I’m usually a pretty high-strung person – just ask anyone in my family. Lately, the stress of some family issues compounded with our department’s reorg, I’ve been a ball of nerves. Luckily today I worked from home and was able to spend some time reflecting on some of the great advice I’ve been given so far in my professional career to help me start breathing again!
- Assume everyone comes from a positive place. When I first heard this advice, it revolutionized how I look at every professional interaction. I have to admit: I was the most defensive co-worker ever. I was the youngest in my role by about ten years and I knew it. I felt every plan or suggestion I offer was immediately gunned down. It was frustrating, but after hearing this advice, I realized, everyone just wants to do a good job. They weren’t attacking my ideas, they were trying to make sure that our company was putting its best foot forward. I realized my team saw me as a non-collaborative millennial who didn’t respect other’s experience – in reality, I just didn’t want to get run over! Now, I’ve finally hit a happy balance.
- When you feel like you can’t do anything else, take care of yourself. As I mentioned, these past few weeks have been tough. The other day, I met with a friend who works in HR to talk about how run-down I feel. She asked me if I’ve been getting 8 hours of sleep or working out? Have I been doing the things I love to do? When I realized I wasn’t, I made a serious effort to eat health and go back to barre every morning. It’s amazing how good self-care seeps into the rest of my life.
- You have a lot going for you at the workplace, but you have even more going for you at home. I am so incredible determined to be the BEST at my job – I can survive off of pure determination. Sometimes I need to remind myself that the best part of my day is cooking with L or drinking with my friends on the porch. In times when my job life is not going as planned, at least I have the personal part running.
- “You ain’t gonna believe this, but you used to fit right here. I’d hold you up to say to your mother, ‘This kid’s gonna be the best kid in the world. This kid’s gonna be somebody better than anybody I ever knew.’ And you grew up good and wonderful. It was great just watchin’ you, every day was like a privilege. Then the time come for you to be your own man and take on the world, and you did. But somewhere along the line, you changed. You stopped being you. You let people stick a finger in your face and tell you you’re no good. And when things got hard, you started lookin’ for something to blame, like a big shadow. Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit, it’sabout how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth, then go out and get what you’re worth! But you gotta be willing to take the hits. And not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that! I’m always gonna love you no matter what. No matter what happens. You’re my son and you’re my blood. You’re the best thing in my life. But until you start believing in yourself,you ain’t gonna have a life.” There was one day, I was having a super tough time at work. I reached out to one of my mentors and good friends to complain. In response, he sent me a video from Rocky. I still have the quote on display above my desk at home! It’s reminded me that I’M in control of my future, not my circumstances.
Sound off: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
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