Tag Archives: Perspective

Leadership - Mindset

I Am Fed Up! Enough is Enough!

For those of you who are long time readers, you will notice that I frequently write blogs on positivity, appreciation, and gratitude. In general, I try to model those qualities when approaching challenges in my work and personal life.

So, is there ever a time when we should all stop and shout, “Enough is enough!” “This doesn’t make any sense!” “I am fed up!” The answer is yes, and the research on the negative effects of what can be referred to as toxic positivity are clear.

I had a situation three years ago with a colleague and it wasn’t positive. Okay, I will say it: It was negative. Soon after the encounter, I was retelling the experience to my friend Patty and we were rolling around in the verbal upset. Neither of us liked where we were going, and then Patty said, “Can we just say it was awful?” Yes! It was awful!

Kate Bowler, a bestselling author who studies the cultural stories we tell ourselves, said in her recent podcast that “positivity becomes toxic when it prevents us from being able to speak honestly about our circumstances.”

Therapist Whitney Goodman wrote an entire book about it and created a fantastic chart to help you say something that is both truthful and helpful.  

I wish for you a life full of happiness, but I also know that is not always possible. I hope that these phrases will help you be where you are while moving forward to a legitimate place of feeling better, day by day. 

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Leadership - Mindset

A Change in Attitude

I recently came across a list of amazing quotes by acclaimed American poet, storyteller, and civil rights activist Maya Angelou. Since I often write blogs discussing the importance of gratitude and mindset in our personal and professional lives, I found it to be a treasure trove of inspiration. I will be highlighting a few of my favorite quotes in the months ahead, and I encourage you to share with me the philosophies and quotes that guide your life.  

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

Maya Angelou’s 1969 autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, is a coming-of-age story that illustrates how strength of character and a love of literature can help overcome racism and trauma. Certainly most of us reading this blog will never experience the level of turmoil that Angelou faced. But as we confront our own challenges, we can be reminded to work towards positive progress and to recognize that sometimes a change in our attitude will take us the rest of the way.

A small attitude adjustment that had a big impact on others was demonstrated this past summer by my friend and colleague, David Glickman. A large group of colleagues and I attended a conference and many of us subsequently came down with Covid.  

There was an email thread where a few of the attendees, as well as those who had chosen not to attend, all of whom had been vaccinated and boosted, were politely discussing what the conference organizers (who are volunteers) could have done to lessen the risk of Covid. 

While an interesting question, David wrote in the thread, “I accept full responsibility. I knew the risk and I chose to take the chance.” This shift really changed the tone of the conversation. Perhaps David’s behavior caught my eye because it was exactly the discussion point I used this past Wednesday when I was conducting the program Blame, Shame and It’s Not My Fault

When have you in your organization shifted the conversation from blame to responsibility? 

This article is one in a series discussing the importance of gratitude in our personal and professional lives, the benefits of routinely recognizing the good things in our lives, appreciating others who have helped us, practicing gratitude, saying thank you, trying a complaint-free day, taking a gratitude walk, and recognizing fresh starts.

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Leadership - Mindset - Uncategorized

What Are Your Resilience Habits?

A couple weeks ago I partnered with my colleague and friend, Sylvia Baffour to deliver a program on resilience habits. A main topic of the program was the importance of developing a resilience mindset. Everyday habits play an important role in developing a resilience mindset; here are three that we encouraged participants to practice:

Conquer Your Disruptors 

Every organization has them. One of the organizations I work with calls them fire drills. Another calls them daily malfunctions, and in one of my first jobs, we called them the elitists. These are the upsets that happen with such frequency that we should predict them, name them, and learn strategies for managing them. To help you begin to identify your own disruptors, below are three examples from my encounters:  My physical therapist says her disruptors are cancellations, and they used to upset her whole day, causing her to become frustrated. Then one of her colleagues exclaimed, “I love cancellations!” When the two chatted about it, the cancellation lover said, “I keep my running clothes in my office. Now when I get a cancellation, I go for a super quick 40-minute run. It’s amazing!”     In a manufacturing facility where I was conducting training, we learned that the equipment often breaks which is quite disruptive! Deadlines were missed, causing the employees to work overtime. This was expensive and problematic. After reviewing trends, it was discovered that the equipment experienced mechanical problems approximately twice per year, and production halted for an average of two days each time. Once this was discovered, this work slippage was calculated and expected. It was no longer a surprise, and that helped to reduce the stress it caused.

In one of my summer jobs as a college student I worked in a high-end women’s apparel store. It was the store policy to accept any merchandise that a customer returned. Prominent women in the DC area would shop during the week, purchase their gowns and finery, wear them on the weekends, and then return all the items on Monday morning. While they were in the store on Monday they would often make smaller purchases and then have tea in the tea room and chat with their friends about the weekend. My colleagues and I were incensed by the customers’ behavior until the manager of the store spoke at an all-staff meeting and shared why the store’s philosophy was intentional and working for sales. He changed our disruptors into something fun to watch, laugh about, and name – “the elitists.”

Mind Your Monologue

Another strategy that we covered during the program was minding your internal monologue. When faced with a project or task that feels hard, what do you say to yourself? Do you remind yourself of a similar task that you did and felt good about, or do you focus on the negative? We shared examples of how your inner monologue creates future outcomes, and we encouraged participants to spotlight the positives.

Practice Mindfulness

You can’t talk about resilience without talking about mindfulness. Do you pray? Practice yoga? Journal? Meditate? Train in Tai Chi? Or engage in another mindfulness practice? There are so many ways that we can reset and respond to the chatter in our brains. What are your favorites and what do you practice daily? Please share with me!

To learn more about the program on Resilience Habits and other programs, please click here

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