Happy Monday, or whatever Monday you choose.
Have you been in a mood? Maybe you are saying sarcastic or unkind things? If you are a leader, are you using your power to take people down a notch? What is it from which are you trying to protect yourself? Are you jealous of the success of others? Why do you think you are intimidated? Have you been putting in the work to improve? If not, maybe it is time to focus your energy on your personal growth. Speaking unkind words may make you feel good about yourself for a moment, but in the long run, what does it accomplish? Please write down the things you are saying about others and apply it to yourself. When I see that I have hurt someone else’s feelings, I reflect on my actions and realize I have some work to do. It is not enough to apologize; I have to figure out how I got to this point. How would I feel to be on the receiving end of those statements? Maybe it is time to rip the band-aid off your wounds and let all the festering feelings and thoughts out. Clean out your mind and start to address the feelings. If you are angry at yourself, what constructive things can you do to resolve it?Are you encountering hostile people? Perhaps where possible give them a wide berth, so they have the space to figure out their feelings.
But and there is always a but – you do not think there is any reason to have these feelings.Things have been going well. I generally find that for me, unhappiness kicks in when I compare myself to other people. I find myself envious of others and play the world's smallest violin about all the things missing from my life. I buy into some entitled fairy tale that life is supposed to be nothing but highs and awesome adventures. We keep looking to external things for fulfillment. When I get X job, or X car, or accomplish X goal, then I will be happy. However, even if you have a C suite job, driving a luxury car, and live in the “right” part of town if you hate yourself, it will never be enough. Are you lashing out at others because you feel inadequate? People who have an attitude of gratitude are generally happier. When you accept yourself, you start to make different choices for yourself. For example, if you are trying to lose weight, it is a different frame of mind to think “I can’t eat that” or “I’m such a miserable pig” versus “I deserve to eat food that will nourish my body.” What could you accomplish if you had a growth mindset? I am not where I want to be yet, but I know that I can persevere and take things step by step to improve.
Sometimes you stop growing because you do not want to lose control. You want to hold on to your power. Maybe you feel threatened by change.I am very risk averse, but I have noticed that life happens despite your best efforts. I went to a disability and inclusion fair this past week. One of the comments from one of the vendors there was that everyone thinks that since all is well in his or her life, he or she does not have to think about disabilities or inclusion. Their hearts go out to other people who have those challenges in their life, but they are well, so it is not a concern; until they get in an accident or wake up with a debilitating disease. Wanting security is natural. We told on to our money, our relationships, our possessions. When you hold on too tightly, there is no room for you to reach out and grasp new opportunities. Consider taking small risks or clearing out some of the clutter. Do you need that high school trophy? Again, it goes back to your attitude. If you are at a point in your life that you have achieved some stability, be grateful that you have a firm foundation. Do you want to stay where you are or build on your solid ground?
What’s next? There is nothing wrong with going slow. You do have to caution yourself against stagnancy. When you grow complacent, you also run the risk of dragging others into the quagmire. Challenging points of view can make you feel uncomfortable and incompetent. Do not look at your shortcomings as failures, but as areas of opportunity. You can then do the work to fill the gap. There is nothing wrong with taking a slow, methodical approach. Build on your prior success. What worked for you and what did not work for you? Instead of being threatened by others, consider what you can learn from others. Instead of attacking others to make your ego feel better, try collaborating with them instead. Be honest with yourself and be honest with others. Most people will actually try to help you if you come at them from a place of authenticity and humility. You can continue to push people away, or you can take a chance and let them in. Let it go and let it grow.