“The successful person has the habit of doing the things failures don’t like to do. They don’t like doing them either necessarily. But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose.” – E.M Gray
I am going to play Family Feud today. I don’t want to play Family Feud today, but the luck of the draw means I was “randomly” selected to participate in an engagement activity at work today. That activity is playing Family Feud in front of a couple hundred co-workers. I was notified yesterday that this was going down, and to say that I was simply not happy about it would be a huge understatement. Call it an anti-social sentiment, a general insecurity about the possibility of making a fool of myself in front of people, or maybe just a desire to not play Family Feud in front of mostly strangers that lead to my feelings of disdain and resentment. I spent a lot of my work day yesterday sulking.
In a lot of situations, I prefer to blend in. Obviously, given different roles I’ve held (coach, supervisor), speaking in front of people shouldn’t be an issue. Generally, it’s not. But, for the most part, I am a “sit in the back of the class and don’t ask questions” kind of guy. That mentality absolutely applies to what’s about to happen today and my feelings about it. I really don’t want to do it. At all. However, as I’ve had a night to digest this, and as I’ve realized that it’s going to happen whether I want to or not, I’ve made a bit of peace with it. Here’s why:
First, and this will sound really dramatic, but playing Family Feud and risking saying something dumb in front of a bunch of people won’t kill me. I will walk away physically unscathed and will live to fight another day. I don’t have to like it, but I will do it.
Second, there are some lessons to be gleaned from this: overcoming insecurity, doing something I don’t want to do and making it through it; you know, general perseverance stuff.
A million people have said this in a million different ways, but each way is true: what matters is not necessarily what happens to us, but how we handle what happens to us. Attitude absolutely dictates that. What I found yesterday was, the more I showed that I was dreading today, the more people were excited to see me squirm. The more I showed that I was going to be highly uncomfortable, the more people laughed at the thought of me being forced to do what I don’t want to do. However, this morning, when I took a different attitude, it actually took the wind out of some of those sails. Sure, there will still be those that will bust my chops about it (for a really long time, too), but I can say that I did it, it’s over, and I can move forward.
The key is finding the little lessons in things, even if they suck. For me, it’s about doing something I don’t want to do simply because I find value in that. For others, it may be about confronting insecurities. I’m on board with that, too. Our attitudes define our approach. I’m choosing to plow through and get it over with.
Bring on the Feud.
Have an awesome Wednesday,