[Motivational Monday] Protect Your Dreams Against the Naysayers
It always amazes me to see someone feel threatened by an individual and use their own energy to attack another’s self-esteem in order to bring them down a level.
Sometimes the attacks are so subtle, you wouldn’t even notice it as an attack until you hear yourself in self-doubt.
Annabel was one of those women who thrived at work. She knew how to take a situation, analyze it and make lemonade out of lemons. She created a productive workflow and those she managed knew she was an effective leader. By all appearances, Annabel looked like she was in control, and many people admired her driven attitude.
Larry was Annabel’s colleague. Larry looked at Annabel as a woman on the rise and resented the fact that her confidence was the only qualification that set them apart. Larry had the same education level as Annabel, and the same qualifications, yet he lacked a level of self- confidence, which prevented him from making decisions within his department. Those who worked under Larry saw his lack of confidence, and questioned his ability to lead. It was obvious to many that Larry needed to work on his ability to manage others if he was going to move up the latter.
Larry didn’t like the fact that others glorified Annabel for her great work, while he knew he needed improvement. No matter how others tried to help Larry, he just couldn’t see the big picture. Instead, he focused on Annabel, and subtly pointed out her flaws to colleagues when she wasn’t around.
Larry even made subtle comments to Annabel about her management. He spent so much energy trying to break her down; it frustrated him when she thrived.
I have seen this situation many times. A co-worker, an acquaintance, or even a friend is jealous of another individual. Jealously sometimes get’s the best of us at times, especially in the competitive workforce. We are human, we want to excel and be the very best versions of ourselves. For a majority of employees, being recognized for their work motivates them.
But what did Larry really gain in this situation? He geared his focus on making Annabel feel inferior to him, and spent energy on trying to make her see this too.
If you are in Annabel’s situation- where someone is working hard at making you feel inferior, I want to encourage you to separate yourself from this individual. Make sure you don’t spend any more time with this person than you have to. Spending your precious time around negativity can subtly create a negative perception in your own outlook. And you just don’t have the time for that on your way up!
However, If you are in a work situation where spending time with a negative individual is unavoidable, approach the situation head on.
Ask them if there is something you did to offend them. By asking this question, it opens the floor for discussion. If they say you did nothing to offend them, then say that you’ve noticed some tension and ask if there is anything you can do to help improve the situation. By doing this, you are finding ways to resolve the issue in a non-threatening way.
It’s always best to remain professional in these types of situations. Remember that your work place is work first, meaning you don't have to be friends with everyone. Be respectful of your colleagues, but understand they don’t have to be your friends. Friends are those people you know on a more intimate level. You choose your friends, you don't choose your co-workers. Build a solid circle of friends outside of work that you can go to for a real perspective.
At the end of the day, don’t ever let anyone discredit your dreams. You have a purpose to serve. Make your dreams your reality, and forget what anyone else has to say about them. None of us live forever; so make this life the one you are most proud of regardless of what anyone thinks- It's your life.
Welcome to March!