Do Your Work, and Be Kind / by Michelle Cowan

I am grateful for the way I do things, for Michelle’s way. It is perfect for me. I never have to be anyone else.

When I follow my authentic feelings and yearnings, things always end up okay, even if I don’t initially see how following those feelings could ever lead to success. Trying to follow the path of another or doing things as I think a successful person would always requires more energy, more striving, and more difficulty. The two roads may end up in the same place, but following the path based on my genuine propensities is more satisfying and less brutal.

The hard part is TRUSTING myself and believing that my way is just as good as any other. Despite my own doubts, I prove time and time again that I am the best at making decisions for myself and coming up with ways of living that work for me.

For instance, a new mantra is running through my mind and heart: Do my work, and be kind.

This especially helps on the job. When I am at work, I can easily focus on what I think others are or are not doing. I compare and get down on myself or resentful of others. This can then cause me to lash out in not-so-enlightened ways. I can be condescending or mean and may behave passive aggressively without realizing it until after the fact.

No more! In life and in the office, I want to do my work. I want to do the best I can and concentrate on my own goals and successes. I cannot control what other people do, but I can control the choices I make. I can decide to work diligently and complete projects, to ask people for what I need and be honest when I’m running short on time. I feel like a good worker when I focus on doing my best. Sometimes, I have to put the blinders on, but it’s always worth it. I would rather not know the office gossip and instead feel grateful for everyone who is there, helping me to do the best I can or teaching me more about myself.

Do not miss the “be kind” part of the mantra. Bottom line is: Kindness wins. Every time. I don’t care how tight the deadline or how important a project is to the executive team, treating someone inconsiderately to get the job done is not the best option. The project ends, the product fades, the memory of that week at work dissipates. But when I hurt someone, the sting stays with me.

Nothing is worth making someone else feel small. No job outweighs the value of a person’s soul. And that goes for my soul as well. Being kind to others is only possible when I am loving myself, too. I must practice self care by resting and doing my own job within appropriate limits. I don’t have to work long hours or do crazy amounts of work just because I think everyone else is. I can focus on doing my best. When I work diligently during business hours and then leave work in the office, I produce stellar work without going insane.

When I am kind both to myself and others, I forge fantastic relationships and don’t feel any shame or fear. I can confront others at work with thoughtfulness rather than resentment. I can be strong and tell people what I need without hurting them. I can clear my side of the road and let their feelings be theirs. I am no doormat, but I am kind. Frustration should not be sat on until it comes out in passive aggressive ways. Leave meanness behind and be professional, completing projects by having conversations with those I have difficulty with and being completely honest about my feelings and the situation. It may require owning my own shortcomings.

The end conclusion is this: I do not have to be a different person at work than I am in my life. The same person who makes good decisions and brings color outside the office can choose wisely at work and bring her own personality into play. All of life con reflect the newfound trust I have in myself and my abilities.

You can do it, too. Don’t let work take over your life. Incorporate work into the life you’ve lovingly built for yourself. Trust that, inside, you do know the best solution.