Are you telling your own story or reacting to someone else’s version of it?
People with solid work ethics and great character are kind of the wizards behind the curtains these days. I’m thinking of farmers and health professionals in particular, yet you may be reading this and nodding yes in agreement because you feel this way too, even if you aren’t one of these noble professions but also doing good work in your job.
From choosing foods we want to eat, to how late we want to stay up, to participating in social media, to respectfully disagreeing with colleagues, we are faced with so many choices on how we present ourselves that there are almost too many to count. Some are littler and more personal, some are huge and impact those around us in a big way.
Don’t be afraid to reach down deep inside, remind yourself of what really matters to you, and make your decisions based on this. Unless you are naughty and have bad intentions. If you are evil, stop reading. I don’t want to talk to you and this isn’t for you.
If you are still reading this and are trying to do the right thing, I’m with you. If you have ever heard that saying “don’t hide your light under a bushel”, this is your chance to shine, my friend. Others who don’t understand your work may be coming at you relentlessly and you may feel the need to protect and defend. Before you do, push pause and consider your reaction. Others are watching, listening, learning, even if you aren’t intending that.
I’m not saying you should roll over and take it. In fact, the opposite is true. We deserve to defend ourselves and our character when it is under attack. But that cannot become the default communication style. First of all, it’s not fun. Second of all, it can leave out the people who love you and appreciate your contributions. Third of all, sharing your truth from a pride and knowledge perspective is way better. Isn’t it great when we enjoy what we are doing, AND it makes a positive impact? Yes, indeed.
We must know our audiences, intentional and unintentional.
We must know that “others” are watching and listening.
We must talk differently and choose our words with intent for understanding to be heard more broadly.
It doesn’t mean it was wrong before if you decide to do it differently moving forward.
If you accidentally back into a telephone pole, do you keep jamming it in reverse to fix it? Nope. You say woopsies, step on the brake, and change direction. You take note of where the pole is so you don’t drive into a barrier again. That’s what we’re talking about here. Take note of the barriers, the up-to-no-gooders, and keep an eye on them. Then drive in the direction you know you need to go.
If you need/want to spend your time and energy differently, do it. How? By making a different choice today. Then the next day, and the day after that.
Take control of your choices, because guess what? You could become the inspiration for someone else to let their light shine, too.
What can you choose to share today that highlights your knowledge and values, turning attention to the good and contributing to understanding?