Become a Better Version of Yourself at Work

  • When Michael has a bad day, everything about the day is bad. “I’ve learned about myself that I see things in absolutes,” he says. “So why shouldn’t I just accept it and not try to be someone I’m not?”
  • Marci is chronically late and in a rush. “I will probably be late to my own funeral. My internal clock must be broken. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to make it anywhere on time, so I just try not to make hard and fast plans.”
  • Ron isn’t lazy exactly, but he catches himself not putting in his full effort. When he’s given direction, he find reasons including blaming others to explain why he couldn’t accomplish everything he was asked to do.
  • Jean worries what people will think of her and has a hard time drawing consistent boundaries with her direct reports. She can always think of a reason to justify not setting good boundaries, even though she knows it creates problems within her team.

Don’t we each struggle with something that defeats us, a flaw that we know we should change but we just don’t have the energy or know-how to address? Yet the more it defeats us, we realize that not facing it could damage our career and ruin our reputation as it infiltrates other aspects of our life. What can we do to change?

In his post “Your Predisposition is Not Your Future,” Joshua Becker, a self-declared minimalist, offers a practical 6-step solution which includes the need to stop making excuses and look for a deeper source of our problems, not just look at the symptom. He also suggests finding help from a friend, mentor, or a licensed professional. You ought to read his whole thought-provoking post, because it’s very worthwhile, but here was my favorite of his suggestions:

Intentionally pursue the opposing behavior. Even for just a short while, cultivate the exact opposite behavior….If you struggle with anger on the inside, force yourself to be the nicest person in the room. If you are constantly running late, seek to be the person who arrives first. Even for a short period of time, pursue the exact opposite external trait to make change easier.

Do you struggle with the idea that you are able to change your big flaw, because you’ve tried before and failed? You are not alone. But if you want to advance your career, improve your reputation, and preserve your relationships, you’re going to have to address that thing that is holding you back. So face your flaw with courage and stop making excuses. With persistent effort, and perhaps the wisdom and encouragement of a friend, you can become a better version of yourself at work.

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