Relax, this is not an article about COVID-19 antigen tests. Besides, that’s something you’d only want if you’re desperate to avoid a person or situation. Let’s talk about generating positive experiences in the place where you spend the majority of your waking hours interacting with others—work.
Work fuels your self-worth through the belonging, contribution, and fulfillment you experience. However, the turmoil of the past few years has caused widespread discontent and withdrawal from community-building norms, leaving workers depleted and searching for a way out. What if you could greet the new year by putting misery at work in the rearview mirror? Follow this roadmap for reclaiming the happy, fulfilling work-life you used to know.
Visualize what you want.
The pandemic created a hard reset button. Waiting for the office and your life to return to what once was is futile. The other side of that same coin has endless possibilities, so seize them. Grab a journal and start writing your answer to the following prompt every week: Imagine yourself standing in the future at an event celebrating you, then describe fully the who, what, when, where, how, and why. You are the architect, designing the life you desire, so draw upon your past, and then dream bigger! Remember the words of Les Brown, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
Reset your mindset.Your mind is a powerhouse. By simply expecting something to happen, you subconsciously align your behaviors to make it true. [Example: You believe someone isn’t going to like you, so you look for indicators of personal slights and respond with your own jabs resulting in mutual dislike.] Your mind is also your protector, concentrating on perceived threats, be they threats to your body or ego. It will trap you in an endless loop focusing on the negative if unchecked. Therefore, it is vital to carry out an intentional practice of verbally acknowledging the good things happening around you. Speaking creates a dual benefit. It slows down your mind so that it processes the pleasant thing more fully and gives recognition and reinforcement to your co-workers. Think of each practice as slightly turning the tuning dial of a radio. Each action strengthens the signal, focusing the attention of all involved on favorable experiences.
Adopt positive practices.As you start noticing more of the good things happening in your workplace, your feelings will improve, influencing your natural desire to engage in positive behaviors. Lean into it. Deliberately propagate positive interactions throughout your workday and watch the oppressive cloud of depression and resentment disappear. Advocate with respect and concern for the whole, calling attention to the changes needed to strengthen the team culture and performance. Most importantly, lead by example. When others experience your positivity, the good feelings keep going and transform their cycle of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors for the better.
Challenge your inner critic.Everyone has a voice inside their head that constantly judges and criticizes. At times, your inner critic helpfully prompts you to consider all the consequences before you act. And then there are the times she is a bully spreading doubt, fear, and jealousy. Imposter syndrome is a classic example of your inner critic running amok. The result is self-imposed limitations. When that voice in your head says things that restrain your level of play, challenge it with “what if” questions—what if I’m enough, what if people listen, what if others take action, what if this works? Then, gently thank your inner critic for alerting you to the risks, and inform her that you’ve chosen to accept the risks and go forward.
Reboot your default.A common default behavior that keeps you stuck in a negative cycle is giving yourself over to emotional reactions, a.k.a. drama. Hear me clearly; this isn’t a directive to deny or avoid your emotions. Expressing your feelings is natural and healthy, nor should you stop talking to others when you are upset. Sitting alone with negative thoughts can increase your stress and despair. The behaviors to replace include: meditating and obsessing over your anger and hurt and sharing it to pull others into justifying and defending your position.
Your biological programming causes preoccupation with negative experiences to take over if you allow it. Given that this naturally happens, you can expect it, acknowledge it, and reframe your automatic reaction into a thoughtful response. The process is similar to the advice for handling your inner critic above:
Asking coworkers to choose sides destroys teamwork, camaraderie, and the work environment. This shift is one of the most impactful changes you can make.
Focus on yourself.Often, we are willing to do more for others than for ourselves. We are more generous with our time, praise, and kindness. It is time to break this cycle and prioritize yourself. The most important thing you can do to Show Up Positive in 2023 is to show up for yourself. This is your invitation to look inward and let your needs, hopes, and desires be your guiding light. Don’t worry about what others are doing. Reject all temptations to make this work about fixing the behaviors of others. When you generate positive moments with others, you become a magnificent beacon that draws others and inspires replication. Positive change lives within you. Set it free.
This article was written for Quotable Media Co and originally published on 1/3/23. The original can be read here.
Need some help staying in a festive holiday spirit? Gatherings with friends and family can bring all kinds of triggering conversations. That's why I wrote this feature for The Savy Life magazine. Click here to read it.
I was recently invited to share advice with other entrepreneurs.
Read more here
CELEBRATE WITH ME 🥳🥳🥳
I'm unveiling my book, Show Up Positive, arriving on bookshelves everywhere in three months!
The idea for Show Up Positive is the direct result of my consulting work during the pandemic. I worked with several companies in different industries, experiencing a common history, pain, and longing.
Every company experienced a seismic shift in one meeting because I tapped into a Universal Truth.
Want to know what it is???
✌️ CULTURE STARTS WITHIN YOU ✌️
In under four hours, I facilitated a series of conversations and shared experiences that delivered three essential outcomes:
Regardless of your position, title, or time at your company, YOU are the culture, which means you have the power to repair any damage it suffered as a result of the tumultuousness we are living.
Show Up Positive is not my vanity product or the next tick on my accomplishments scorecard.
Show Up Positive is my attempt to whisper in your ear, offer support, and give you the roadmap to claim your freedom from being stuck in a downward, life-sucking spiral at work.
The link to pre-order your copy is coming in April, but you can start your journey now by joining my weekly #ShowUpPositive email list.
Check out this sample, and if you ♥ it, click the button below to join the list.
😇 It is such a blessing to have people in your life that truly get you.
🤩 After submitting the manuscript for my first book (coming in June) to my publisher, one of my besties sent me this mug for my collection.
💗 I love this collection that celebrates my business name because it also reflects the quietude of witnessing an extraordinary moment.
😔 Somehow, images of people with flashy cars or dressed in luxury brands that shout, "work with me, and you can have the luxury life too," have become a thing.
🤨And to some extent, I get it. Capturing people's psychological attraction to their aspirations is a marketing tactic that stands the test of time.
🤦♀️ To some extent, every corporation where I worked lost their way because Wall Street kept comparing them to their competitors and pushing them to measure themselves to an external yardstick instead of sticking to their truth north guideposts of mission and values.
💥 If you can only see your value by comparing yourself to others and measuring your success in your ability to rub shoulders on Millionaire Row, you may be on a path that leads you away from yourself.
😩 The external validation game is tiresome.
🙌 My extraordinary is about standing firm in your mission and values and making choices that fill you with joy, pride, and prosperity.
🤑 And if the by-product is fame and fortune, good on you.
😏 It's all about positioning—fame and fortune are not the goals but one possible aftereffect.
😎 And what I am saying works.
💪 I have a client who passed on a major joint-venture because his mission and values put his team first, and they needed space to recover. He received a new opportunity to expand his business through acquisition within the year, which tripled his income in under six months.
🙋 Had he said yes to the first opportunity, he would not have had the capacity to consider the acquisition, which is a much stronger long-term strategy for growth.
🙂 If you are interested in my brand of extraordinary, let's connect.