Braving the Wilderness – Part 5

Braving the Wilderness – Part 5

The key to joy is practicing gratitude.

When I read this statement, I sat in disbelief for about 5 seconds.  Then I immediately stood up, walked to my office, grabbed a Post-it and wrote down the word “gratitude.”  I propped it up like a teepee and set it on my night stand facing my bed, so that it is the first thing I see in the morning.

This morning I had been complaining to a co-worker that my boss implied that only lateral movement would be available to me.  I was so disheartened when my boss and I had that conversation.  I told him I was looking beyond just a manager position.  After all, that’s what I’m working for.  That’s why I attend leadership programs, why I read books, why I seek out learning opportunities.   After his implication, I immediately came to the conclusion that if I was going to see a C-level position, it would have to be with another employer.

Like, whoa.  Right?  I went from 0-60 in an instant.  Who’s to say that I’m even going to want a C-level position in the next few years?  Life changes!  I work for an amazing employer that values my opinion, includes me in the hard conversations, allows me to influence their leadership, and truly cares about my well-being as an employee and a person.  My employer is a diamond in the rough, and I should be grateful that they afford me the opportunities that they do!  But I was so focused on what they may not offer me, that I completely overlooked what they do offer me.

As I continued with my reading, Brown went on to say that we should stop looking for confirmation that we don’t belong or that we’re not good enough.

That is exactly what I was doing.  I was looking for confirmation that I don’t belong.  I’ve been having a hard time at work though.  I’m going through growing pains, and so is the company.  Instead of owning my pain, I was looking for an exit strategy.

It’s funny too, because at work, I am leading a movement to change our culture from being reactive to being proactive.  We’re trying to recognize and reward positive behavior in the effort to minimize disciplinary action.  Then here I am, automatically assuming the worse, seeking out the negative.  So tomorrow and days in the future, I will choose gratitude.  It will take self-discipline to recognize when I’m falling into the trap, but “the key to joy is practicing gratitude.”

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