Saturday, December 23, 2017

How My Life is Continuously Teaching Me About Life....

I was aware that I didn’t know it all. In owning up to my 46 years on this earth, I was convinced that some life lessons weren’t mine to learn anymorehad faced them, I accepted them, I lived them, and I mastered and conquered them … So I thought… I guess, you'll never be able to view something as a learning experience if you're convinced you have absolutely nothing to learn right?
And here I sit, lost in my feelings, back on the drawing board…

Less than a week ago, a very dear friend of mine called me as she was struggling with a situation at work and wanted my perspective. I listened to her explain how she had spent the past few days rounding up the year’s accomplishments of her team. She was deciphering everyone’s strengths and contributions to the team’s success and how to reward each one of them. The struggle arose when she realized that no one (in turn) was acknowledging her for her impact and role in what had become a very well-oiled machine (in the work environment). As she was still explaining her conflicted feelings, I stopped her mid-sentence and said, “You and I will never be able to work together!” This was followed by a small pause that meant, “Get it together girl! I continued with, “You are a leader and as such, you should know your worth and not need a pat on the back to validate the work you do. It is not about you anymore. Every day you are in the position that you’re in, is the validation that your boss trusts, appreciates and values you. The success of your team is your success. Not everything needs to be said and acknowledged at all times. Trust in yourself, trust in the fact that without you, your team and your boss would be lost. Today is about them and recognizing them… Let it go.
She thanked me for showing her the other perspective she was missing. I gracefully and proudly accepted, as I felt I cleared her temporary doubt by obligating her to self-evaluate (and appreciate) who she is and what she brings to the table. And most importantly, note the fact she is continuously expected at the table, which speaks more volume than any nod given.

Fast forward to today…

We entrust our time and lives to situations(personal or working) relationships as we feel so in control of our emotions;in control of who we are. With experience and age, we grow more and more confident of our ability and awareness of our self-worth and this is until that moment when you come face to face with doubt… Self-doubt… Until that moment when the simple things are no longer simple… Until that moment that makes you take a hard look at yourself…
Most of the time you recover quickly, shake off the doubts, and get back on the saddle confidently. And sometimes you can’t. All you can see is uncertainty and you need that reassurance…

Today I was faced with the reality of facing a goodbye I wasn’t ready to accept. I heard myself say, “IF only the insecurities we feel, the unsettling atmosphere we have to function within, were acknowledged along with a reassuring pat in the back, a heartening smile or just a few words put together that would resonate like, YOU ARE NEEDED AND APPRECIATED, we would never be in this position… The thoughts of having to make hard decisions and say goodbye would’ve never come into play.
Yes that came out of my mouth… And as I stare at my screenremembering last week’s conversation, I can’t help to think how wrong I was.

The base of all healthy relationships is the environment in which they grow. I will push further here by generalizing and saying, without a positive – positive energy, and fulfilling – environment, no relationship will flourish to the potential it was meant to. 
The question becomes HOW

How do I create that healthy environment IF the relationship is one I’ve determined the potential is worth working towards? If it’s one I want to invest in and see grow, if the relationship is one I want to keep?
Appreciation is key to all relationships. Appreciation is contagious, and creates positive energy that stays within us and our surroundingsNOTHING is more motivating than to know someone recognizes you, your efforts and appreciates all you bring to the table. Showing appreciation is showing someone you noticed their efforts for you, that it means something to you, and that you are appreciative and thankful
Showing appreciation is as simple as giving a reassuring smile and that gaze that screams, “Thank you so much for this.Showing appreciation is as simple as being able to share what you’ve recognized by verbalizing it
Verbalizing your acknowledgement by saying “THANK YOU”.Thank you validates people. It makes them know they matter, it makes them feel better about themselves, it motivates them to keep pushing through, it lets them know that they bring value tothe relationship, and more importantly… it keeps them where they are!
It’s as simple as RECOGNITION
When a person receives your acknowledgement and is being recognized for what they’ve done, it really motivates them to keep doing it, and nothing provides consistency like recognition. 

So as I finish sharing this, I feel less unforgiving of myself for my previous response to my friend :). How I would change it is by adding, “Confidence and knowledge of your worth is necessary, nothing can replace that. However, if doubts and questions about the value you bring insert themselves in your positive space, then they need to be addressed right away.” 

If a relationship has to end, no excuses, no regrets you never want it to be because things were lost in translation or left unsaid…

"For example, saying thank you, or offering other words of appreciation, along with sincere compliments and other grateful or kind words are the best way to fortify relationships" ~ Chris Johnston


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