Often people are taken back after asking “how are you today?”, and my response is “fabulous”. Sometimes I chuckle when they think for a moment and say to me that they are actually feeling pretty good or something similar. Other times I get a mountain of woe from people and am reminded of my need to feel fabulous. Feeling fabulous is important because this feeling sets the overall tone for my day no matter what happens because life does happen in the most trying and exasperating ways.
Once upon a time I was a passenger on an emotional rollercoaster with feelings of happiness at the peak and despair at the bottom. One word, action, or inference would be a ticket on this rollercoaster and off I would go on an up and down journey of emotions. Rollercoasters are circular despite the ups and downs and the destination was the same, a sense of disempowerment, of hurt and of confusion as to how this could have happened to me.
I decided the time had come to get off the rollercoaster and simply be fabulous. Please understand, this journey did not happen overnight. I worked hard on me to understand why I took from people these tickets on roller coasters. And in a cathartic moment I realized I let them. I let people dictate how I felt and how I would react. I had freely given my power away because of some misplaced need for social or professional acceptance, success or “to fit in.” I truly had experienced an “aha” moment
These rollercoasters are created from the results of co-worker, supervisor, manager and their unhappiness, insecurities, and low self-esteem. Often they too are unaware of their overwhelming need to make it all about them. The end result: we cringe in meetings, annual reviews and presentations fearing criticism, finger pointing and failure. We forget about our personal successes, abilities and other aspects of self that make each of us truly unique and fabulous.
I believe in my best effort, leaving work at the end of the day knowing I had accomplished to the best of my ability my responsibilities and tasks. In the end we can only do our best and if we fall short, then it’s time to take a step back and identify the root causes of those shortages. Did we have all the tools for success? Did we have clear communication of expectations? Did anyone assume anywhere in this process because assumption can have a nasty impact? When a person looks with an objective eye, much can be learned to eliminate shortages or deficits.
Often people come to me upset, discouraged or simply in need of some small guidance. I remind people to step back and take a look at who said what and remove the emotional overtones and see the words for the simple words they are. Do the words have value or no value? Do the words truly ring true or are they words that really make the situation about the other person and not us? In reality, few people truly know us or our capabilities and when threatened will say things to wound, not to build up the confidence in us.
The first reaction is often surprise at the realization of emotional reaction which resulted in a feeling of disempowerment. The “why do you allow people to dictate your feelings and reactions” often shocks people. Self-realization is very powerful. While they may approach me as thunderclouds, but they leave as sunshine reminded of the fabulous people they are.
Hence I choose to be fabulous and to feel what I feel and not allow others to tell me how to feel. Constructive criticism is always welcome, but emotional dumping is not. Remember it’s always about personal choices when feelings are involved so why not practice the art of fabulousness with me and meet life’s challenges head-on with a positive belief in one’s self?