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Do you see people for as they are or as you want them to be?

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Years ago, I met a co-worker and we became relatively close. Approximately, five years into our friendship, there came when she showed me she was not the person I thought she was. We collaborated on a few projects and made plans for some pretty important things to happen, but at the ninth hour she backed out. She began to play games and dodge phone calls. Her actions placed me in a pretty tight situation. Nonetheless, I viewed the situation as her not wanting to tell me that she had a change of heart.

After a couple of weeks went by, we discussed the incident and she gave me her viewpoint. I felt she wasn’t being entirely forthcoming because she had that information prior to her suggesting we engage in the project. I valued the friendship and we picked back up and eventually got back to a good place.

Years later, I was offered a great opportunity, but I needed several references. I asked her if she would be willing to provide a favorable reference for me and she agreed. In my mind, I thought she would be perfect because she knew both my character and my capabilities. We had worked together before and I had just completed a couple of projects pro bono in my area of expertise a few weeks prior. Imagine my surprise, when I received a phone call that they were unable to make contact with her to conduct the reference check. I was in disbelief. I asked for an opportunity to contact her and have her to connect with the person doing the check. They gave me the approval to do so with a time constraint. I reached out and called the person who I thought was my friend. We spoke of the urgency of the situation and I asked her to please reach out to the organization’s representative who was responsible for background checks the following day. Although she agreed, she didn’t keep her word.

Again, I received a call from the representative indicating that they tried reaching out to her, but to no avail. When I spoke with my former co-worker, she admitted to me that they had been calling her, but she simply didn’t have the time to talk to them and she wasn’t in a good mood. Her refusal to participate in my success nearly cost me the opportunity. Luckily, I had a former mentor that I told the story to and he made a suggestion, which ended up working out for me. Because she failed to answer a few questions regarding me, I had to jump through so many hoops it was unbelievable. I often think that she showed me who she was years prior, I chose not to accept what she showed me about her true character years earlier because I wanted to believe differently about her. My lack of seeing her for who she was almost cost me something valuable.

Question: Who has shown you they should not be in the current position in your life and you are hoping for something different and waiting for the next betrayal? People are who they are; let’s start believing them the first time and not waiting until it almost costs us everything.