I met an old friend for coffee this week. The only word I got in edgewise was, "How are you?". My invitation to converse was followed by an hour long tirade. This once strong professional had lost his confidence and was blaming everyone in sight for his failures. He is an amazingly smart guy who channelled business relevant challenges and articulated humor through his complaints. It all fell on deaf ears. The bravado of his negativity dwarfed his business intelligence. I can't imagine that anyone would take this Gentleman seriously and that is a serious shame.
After our conversation I almost cried for this guy. I consider myself very good at helping people find the recourse of their perception and attitude. I didn't make a dent with my old friend:
It Is Hard To Give Up On People
What hurt most about this conversation is that I used to be this guy:
Consumed by Negativity
Mired in Bravado
Yes...Mr Positivity used to be Mr Miserable. I regret the hours I wasted with the friends that afforded me their audience. I hope my friend can bring himself to realize the faults of his presentation at some point in his life. The transition I went through was a costly one. I allowed the negativity and mislead actions of others to distract me from my genuine intent. I lost focus on my job, spilled negativity into the lives of my friends and was unable to focus on my family. I allowed people without my best intent in mind to win my attention and to overwhelm me. What a waste.
Where do you direct your time & energy? Do you allow mundane detail to distract from your larger goals?
I received 2 important pieces of advice that helped me make a life transition and I want to share them with you:
Self Promotion is Not the Way to Win Favor
Insecurity is Transparent
Hire Me, I'm Great!
I was half way through an interview, rolling through my resume, pounding my chest. After my diatribe, I asked if I had answered the interviewers question to which he replied...."this is not a matter of you proving yourself to me, it is a matter of us deciding if this is a career for you".
I sat back in my chair and settled into an hour long relaxed conversation. A great dialogue. A revealing of my true self. I got the job!
Don't Go Gettin' Insecure
My first ride along with my new boss, our first appointment together...cancelled. I was hell bent on proving my worth and was not afforded the chance. I got back in my car deflated and told my boss of my discontent. He put his hand on my shoulder and said, "don't go gettin' insecure on me".
These conversations changed my life! I settled into MY plan. I have never tried to prove myself outside of my work since. I vowed to do my fighting in the ring. My transparent insecurity vanished, I became fun to be around again, I have never been more professionally productive, and I have never been more confident.
Have you taken a moment to listen to yourself? Are you aware of how others really perceive you?
We all go through transitions in our lives. My life got a million times better when I took ownership of everything! I stopped looking for anyone to carry my load, I stopped looking for recognition of my every effort, I kept my head down and I ignored that which was beyond my control!
I hope my friend finds a way to make this transition. I hope you do too!
Don't Forget to Remember!