How to Bring Your Best Self Even When Others Don’t
Gusto turns to groaning when people disappoint.
It’s harmful when disappointment, anger, or bitterness reflect your strongest self.
The seduction of negative focus is destructive illusion.
Bring your best self:
#1. Choose how you show up before you show up.
If you don’t choose how you show up, someone else will. You’ll end disappointed and frustrated.
Walk in the door with a clear picture of how you want to show up. You might choose:
Imagine yourself an animal. If you chose to show up curious, what animal would you be? How about decisive, candid, or kind?
#2. Resolve disappointments before they destroy your future.
Satisfaction comes in rusty buckets, but your disappointment-bucket doesn’t leak.
Your ability to resolve disappointment – or not – determines your future.
You won’t earn a promotion by walking around discontent, angry, and resentful.
Deal with the crap on the bottom of your shoe.
If the world stinks, it’s you. Your biggest challenge is you, not others.
Define and declare positive intention.
Problem-centric people know what they don’t want. Leaders declare positive outcomes.
You never achieve positive results with negative intention.
Bring up irritations with forward-facing curiosity.
Disappointment is never resolved by wallowing in the past.
- What can we do about this?
- I wonder what it means for us to make this better?
- What do we want?
Inability to bring up frustration drains satisfaction from life.
The power to complain or tear down, sabotages your leadership.
#3. Build positive environments.
Positive environments are never accidents. Teams tumble easily into apathy.
Disneyland is a place of fantasy for visitors but constant vigilance for Disney employees. Someone’s working to create and protect positive environments. Relationships, teams, and organizations turn dark unless someone is fueling their energy.
What prevents people from bringing their best self?
How might you bring your best self today?
How to Bring Your Whole Self to Work (Berkeley)
10 Ways to Bring Your Whole Self to Work, Even When You’re Having a Bad Day (Conscious Company Media)
Dealing with Disappointment (HBR)
preparing for a 9:00 AM meeting that is filled with uncertainty, I needed to read this – thank you
The timing of this was a prayer answered. I’m leading our supervisors through a challenging software rollout. Some bugs in the program are getting the team frustrated.Tip #3 is spot on and I will be sharing this as a great positive reminder
Thanks Mary. Those software rollouts are murder. Everyone wants to get it right, but something always goes wrong. Is that too negative sounding?
Interesting discussion I thing we blend in the “Achiever aspect” what goals they have, are you seeking fame and fortune, are you a coat tail rider? Do you have a vision that enables us to soar or will we crash and burn?
I’m visiting our daughter in Charlotte NC, and was introduced to “Alexa” house controls, as a Technology person I’m impressed yet laid back to say I’d rather turn the switch off myself.
Thanks Tim. Have fun in Charlotte.
BTW – Alexa scares me. But, I don’t mind SIRI on my phone. Now what does that say about me. 🙂
Chuckling, you have a comfort zone….
Define and declare positive intention. Problem-centric people know what they don’t want. Leaders declare positive outcomes. Yes, positive all the way, yes with focus, yes knowing what you want. Don’t dwell in negativism because plenty of others will.
Thanks Roger. It takes insight and resolve to overcome the negative drag that is so common in organizational life. Thanks for the encouragement.
Had an impromptu meeting with my supervisor yesterday- we decided if the team isn’t performing – it’s time for us too!
Charge!! Best for the journey, Tycee.
I’ve signed up to so many leadership development blogs, but this site is by far the most helpful. Again some great words of wisdom. I forget being kind when being stood up for key meetings again and again, but this had made me reflect on why being kind even when others are at their worst; is important.
What prevents people from bringing their best self is the belief that the negative stories others have told them about themselves are true. I think it might be a fear or denial of one’s true self that prevents him from bringing out his best self. It’s funny that one of the emotions you mentioned twice in this post is anger. Just yesterday I was listening to an interview with Dan Moshavi (Dean of the graduate business school at San Jose State) on NPR about expressing anger as a leader. Moshavi said, “There’s some research that shows that there is a sweet spot for anger, that anger can make some leaders more effective if being used properly. It can actually lead to better negotiation outcomes. Anger can be a powerful social communication tool for actually moving individuals and organizations forward.” As I read your post, I begin to think no matter how immediately effective an act of anger can be, how healthy can it be for the leader or for his relationships? I think that’s the key. I think we need to hone in our emotions and express those in a professional manner, as our actions (if received wrong) may limit us in achieving our goals.
Anxiety. It can stop someone from being their best in a heartbeat. The fear of the unknown can surely push someone to not be their best. I have know a leader or two who didn’t look forward to their task and anxiety keep them from performing their best. It even prevented them from tackling the task in a timely manner.
I love that you mention we should pick how we choose to show up. If I show up confident, I tend to be better at what I am working on. If I show up curious, I tend to learn. Each situation brings a component that I can use to better myself and you are correct, it’s all how I decide to approach it.