career

How do we stay positive?

Dear Aunties-

Happy hump-day eve! I hope your week is filled with hugs, rain boots, good friends, and the other treats of a great life. I have been thinking of you so much as its been a while since we have gotten a chance to gather and whisper our secrets.

For me, this week has lead me to reflect on the idea of staying positive, focused, and in my happy, especially in the midst of so many things people trying to derail me, either intentionally or not.  Through a conversation with one of my people, I got a great reminder of all the tools that we hold to “keep our peace,” and I wanted to make sure that I passed on this reminder, especially as we start that march into the stressful holiday season.

First a (totally fictional) back story about how people may be working to pull us out of our happy.

So one of the things that I have always loved as part of my jobs is managing people.  I know that this is something not everyone likes to do, but to me, it is an extension of something I love doing in my personal life: getting to know someone, and think about what they need to make their life better.  Is it encouragement? an introduction? tools or training? chocolate? whatever it is, maybe I can find the key to helps them be their best self.  At the end of the day, I thrive in this (and other types of) relationship building.

But as we know, working in the corporate world will send you reminders that this is not the focus of a company. It doesn’t impact the bottom line, results sometimes are delayed.  I know that most people with empathetic or intuitive tendencies dance in this space, with these juxtapositions as their partner.  In a world where the focus is so often on money and accomplishments, a constant corollary is the message that relationships cannot be sacred.

But Aunties, I want to remind you, these are the relationships that we want. The times with people where we linger, laugh, open our hearts, and share? Those are what will bring us closer to our true life.

So what do we do when we get a cruel reminder that we are the minority in this pursuit?  How do we press on when there are so many standing against us?  Well, here are some of the tools that I use.  I hope that in sharing them, you may find something you need.

  1. Focus on our goals: This week, I did this by reminding myself of who I want to be.   I want to be a person who is seen as kind, a confidant, someone that people know care about them.  I want to live on a higher plane. With this reminder, I could take all my gut reactions, consider if they would result in serving my goal or not, and act accordingly (yep, that took a lot of practice.)
  2. Be above the negativity: When the detractors came out, I reminded myself that they were the ones poisoning themselves with negative thoughts.  If I allowed myself to entertain the same thoughts, I would be falling into that pool of negative.  I imagined floating above it, simply avoiding it, and that visual would stop me if I was tempted to have a negative reactions.
  3. Be mad: This was an important tool that I very nearly forgot.  Thankfully my advisers reminded me: it is okay to be mad.  At the end of the day, someone may be harboring ill will towards you because of your way of life, and that is just shitty.  Be mad when you need to, feel it, shake your fist. Move on.
  4. Fuel your journey: I found this visual particularly brilliant.  These moments, the ones where someone is telling you to abandon your truth, when you have to employ one of the tools above, remember that each time you do this, it gets easier.  It is building you, it is refueling your conviction for the rest of your journey.  We are going to need that. now, and each time there is a setback.

So for my aunties in the corporate world, for those caring for children or parents, my academic aunties, those in relationships, facing hardships, for all of us trying to be the person we most want to be, don’t forget your tools.

Aunties, what other tools would we add?