Positioned for success

Since I’m on this higher-self awareness kick (as opposed to a higher self-awareness kick — I’m already aware of myself, but of my higher self? Not so much. Although the grammarian in me wants to hyphenate all the modifiers, a la higher-self-awareness kick, and I’m aware that my attention to nuances is great at work but I just can’t work it today anywhere else.)


Anyway, in my quest to acquaint myself with my inner being, I was listening to my audiobook today and learned that we primarily view ourselves as others do, not as we actually are. I’ve always been a subscriber to the Anais Nin school of thought, in that “We don’t see things as they are, but as we are.” But maybe the two can coexist — we see other things through our own eyes, but we seem to default to regarding ourselves as others view us.

Case in point: We’ve all had someone who holds us back, whether consciously or not. Whether it’s a colleague who refuses to let us succeed on our own terms, “friend” who can’t stand to see us be successful if they don’t have equal or superior success, or a person we date who either overtly or subtly calls all the shots (and yes, I recognize that oftentimes we do let them), there’s always that one person whose photo we tack onto our mental (or real) dartboard and poke them with as many holes as they put in our dreams or our hearts.

And how much of their abuse — again, intentional or inadvertent — did we succumb to? How many ideas did we abandon because they looked at us like they thought we were nuts? How many of us dated someone who liked a “nature girl” and we actually gave up on pedicure parties and wearing the makeup that makes us feel so good about ourselves? (OK, you’ll never take the girly girl out of me — bad example).

More appropriately, how many times did someone tell you — or simply look at you in a way as if to convey — that you weren’t as pretty as the girl who just walked by? That sure, you might be smart, but damn, look at the hooters on her! At what point did you crumble and go, “I must not be attractive because I don’t look like what women on the street/on the runway/in the magazines do”?

Or at all the jobs past when innovation based on passion for what you do was trampled? To this day, when everyone asks what I’ve found to be the new, cool tool in the blogiverse happens to be that we should be utilizing, I flinch and shut my trap. Because thanks to someone being a dick in the past by revealing my blog to my old employer (and to this one, too, but I work for better people now), I felt compelled to quit before they could even approach me to fire me. And now even as I’m rewarded for having my cool blog, I’m still like, enh, should they REALLY know what I’m up to online? Because isn’t blogging bad?

Anyway, those are mild examples but I’m not here to celebrate Neurosis-Fest 2007. What I found by having bad people in my life who were just bad news to begin with brought a negative energy to my world. And by treating me like the dirt that they themselves were, I nearly came to view myself as whatever adjectives they saw fit to assign me. I’ve been told I’m a bad friend (despite evidence to the contrary with that particular soul-sucker), I’ve been told I have no friends (I have a whole lot, thankyouverymuch), I’ve been called fourth-grade names and I’ve WALKED AWAY FROM ALL THAT BULLSHIT lest I actually started to believe it.

But enough about people whose opinions don’t matter. When it’s those who do, a simple negative word can make you feel like crap. If someone says I’m disorganized, I say yep, I’m disorganized. Even if I’m not. (Caveat: I am VERY disorganized.) And thus, I become even MORE disorganized because hey, why fight the tape? That’s the expectation, no?

On the other hand, when I got promoted last year, the all-staff memo that went out to announce it knocked off my frog socks. It was GLOWING. I read it and asked repeatedly, “Was that about me?” All about achievements in the past and the capability for the current/future load. I seriously couldn’t believe it was my name on that paper — that someone had said all that about me. (Remember, I came here with a full suitcase full of neuroses; see blog issue above.)

And you know what that fabulous memo did? POSITIONED ME FOR SUCCESS. People practically rolled out the red carpet for me. If my well-respected boss believed in me, well, so should they. (Don’t get me wrong — I had a lot of respect before that, but it was noticeable how much it increased.) And whoever wasn’t/still isn’t impressed? Wouldn’t be moved if God herself came up to them and kicked them in the ass. 🙂

Anyway, so much for my lunch break. Must get back to being the raving success everybody else seems to think I am. 🙂

In any event, that’s the one and only time you should listen to what others think about you — if it’s good. Because we tend to accept what mean-spirited assholes present as “constructive criticism” when their stupid asses shouldn’t be qualified to own a goldfish, let alone tell other people how to live their lives. Especially when you find that you thrive even more without their stupid shit weighing you down. …

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