Recently, after submitting to a series of niggly life and business annoyances and aggravations my grumbly, ‘whiny’ behavior mounted. I was becoming, as they say, insufferable.
As a result, my husband (Rob) lovingly suggested, “Why don’t you just get over yourself?”
In conjunction with his gentle suggestion, Rob texted me an elevating song he’d just listened to on the way to work.
Almost immediately upon receiving his messages, I shifted gears from rudderless to empowered and more positive. Rather than continuing to ruminate on the events that frustrated, I immediately took small actions forward. Rather than thinking negatively, I attached positive thoughts to my energy.
Rather than being victim, I became victor.
You see, sometimes we unwittingly become our own worst enemy, dampened by the little things, drip by drip, until we not only start sinking into our own emotional abyss, but also start dragging down those around us.
This unintentional behavior can be rerouted, almost immediately, through action. For example:
Are you feeling behind on personal care and relationship tending? Then, try this:
- Pick up the phone to make that doctor/dentist/hair/massage (whatever) appointment that’s been nagging at you.
- Delete unsolicited emails that are bogging down your system and which really don’t require your time or a reply.
- Breathe. Slow down. Even ‘important’ emails and social media ‘pings’ do not always require real-time responses.
- Call your mom/dad/sister/friend to catch up.
- Sit on your porch or deck, sip on a cool beverage and watch the sun rise or set.
- Pet and play with your cat or dog.
- Take a long, vigorous walk, outdoors.
- Watch your favorite movie.
- Listen to uplifting and/or soulful music.
- Take time to decorate or make structural improvements to your home or office space.
- Plant a garden.
- Paint. (Hat tip to @SWCareer for this wonderful suggestion.)
- Read (for fun or personal enlightenment). Read what you want to read not what you ‘should’ read.
- Say yes to things you feel you don’t have time for and no (or no, not now) to things that really don’t suit your goals and purpose right now.
- Grab at some joy.
Do you hate your job? Then, take some or all of these steps:
- Start researching a resume ‘storyteller’ writer to kick off your job search, now (not next week)
- Begin researching companies and make a list of those that interest you (use Google, LinkedIn, Glassdoor and corporate websites).
- Take a class that will prepare you for your next career goal.
- Earn a certification that will pave the way to a new objective.
- Volunteer in a role at your current job or for a professional or civic association that will add beef to your resume goals.
- Research and hire a career coach/counselor to help you get unstuck, see things you are not seeing and take action.
And finally, (and this is important), quit striving for perfection in every single little thing. Perfection is unattainable, and quite frankly, makes you insufferable and even at times, boring to be around.
Smile and take care of you in order to be the best you can be for others — your spouse, your children, your friends, your parents, your customers and your colleagues. Be willing to be deliciously uncomfortable and flawed and take those chances. Life and work are full of calculated risks. If yours is NOT, then you are not fully living!
And with that, the ‘elevating song’ that lifted me from grumbly to grateful!