Sticks, Stones, and Words

I have said from the beginning this journey of #becomingabetterme, it was more than just the physical changes that needed to occur. I talk about them the most as they are the easiest to fix. Now, do not get me wrong, it has taken a lot of work, a lot of tears, and whole lot of whining to get where I am now, and it was not easy, but changing your weight or your muscle tone is definitely easier than changing who you have been for the majority of 39 years.

I have not always been someone to say how I felt, believe it or not. I would get mad and cry, but a lot of times I would hold back what I really was feeling for fear of hurting the person I was talking to. My MoMo believed in the “sticks and stones” things and preached regularly how bruised go away, and physical scars healed, but those words… good, bad, or hurtful… are always out there. She even told me one time that it was like a constant word bubble over your head, and the one you hurt always saw it, no matter how many times you apologized.

Anyway, without the details I will just say that my life changed, and I decided I was going to be the one in charge. I was going to make sure I said how I felt when I felt it, so never again would I wish I had been honest.

As I have gotten even older my brass ways have gotten the better of me. Sadly, in my quest to be honest, I forgot that some people struggle with brutal honesty, either positive or negative. As a supervisor I would just say “yes, you did it right” or “no, you did it wrong” no difference in my tone, just a simple matter of fact way of saying how it was. I didn’t look at this as negative really, I felt that if I was giving as much emotion to the “yes” as I was to the “no” I was not being harsh. My mistake.

After a few (or more than a few) conversations with a fearless leader of mine – someone who also has a knack for telling it like it is – I realized that maybe this was the next box I should check? The me that interacts with others, the Mom, the Friend, the Coworker, the Employee… that me, she needs to soften the edges. Although my job is 100% figuring out the black and white of the issue, and how it fits into our MANY rules, I still needed to work on my delivery.

Since I have been more conscience of this decision, I can see a change in how my coworkers receive my words. Even in how they ask me for help. I have seen a difference in my children, they are less afraid of “being in trouble” and more realize that I am their mother and correcting them is my job. I would even go as so far to say I have changed as a friend. Being asked for advice and/or my perspective on a situation is really a form of respect, and I see that now.

Overcoming my fear of failure was hard. Overcoming my self doubt was hard. Overcoming my urge to fire back was really hard… but keeping calm, speaking in a way that does not come across as know it all (which, I have been accused of being), this has been the hardest thing I have ever done. Each day I try just a little bit harder, speak a little bit slower, and sympathize a little bit deeper.  I will never be any less passion driven, or feel less of a need to succeed, but I am trying. Trying to become a better me.

 

PS. Fearless leader, if you have read this, thank you.

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