The true resolution to seeing beyond your distractions
It’s the freshest month of the new year, and by now, you’ve probably internalized some things you want to improve on, fix, or change regarding your self-care. You might want to adjust your nutrition, clean up your spending habits, or want to accomplish a particular goal. While that mindset of self-care and rejuvenation is generally positive, you need to pay careful attention to the company and environment you keep. Who is in your inner circle, and how do they communicate with you and others? Are you focused on engaging goals with your closest peers at work just as much as on positive energy with your loved ones at home? It’s one thing to set a goal or tone for what you want to achieve, but you might become derailed sooner than you think without examining who and what you have around to support that positive effort.
It’s true, YOU are in charge of YOU. This powerfully resounding message revolves around the idea that you shouldn’t worry about what you can’t control but rather what you can. You’re always able to decide how you’ll respond to challenging situations, but that also comes with an ability to keep the negative away. While we assume that it’s all about our internal thoughts leading to our actions, it’s also about recognizing the things that negatively trigger us and eliminating them. In fact, the very definition of perceived strength comes from an ability to eliminate the behaviors that make us weak.
THE COMPANY YOU KEEP
Let’s start with your close friends and family. What do your conversations revolve around? Do you often dive into what others said and did? Are moments of togetherness coated in everyone’s need to be on social media? Suppose your conversations are predominantly based on non-thought-provoking statements about things you have no control over. In that case, this might be a sign that you’re not giving yourself a positive environment to help you improve your life.
What about work? Are your coworker conversations typically centered on surface-level topics designed to help you pass the time as you avoid the things you need to do? Are you noticing that you don’t engage in deeper conversations for success unless prompted by a meeting, session, or necessity? These are signs that you’re likely evading growth by staying inside a safety bubble.
Now consider your one-on-one relationships (non-group), personal and with clients. Are conversations generally supportive and focused on uncovering how to take forward actions, or are they geared toward discussing some rendition of the past? Do you tell your clients that you’re reacting to situations, or are you constantly showing them you are engaged in providing the best service? Do you talk about achievement, celebrate wins, and uncover new ideas with your best friend (and favorite coworker), or is most of your time spent with meaningless dribble that doesn’t build you up?
All these conversations affect you daily. They shift your mood, test your patience, and drive your desire to stay positive. They, and the people who (intentionally and unintentionally) trigger you, cause a shift in your mindset that can help you achieve your goals faster or never at all.
THE FIX – STEP ONE
Does it cause you anger, frustration, or a plethora of other negative thoughts and emotions? Openly discuss this problem. No excuses. Stop creating fake reasons why it’s okay to allow yourself not to feel comfortable about something and take control of YOU.
You might be inclined to think that this means breaking up with friends, cutting out a client, or not having conversations, but it means you must first face what’s going on before taking any additional action. Suppose someone close to you constantly talks about their disdain for someone or something else. In that case, you are fully capable of expressing your lack of desire to focus on trivial negativity. Suppose someone close to you is more concerned about their social media scrolling than their conversation with you. In that case, nothing stops you from calmly and openly expressing how you would like to feel their connected presence when in their company.
When non-abusive negative triggers stem from your relationships, they need open and honest, calm confrontation before any additional action is taken on your part. You have to explain how you want to thrive before someone can decide whether they will want to further engage with you. You can eliminate the negative trigger if you’re met with a combative or resistant reply. The resolve is much cleaner and personally accepted instead of being filled with malice, regret, or misrepresentation. Think about break-ups in relationships. Calm, open conversations could lead to a mutual understanding that the two people involved are not aligned with one another’s values. That makes it far more straightforward than using built-up anger to force the break-up.
In instances where you might have a “tricky” client you’re “forced to work with,” a partner’s sibling you “have to deal with,” or anything of the like, your goal should still be open and active, positive communication. It’s the first line of setting a tone and helping to get on the same page.
Proper communication is key, but it starts with your self-exploration of what matters most to you. It’s the same reason a business creates a mission, vision, and values. It isn’t about taking on any employee who can “handle” the job; it’s about connecting with those who see it, want it, and get it. It’s about ensuring the professionals in the environment are aligned and excited to grow together. That eradicates most negative conversations and builds genuine accomplishments.
THE FIX – STEP TWO
You. Need. To. Adjust. Your. Own. Language. And. Mindset.
You need to adjust your own language and mindset.
You NEED to adjust your OWN language and mindset.
Stop pretending everyone else is solely the problem and see that you’re likely engaging in behavior and communication that potentially creates a negative vibe. Do you consistently engage in internal and external conversations about growth? Can you stop the surface-level negative chatter about others and instead talk about something more explorative? Are you choosing to surround yourself with those who ask “why” often or properly communicate alternate perspectives? Do you show natural care to clients, coworkers, and loved ones in moments where you’re not expected to? Birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and e-mail responses are mandatory reminders to show care. They’re silently devalued by seeming more necessary than authentic. Why not show appreciation on non-celebratory days? Why not show a connection without a need for a prompt? Why not engage in the desire for growth at times other than when a calendar deems a fresh start?
If you can adjust your language to become more positive, your conversations more explorative, and your desire to be more emotionally connected, you will dramatically improve everything around you, including yourself.
Stop allowing yourself to be guided by the negative and start ensuring you surround yourself with what’s connected to your values. Grow who you are, elevate those around you, and realize that you can experience growth WITH them if you’re all focused on it together.
THE FIX – STEP THREE
If you’ve done it all – if you’ve drastically improved your conversations not to be negative, communicated your mission, vision, and values (personally and professionally), and have made sure to keep the company of those who see the value of growth with you, but there are still barricades in your way – get rid of them. It’s that simple. The more you fight this, the worse it becomes. Stop allowing yourself to limit your success. A virus will only continue to grow the more you let it.
Clean up your space. Make your bed. Drink plenty of water. Write down your goals. Read inspirational passages and hang pictures that evoke positive emotions. You know all this stuff – do it. The more you don’t, the more you keep putting yourself down. Environment is just as much about caring for yourself as it is about caring for the space around you.
You have a circle – in it is everything you own, everywhere you live, any place you travel, and everyone you hold close. Keep this circle neat, tidy, positive, and encouraging. Do NOT allow anything to ruin your circle. Be open to your circle expanding, keep an open mindset to explore, but do NOT allow anything to ruin your circle.
You don’t need a reminder of how to keep your environment clean; you’re an adult, and you know that. You need a reminder to stop allowing yourself to ruin your environment. Everything in your circle is a product of YOU.
The next time you catch a conversation that drives a lack of growth – fix it.
The next time you see yourself monotonously “running through the motions” – fix it.
The next time you notice your friendship/company is devolving as opposed to evolving – fix it.