I have a confession to make. Even though you may know me as one who (over) uses the word awesome on a regular basis, I have days where that word and all it entails is the furthest thing from my mind. As a self proclaimed Advocate for Awesome (t-shirts coming soon), I often feel almost duty bound to remain upbeat and positive, even in less than awesome circumstances. It was only recently that I realized that, while not ideal, a lack of awesome can be okay too.
Now don’t take this revelation to mean that I accept anything less than awesome. I still strive for and encourage awesomeness whenever and wherever I can. That being said, however, I have come to see those lapses in awesome as an opportunity, rather than an obstacle.
To illustrate my point, I have to make another confession. I, Lisa Endersby, (might be) a workaholic. I like to work. I enjoy the work I do. I seek out opportunities to work. I’m bored if I’m not busy. You get the idea. But one day this past week, I hit the wall. It wasn’t awesome anymore. It wasn’t fun. It was a chore to send another email, a struggle to even get out of bed. I wondered constantly why I even bothered. Making it worse, I kept beating myself up for not being positive and upbeat. I felt like a hypocrite when I smiled and told everyone how awesome everything was. It felt completely fake and inauthentic.
What’s changed for me now came after something an amazing supervisor told me recently. In a conversation about a presentation I didn’t think went very well, she told me I needed to own the energy in the room, to acknowledge and call out those unspoken feelings and assumptions. My light bulb moment came when I realized that this same concept of ownership can apply to my own energy and feelings too.
The idea of ownership brings with it a sense of power and control. While these can certainly be used for non-awesome purposes, they also work to frame my less than awesome state of mind into something infinitely more positive. Owning and acknowledging my feelings, however bad or scary they are, allows me to assert some control over them and ultimately gives me the power to change them. I can see now that it was that feeling of helplessness that did me in; I felt so completely out of control. Reassuming ownership of my feelings restored the power I know I have over my own thoughts and emotions, giving me the space to change. While changing how I think and feel can still be an uphill battle (third confession: still working on it), just knowing I have the power back, the control and ownership back, gives me hope.
So, will things always be 100% awesome? Maybe not. But now that I see in myself the power to own and acknowledge this lack of awesome and the ability to do something about it. A work in progress perhaps, but I’m willing to try. Things have been pretty awesome so far.
10 Points for anyone who can tell me how many times I used ‘awesome’ or any form of it in this post. Disclaimer: Points redeemable for high fives.
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