When it comes to race related comments, what’s worth commenting on?
Is it worth the energy it takes to call someone out and explain to them why what they said is slightly (or maybe even highly) concerning?
If it goes well it would probably be worth it but if the other person is adamant that there was nothing wrong with what they said, where do you go from there?
Furthermore, it’s almost as if your race becomes a burden when in certain spaces you realise that people might just be tolerating you but after a drink or two they’ll make a race related comment.
And so let’s take it full circle and ask the question of what comments are worth commenting on?
Turns out there is no set answer.
If you have an idea of what could be done or what is possible, would you be willing to put it into practice?
It’s really easy to talk the talk full of excitement and enthusiasm. But actually doing the things you talk about is a whole other story.
It’s easy to give advice when things are going well or tell other people what to do.
But what about taking your advice first?
Why not actually do the thing before you talk about it?
It’ll add some validation when you later recommend it to others and that might be what they need in order to listen.
Let’s delve into a topic that matters. But first cue the music *plays satisfaction by the rolling stones*.
If someone asked the question of what would make you happier in your current job, what would you say?
If the answer is more money, think again, think about the job itself.
Some possible answers could be:
To be less stressed
Work less hours
To feel more connected to the people you work with
To work on more interesting projects
To learn a software or a new skill
To have a manager that’s helpful
To feel heard
To be recognised for the work you do
To feel valued
Some of these could probably apply to life in general and I’m guessing the same could be said for whatever is on your list too.
A lot of us settle when it comes to what we do for a living then get surprised that we’re unsatisfied.
If you decided to work in healthcare because you were taught it was a good stable job and you got scared into believing that an ‘unstable’ job would be too risky, sure you might grow to like what you do but you also might not.
If you make choices based on the belief that you can’t get the things you actually want, well then you’re probably not going to get them.
Now let’s get back the list and against each point write down what you can do to make them happen. And what you will do if there’s any pushback.
After a month or so you’ll probably notice some changes in how you feel about your job.
If not you can always get a new one.
You don’t have to grin and bear it.
Some are scared to ask for feedback whilst others are afraid to give it.
You don’t want to offend anyone or maybe if they’re more experienced than you, you don’t think you have the authority.
But I’ve learnt that it’s good to ask for feedback. In fact, I’m trying to do more of it in all aspects of my life. From colleagues, my manager, family, friends and even from you.
It’s not about looking for praise or a harsh critique but instead about opening yourself up to the perspective of the observer or receiver because you don’t see things the way they do.
For example, at work you may think that you’re doing your job well because you haven’t been given a warning or been told you’re under-performing. However, perhaps your manager has noticed you could do x, y or z differently but hasn’t said anything because you aren’t bad at what you do.
It’s about being open to seeing that there is room for improvement.
And so I wanted to ask, if you had to make a remark about this blog, what would you say?
Leave a comment or drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I don’t know was one of my most used phrases during my school days.
It was an easy 3 words to use in situations where I didn’t want to participate, like class.
I’d sit daydreaming, ruminating or just quietly paying attention. Then all of a sudden a teacher would call on me for the answer to a question.
Perhaps I hadn’t heard it or maybe I didn’t want to think or join in because after all my hand wasn’t even up.
So, I’d almost immediately respond with I don’t know even if after some thought I might have had an answer to contribute.
I never wanted to offeranything because on the occasions that I did, my hand would be up.
And so when I used to say I don’t know it just meant that I didn’t want to offer, join in or engage.
This phase of my life was around 10 years ago at a time where I found it incredibly difficult to use my voice.
These days I’m more commonly heard saying I’m not sure and I’m much more willing to contribute something and be wrong instead of saying nothing at all.
If you find yourself using I don’t know as a regular response ask yourself why because you might find that it could actually be replaced with the phrases ‘I don’t want to think’.
And if you don’t want to think then you might be a lazy person or you might be scared of being wrong.
Either way there’s something to work.
Short answer: there is no use.
If it doesn’t feel good to feel bad then why not try something else?
It’s easy to feel bad about yourself when things go wrong but ruminating on that feeling isn’t likely to help you improve and get better at whatever you’re working on.
Perhaps asking yourself ‘what could I have done better?’ might be more useful.
Then take whatever is on that list and give them a go one by one until you find something that helps you improve.
I have no doubt that will be much more useful than the previous approach.
Do you remember when you were your most confident self?
Common advice in challenging situations when we’re afraid is to ask ‘what would [insert name of inspirational person] do?’
I think that’s a really helpful tool but it can also just emphasise the gap between where you’re at and where you want to be instead of bridging it.
So, what if you consult your past self at peak confidence instead. If you were confidence once you can be confident again.
When you find yourself facing a challenge think of a time you were confident or did something difficult in the past. Close your eyes, visualise it, feel that feeling and keep it with you for when you need it.
Maybe it’s the memory of the solo you did in a school play that you can apply to leading your first client meeting.
When you’re caught in fear or your confidence is low it can be easy to forget that you once felt otherwise and that it’s possible to overcome that thing that scares you and feel confident again.