When you’re facing a situation at the job, something that challenges you, most of the time we think of all the bad things that could happen. I know that was how I used to think. Yes, 100 percent of the time I imagined that the outcome would not be good for me. Now, that I know better, I only think about a bad outcome about 20 percent of the time. I am able to stop myself from going down the rabbit hole of “what if?” that can consume your thoughts.
I was dealing with this recently when I did a really good job on a project. Like better than anyone in the organization had done on a similar project. So needless to say, it got some attention and people wanted to know how I did it. I was feeling rather good and generous. I explained my strategies and shared my tools.
Then I was asked if others could join into the next project. What? Why? I was taken aback and then I remembered to stop and breathe and think for a sec. Of course, others are welcome. But the strategy and tools will remain mine. The results will be mine. I will share and mentor because I know what I am doing works. But I am not going to let thoughts of imagined outcomes impact where I am going in 2017.
Sometimes it’s hard for people, especially women and yes, even more so for women of color to be the best in an organization. I thought of the hit movie, Hidden Figures, which tells the stories of three brilliant black women who were critical performers in the NASA race with Russia to orbit a man around earth. Still today we have to keep performing by excelling at the job to prove that we can do things as well, or in some cases better than any man.
Using mindfulness to manage the thoughts I have when facing challenges on the job helps to keep my outlook positive. I don’t get caught up in mindless thoughts of bad outcomes or looking at what occured in the past. I focus on the here and now. I visualize my success in every situation. And I frame my thoughts to expected the success I imagine, or something even better. And since I shifted my perspective to an outlook of positivity, even the things I thought were bad, have turned out for my good.
Mindfulness or mindlessness, I am finding that how you approach challenges helps to determines what you get.