Sometimes we do things even though deep down we feel kind of iffy about them. We know that in the end we’ll probably regret the decision we’re tempted to make, but for some reason we choose to ignore that twisty, nauseous feeling in the pit of our stomachs that is not so quietly telling us to run in the other direction! Below are three common reasons we end up doing the wrong things while trying to do what’s right.
We Are Trying to Make Our Heart Catch Up to Our Head
This commonly occurs in romantic situations where you’re not really feeling the other person but you choose to stick it out because they are “nice” even though you aren’t attracted to them. In your heart you know that you and this person have no future but you’re hoping that your heart (emotion) will catch up to your head (logic) which is telling you that you’d be a fool to pass this person up! But Bonnie Rait said it best when she sang: “You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t.” In your non-profit organization you may find yourself in situations working with groups or people that you just aren’t clicking with. No harm meant and no love lost but it’s just not a good look for what you are trying to accomplish. When this happens, don’t try to force it, because it you do, you may end up mourning it later. Wish them well and support when you can, but don’t tie yourself to a commitment that you later end up kicking yourself for.
Picture it: you have a fantastic organization that is doing a lot of good, but doesn’t have much exposure or financial backing. Then one day you get the opportunity to partner with an individual or group that has the means to shine the spotlight and really give you some sparkle or perhaps they are willing to donate four dozen brand new laptops for the educational program you run. At first you may be jumping for joy. But then it hits you: your gut is telling you that it wouldn’t be the wisest partnership due to the shady reputation of the other potential donor. However, against your better judgment, you dive in head first only to later lament over it when your pre-game hesitations manifest into reality. This happens frequently when we are more focused on taking the quickest route rather than the best one. When we start making deals with questionable individuals just because it may produce a certain outcome without fully owning the associated costs, we end up in the red!
We’re Just Too Nice
Occasionally we can see a train wreck coming from a mile away but we hop on board for the ride despite the carnage that likely lies ahead. Sometimes it’s because we are not using our heads, sometimes it’s because we are rushing and sometimes we are just too darn nice. Those of us who work in philanthropy have big hearts- hey, that’s in part what drives us. But sometimes our heart can get us into trouble when we let it be our only guiding force. It’s like this: on the one hand you may feel compelled to get involved in something because it tugs at your heartstrings but you may also feel that deep down you really don’t have the time or you know it may interfere with other projects. However you say “yes” anyway because you don’t want to come off as mean or uncaring. In end though, you end up stretched as thin as a crepe and resenting your decision. Don’t make the mistake of trying to be so nice to everyone else that you let yourself run dry.
Shakespeare said “To thine own self be true.” Yet when we ignore that tugging in our tummy we deny an essential element of who we are. Sometimes in life we have to say “no,” take a pass or walk away for our own benefit. Always seek wisdom and pray for discernment as you do good for those you serve.