I had this realization a while back and since then, I've found it to be true so many times that I thought I would share it here.
I realized that as we move through our days, we are faced with a myriad of opportunities in how we 'show up'.
What keeps us from living this is that we don't actually believe we have the option or control to BE any different, or we fall into our habitual reactions to things.
How we show up, or interact throughout the day, changes our experience.
We all have the opportunity to experience our days how we WANT to. Do you want to have fun at work? Do you want to be looked at as motivated or confident? Do you want to feel less stress or feel less resigned to the daily grind?
Let me first ask the question this way....
What is the common denominator in everything that happens and how you experience life & work?
The common denominator to our daily experience is us.
Even in challenging day-to-day circumstances, you can choose how you respond or react to a given situation. I'm talking about the situations that we encounter that annoy, anger, make us roll our eyes, cause us to question ourselves, doubt, fear, etc. Situations where we want to react differently, but on the surface, don't know how because that's what we've always done or we let our situation take charge of how we 'think' we should feel about it.
Out of all these situations that we run up against in our day, in our business or at work, we have opportunities to decide how we want to BE in these situations.
If you find yourself thinking "I feel like I need to be right or have all the answers" and yet you really want to engage in dialogue and collectively find the best solution. You may feel that if you do this, you're afraid that you will be viewed as being weak, not having the answers, or are being too passive.
This is your fear, not reality, getting the better of you. When in your day can you make a conscious effort to ask more questions and consider alternate ideas...?
Or those times when you had a good idea in a meeting, but you talked yourself out of sharing it because you convinced yourself it didn't have merit, wouldn't work or wouldn't be taken seriously?
When we want to feel more confident in what we do, being confident isn't about being someone you aren't. It's about NOT letting fear guide your decisions, masking who you ARE.
It's about NOT having to prove anything.
A huge boost to your personal confidence is to focus on something beyond yourself. Tap into something you really believe in and use this as your motivation to engage in your situation.
How we expect the situation to unfold will impact our experience of it.
If we have a meeting at work and think - this is going to be awful, people don't listen to each other, or so-and-so will dominate the conversation again. Chances are, if this is your mindset going in, your brain will find the opportunities to prove yourself right. It will find fault in what is being said, and the interactions that follow.
Instead, if you take the opportunity to think, what can be accomplished as a result of everyone's input or how can we best serve our customer? In fact, posing this as a question to the group at large might alter the conversation....
Your actions throughout this meeting will be effected by looking at it through this lense. You may encourage everyone to speak up, wanting to hear everyone's ideas. You may be more open-minded, looking for the opportunities in the conversation. It may encourage you to offer your ideas thinking how you can help vs. making your participation about yourself and letting you talk yourself out of making a contribution.
If your days are filled with stress and tension, then how can you break it up to infuse a bit of fun or down-time into your routine?
If you are expecting the day to be stressful, what about flipping that entirely around and re-framing it as "today my day will be filled with situations that I, and my team, can handle".
Or, "today, the day will be manageable, productive and enjoyable because I get to advance this project we've all been working on."
Or, "today, is an opportunity to explore the many options that are open to me to increase my company's revenue".
Try this before going into your day or before any major event in your day.
Take note of how you feel about the situation after it's finished. How did it impact the outcomes of the situation or how you viewed it?
If you identify the feelings that you want to feel less of, flip them around and turn it into a statement of what you WANT more of, then that's what you will focus on.
Where is your opportunity for that?
I believe great opportunities are available to us when we "show up" in our best way.
When we decide to alter the focus of the biggest common denominator in all our situations (you), focus on outcomes beyond ourselves, decide how we want to feel and find opportunities to execute this, you will notice that situations will begin to unfold differently AND people begin to respond to you differently. They'll come to see you in the way you are trying to 'BE'.
You will notice that you have far more control over how you feel and act in your day than you thought you did.
What are you holding yourself back from? What is fear stopping you from doing and engaging in?
Think about what you want to be more of....and now think about at least one opportunity today to BE more of that.
What will YOU do?
If you need help with figuring this out, reach out to me.