You know the saying "Misery Loves Company"
Look at your social feeds. How many people have complained about 2020 being horrible. And yes - albeit complicated with pandemic, job loss, death, these are horrible things to experience. BUT there were some good lessons learned - the power of family connection and dinner time, a de-cluttered and un-carpooled life, the lack of traffic stress being brought into work at the start of the day and into home at the end, the opportunity to earn how to love yourself or practice self-care for those who live alone. So much if you scratch beyond the surface and see beyond the bad parts.
I recently reflected on this past decade, my performance, my strengths, weaknesses, accomplishments, failures.
If my memory serves me correct from 2019 - many people were complaining - what a horrible year it was - we couldn't wait to start 2020! I remember feeling this in 2018 - was sooooo over it and ready to move into 2019.
But as I reflect on the past ten years - digging beyond the surface - I also recognized this amount of pessimism, and am now re-framing my thoughts with positive one; a "glass half full" approach to my memory bank. Here's how you can too -
Think about this past decade - what were the major milestones and events. What comes top of mind for you good things or bad? mostly good? mostly bad? an even mix?
Now, what if you went through that list again and for every negative thing you had on it - recall at least 2 more positive things in place of it (belly-ache laughable moments, learnings, friendships, fond memories or moments, etc.). Let's train our brains to focus on one another, good, positive thoughts, community, support, empathy, collaboration... these can be very good things. Uplifting in fact.
Ladies - let's get real here. Why does this matter? I re-read an article from earlier this year regarding girl on girl bullying at work: yes - it still happens - beyond middle school.
(Link Posted in comments)
Why are we (women) more likely to do this to one another than to truly lean on one another for support, guide each other, coach, mentor, and build one another. Given the astounding impact of the pandemic to females - I cant assume that these observations have had time to improve in this year.
But, if we want more women in the C-Suit, successful, promoted, or leading others... wouldn't you want to be met there with a community of women who respect you and will partner with you? We can do this for ourselves. But I, personally, believe we have to be more optimistic with one another first. So maybe misery loves company, but smiles are contagious. I would so rather harness the power of joy and happiness at work and relish in an uplifting culture than to live in toxicity of negative environments.
We can do this - we have that power to build positive relationships, jobs we love with people we smile at (and not immediately frown or snicker after passing them in the halls). For when those come along who don't harness the power of positive thought, they wont fit in the culture that we have created. And sure - there will always be a "snake in the grass" someone who can fake nice and turn around with opposite intent- but their negative intent will be evident in a culture that embraces kindness and good thoughts.
And let's address too the thought that if women are too nice they are weak? how about leadership courses, studies, scholarly articles, and business reviews that can prove that empathy and listening skills build strong leaders. That beyond the old "people dont leave their jobs they leave their bosses" we can demonstrate that we can get a job done, but still be transparent, humble, decisive, and respectful.
What do we want to see when we look back in 2030? What do we need to do to get there? How do we project manage those efforts or set incremental and achievable goals? This is where I believe we start...
They say "it takes a village" and it does - if we start to see ourselves in a new light, then maybe we can gain the ability to further support of those around us. Maybe I've now had too much of the positive cool-aid and am being naive, but I truly believe we can change the way that the world sees us!
Happy New Year - Welcome to the next 10 years! Let's make some progress!