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:

  1. Open.
  2. Curious.
  3. Decisive.
  4. Kind.
  5. Candid.

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.

Resolve disappointment:

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.

  1. What can we do about this?
  2. I wonder what it means for us to make this better?
  3. 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?

Bonus material:

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)