No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
– Eleanor Roosevelt
I’ve had the privilege of working in some very negative environments. Privilege? Is there a better way to put into practice the reading and growing you’ve been doing? They (negative environments) are worthwhile bumps that contribute to your success. Think Abe Lincoln.
Not so long ago when I had a real JOB as a freight specialist. Okay, okay, a truck driver. I also had to unload trailers with a forklift on the dock. This is where the majority of negativity surfaced. But, I was able to develop (grow) in a way that I may not have been able to without the experience I had. In a way even I doubted could be accomplished.
The place I worked was a dark and thankless place (you know what I mean). Stress, foul and negative language, and poor attitudes were in abundance. I was the self-appointed company encourager. Although I did have some bad days, the good ones far outnumbered them because I purposed it that way.
Trying to encourage and brighten lives can put a sizable target on you. Some people want to be miserable. So, any perceived flaw in you will be magnified and projected by this small thinking crowd. You know what I say? BRING IT ON! If a handful of small opinions have such a huge impact on me, I better dream bigger and louder.
Aren’t my aspirations and goals so much bigger and harder to derail than a few snide comments? Aren’t yours?
I’d like to share a story, but, give you part of the ending first.
A manager looked in surprise and said, “You?”
Now the story.
While I was still driving a truck I was called for jury duty.
At first, I had the same thought that I hear so often. Why me?
But, as the time approached I became a bit excited. I had never been called on before. Remember, the same things in life happen to most of us, how we respond is the difference. Besides, it could prove interesting. I had a chance to learn something new and…GROW.
The day of jury duty, I was actually selected to be a jurist for an attempted murder case. I won’t supply details other than the makeup of some of the jury: a doctor, an owner of a large real estate brokerage in the area, a banker, a youth pastor, nurse, a car repair shop owner. I’m not sure of all of the others, but, you get the idea. I had to be the least educated person on the panel (no college degree as many of you know). But, don’t tell me that, because I won’t believe it.
As a matter of point, most of the other jurists wouldn’t either.
When occupations were mentioned nobody looked down on me when I mentioned being a truck driver. This is for a good reason.
I didn’t look down on me. I entered and exited the room with confident assurance. That is because I am confident (as you should be, too).
It will come as no surprise to some of you that when it was time to elect a foreperson, I was chosen. I wasn’t chosen for being the wisest, smartest, or the best-looking. I surely wasn’t any of these.
I was chosen because of how I see me. I see myself as a foreperson. I see me as an embodiment of success (albeit still in progress). Not only is that how I see me, there isn’t anyone who could convince me otherwise. It has taken years to develop the assurance and trust I have in myself. Small setbacks and opinions don’t derail me.
How do you see you?
Getting back to the manager who asked, “You?” You see, one manager asked if I was the foreperson with a knowing expectation. He saw me as I see myself.
The other, not so. A subtle difference between the two. Both had been a jurist on a bench trial before, but only one had been picked to be the foreperson.
Can you guess which one?
It’s possible that this other manager didn’t see himself as a foreperson. This story isn’t a look how special I am. But, more to the point, look how special you are friends. You are special. Everyone of you have many stories of success. But, are you focusing on them? Some may be subtle. Some, not so subtle. Some of you may be thinking, he doesn’t know me. He doesn’t know what a failure I am.
You’re right friend, I don’t know you. I know me and how I used to think. So, I do know that none of you are failures. Some of you may be holding on by a string. Keep hanging on!
Each of us have failings. Yet, we are not failures.
Bad habits are failings that can be changed.
Ruts can be gotten out of.
Paths can be changed. Successes can and will overcome failings.
Here are six steps that can be taken to ensure the proper outlook:
- Never! Never! And I mean never, speak in a derisive manner about yourself (especially in front of others). What I’m saying is, do not use words such as stupid, moron, fat, skinny, etc. as a description for yourself. These are labels, not who you are. No one would call Einstein an idiot. Do you think that he never grabbed a hot pan, got an F on a math paper, attempted to mail a letter without a stamp? But, none of this stopped his work or what he was trying to accomplish. Because, although he may have had done some silly things, that wasn’t who he was. It may never have even dawned on him to value himself any less because of these things. Nor should you my friend. In our own way we are all Einsteins. Each of us has a fantastic capacity of success waiting to be released…like Einstein. Never speak in a derisive manner about yourself! Ever!
- Accept compliments with a smile. If someone tells you how nice you look today, say, “Thank you,” and smile. Never reply negatively by saying, “Must not have your glasses on today.” It’s okay for someone to admire or appreciate you in some way. After all, you’re worth it! You appreciate and admire others, so it is only fair that you allow yourself the same grace. Accept compliments with a smile.
- Grow. Make a decision today AND tomorrow and so on and so on that will bring you closer to the fulfilling things in life you want. Actions speak louder than words. Shut the boob tube off. You are worth the effort and so are your goals. Grow today. Grow tomorrow. Grow, my friend.
- Dwell on your positives. If I dwelt on every failing I’ve had (and have), not only would I not be writing this, I would not be fun to be around. I’d punish myself. I’d stay in bed all day. In short, I’d be depressed. What do you think will take you to the next level? Thinking in a positive way about yourself will help and speed up the process. Learn from mistakes, don’t ignore or deny them, but, remember to cut yourself some slack. Remember and bring to mind successes you have had. Short and long-term successes. You’ve succeeded much more than even you realize. You are the only you, you have. Dwell on your positives!
- Receive constructive and beneficial criticism, but don’t give any credence to negative or just plain mean people. Life can be tough at times but can be made more difficult by these sort of so-called friends and acquaintances. Some people are terribly unhappy in their lives and expect the same from and for you. Receive help, but ignore negativity. This is your life. Don’t allow others to rain on your life’s parade. Don’t give any credence to negativity. Receive criticism that will benefit you.
- Try momentum stacking. Maybe that extra weight is not coming off the way you would like. Instead of becoming depressed about it and getting down on yourself, shoot for smaller victories to build confidence. Push away that late night snack. Get a hair cut or have your teeth whitened (or better yet, both!). Don’t get me wrong. I’m not telling you to ignore the problem. But, it may not happen overnight, maybe it will. In the mean time we must stay in the game and keep fighting. When the compliments start coming in, it just may push you over the hump. These mini turning points can make all the difference. Momentum stack.
See yourself as you are, a winner.
You are well on your way my friend.
Keep fighting. Grow.
Get out there and live it, and live it Loud.
Remember, you are the only you, you have!