementation, follow-through and consistency in many areas of your life. What a FANSTASTIC opportunity to practice all three of those things.
To be consistent with who you are, you must first recognize what your initial intention was in the first place. Regardless of the fact you broke up, you still got inspired to spend a few hours envisioning how this business could expand and grow. That came from within, being truly present and with no resistance – and that is beautiful. So why stop that process by saying, “Forget it, I’m not going to give it to him.” You put your vision, creativity, heart and soul in that memorandum. By denying your ex-boyfriend is to deny yourself.
In the end, you’re only hindering your own personal growth when you try to “outclass” someone. Even if you’re completely justified, staying true to your goals is being the bigger version of yourself. You’re no longer letting external conditions dictate your internal being. After all, just because your ex-boyfriend wants to start a war doesn’t mean you can’t still act in a way that brings you peace. Rather than jumping into the fire, step into that empowered place and say “I am a person who practices not only finishing what I start, and also maintains who I am.” Now that’s thinking big.