One of my activist friends, Jonathan K. Horstman, had a social action campaign a few years ago, focused on not just sitting around and watching our communities deteriorate. It was called [PUSHBACK] and I liked the idea and what his team was doing. While he’s off doing other great things in the community (as well as acting, doing music, and raising two precious children), I’ve been thinking about my own tendency to retreat when faced with pressure, setbacks, and lack of respect. What’s that gotten me so far? A big ole bag of seething resentment. That’s not helpful at all. I no longer want to retreat in a corner, because as Jonathan said:
So, yesterday, I took a bit of a blow, and decided that rather than sit around and stew about it, I’d put my energy into creating something good, like a phoenix rising from the ashes. That is not a new analogy. I did this once before when my team at La Leche League was deemed to be not embracing the new ways of working well enough. We just worked our asses off until we were told we were redundant. While I was sad, I was also proud of how hard we fought, how well we organized, and how respectfully we treated each other.
THAT is how I plan to treat my coworkers as we regroup and move forward. We will come up with a plan, do good work, and feel proud of ourselves, whether it’s acknowledged or not. I went from wanting to run and hide yesterday, to wanting to proudly push back and say we’re here, we are good at what we do, and we’re going to contribute!
There’s always more than one way to get things done, and it really helps to bear that in mind when you’re surprised by changes, re-prioritization, and such. It’s normal for that to happen, especially in the workplace, so you may as well, jump in, see where you can be of use, and find your fulfilment in doing work you’re proud of. That’s my goal! No more seething resentment when I don’t like how I’ve been treated. I’ll take it as an opportunity to find ways to win respect, at least within myself, because after all, other people’s opinions don’t define you, now do they?
I hope my latest lecture to myself has been helpful. I enjoyed how Barbara said in a recent comment that she often needs to hear these things, too. Just like I need to periodically re-read Brene Brown, I need to periodically repeat things I thought I’d learned a long time ago. And that’s just fine!
What do you have to tell yourself frequently? I’d love some more pithy aphorisms!