Be Your Best Self

I'm not being secretive or hiding my true self when I close the bathroom door, and I think in general we can all agree that some things aren't for sharing with others. Maybe there are other places in your work-life where you might close the proverbial bathroom door, if you find you tend towards negativity...

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Be your best self every day.

Do you have days when you really just don’t wanna?  If you said no, call 911, because your pants are on fire.

It can be so easy to bring our grumbles with us.  In fact, it’s so hard not to that the grumbles are in your office at least once a week because someone brought them in.  Sometimes it’s totally valid, and the thing we’re grumbling about needs to be fixed right away.  Most of the time, it’s based in truth even if that truth is being viewed in a rather skewed light—the thing that’s annoying you is annoying, but it won’t actually destroy the company, despite what it feels like at the time.  Every now and then it’s nothing, it’s us, and we just need to knock it off, put on our grown-up undies and get back to work.

Dealing with a grumbling coworker can be hard, because they are actively contagious and want to talk about it, but if you can take a deep breath and keep your own personal space clear of their mess, you can safely compartmentalize and still function.  It’s truly difficult to remain positive in a negative environment, but if you can manage it, that’s the first step to changing the negativity entirely.

We know how to deal with it if it’s someone else, but no one ever thinks the problem is them.  If something is “always” or “never” happening to you, it’s you.  If “all” of your partners have the same challenges, or “everybody” is wrong, it’s you.  Perpetual victims do have to ask themselves at some point if maybe they should start making different choices if their current ones have them stuck in an unhealthy pattern.  Even if you aren’t causing the problems, maybe you’re placing yourselves in groups or situations that are prone to go badly and you just haven’t really noticed since it’s what you’ve always done.  It’s not about blame, it’s about stopping the roller coaster and getting off before you puke, and step one is seeing the roller coaster.

Have you ever been the problem at work, home or school, not in some horrible way but just because you were in a bad mood?  If you said no, you are really going to need some new pants the way you’re burning through them.

The hard truth is that when you were the problem, you didn’t notice, which is a big part of why you were the problem.  Your bad day just continued through work, and it will never occur to you that work would have gone just fine for everyone else if you hadn’t been having, and spreading, your bad day.  

Forgive yourself.  I forgive you, and your coworkers have already forgiven you, because they know they do it too.  We all do it.  Now let’s fix it.

Get up 15 minutes earlier than you want to and take the extra time first thing so that the rest of your morning is the same as always.  For the first 15 minutes of your day, relax.  Don’t get ready for work yet.  Mediate, listen to music, think deep thoughts, stretch, work out—something just for you that has nothing to do with your work.  Make the conscious decision that you will be aware of the way you interact with others and do your best to be your best self.  Don’t wear a mask and hide your worries, but if your worries are in perspective, odds are they won’t be as worrying. 

I close the door when I use the bathroom, even though what I’m doing is totally normal and part of my reality.  I also wear work clothes to work and pajamas to bed rather than staying in pajamas all day even though the pajamas are far more comfortable.  Even though those are parts of my life, those are my private moments, and I present myself better for others, because the people around me deserve to see my best self, and I deserve to see theirs.

If you shut the door to go to the bathroom, and you don’t feel the need to share your experience with your coworkers, then you can find other places in life where maybe you are little too comfortable and should work on being your best self.

Basically, we can all be there for each other without burying each other in negativity.  Let’s keep our poop to ourselves.

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