Overall, I am positive person. I do not look at a glass half empty or half full – I look at it as I need more wine. I have learned long ago that it is up to me to take full accountability for my life. I am solely responsible for my failures and my successes.
Given that, I still have crappy days. I remember one night I walked into my bedroom after letting the dogs out for the night only to watch my biggest pup jump up on my bed, turn around a few times and then pee on the comforter. Seriously. He peed on my bed. Luckily, I was able to let out some sort of noise that interrupted the flow and it was only a bit, but still.
He peed on my bed!
I gathering my bedding and hauling it to the washing machine and, I will admit, cursing at the dog not so much under my breath. I was tired, ready for bed and here I was waiting for the wash. It helped a little when I looked over and saw the look on his face as if saying to me, “What, I’m doing this because I love you. Rub my belly!” Still, it was a crappy night.
Luckily, it was at the end of the day and not the beginning or it could have possibly turned into starting the day with the dog peeing on the bed and ended with a full moon, mercury in retrograde, zombie apocalypse type of day.
Lately I have been in a funk. The dog hasn’t peed on the bed for some time, full moons have come and gone and I have no idea what Mercury is up to so what the heck? I am being positive and yet I was feeling like the whole pack peed all over the bed and I didn’t know it until I climbed into bed.
The positive in me was reaching for the wine. But then that the little voice in my head whispered one little word:
What I realized is that in the last few days a couple of people in my life are going through a rough time. As a recovering fixer, I was taking on their anger, frustration, heartbreak and sadness. I was soaking up all that crap like a sponge and they were oblivious.
Well, that is just darn selfish. How selfish of me to assume anything on their account. It didn’t help their situation and it certainly was not helping me.
That is when I realized the positive in me wasn’t reaching for the wine to pour more, it was reaching for it to knock me upside the head with it.
I have had some big projects that I have been working on and soaking up their stuff was interfering with it.
How many times do we do this? Maybe we have a big project at work, are looking for a job or trying to position ourselves for a promotion at work and then all of a sudden we are completely side-tracked.
We start taking on other people’s stuff and start having the dog peed on the bed kind of days.
Stop it. It isn’t your bed.
I am going to suggest something that will sound completely selfish: focus on you.
Yes, that is selfish, but that is the point. If I had called you and told you the dog peed on my bed you would probably laugh. You aren’t going to be mad at my dogs or take on my bad mood. Heck no, you would laugh. I would. Maybe even tell me to have fun cleaning that up or better me than you.
So why do we feel it necessary to take the sheets of the bed for other people? Now if I continued to go on and on and on about the dog peeing on the bed most people would probably start to limit their communications with me. I would. My thought would be, “for crying out loud, wash the sheets and get over it.”
But too often we allow other people to keep telling us over and over about the dog peeing. That is when we need to put space between us, even if temporarily. That is what being selfish is all about: giving yourself space. They may get mad at you and call you selfish, but that is just because they are too wrapped up in the incident to move forward. Leave them be.
It is like playing a game of basketball and sitting on the bench so the other guy can keep shooting because he is having a bad day. No, you do not lower yourself because someone else is not able to raise his or herself.
The most important thing you can do for yourself is to be selfish in your commitment to take care of yourself, achieve your goals and be a positive world citizen. This makes you a better leader, family member and candidate for a position. Allow others to have their days while returning focus to yourself and your goals.
It is okay to offer to help make the bed when the washing is done, just don’t let them bring the bedding with the pee on it to your house to wash.
Lisa K McDonald, CPRW
Career Coach & Brand Strategist
Certified Professional Resume Writer