Daily Blog #337
I used to be someone who had always strived for attention in life. All throughout high school, throughout college, even well into my first and only corporate job, attention and the approval from others was something that I deeply craved.
Who did others want me to be? How did I need to act for my new coworkers to like me? What if I got fired for being too young and for making too many mistakes?
I asked myself these questions before walking in for my first day of work.
The thing is, though, when you allow others to control your life, you are giving up all of the love that you have for yourself. You are giving up your sense of worth, your sense of meaning, and your purpose in life. But why? Just to allow others to use you? It just doesn’t seem like a fair tradeoff.
I have never told anybody this before, but I almost got fired from my first corporate job… after only two months. There was little room in our office, so being the rookie that I was, I had the desk that nobody wanted – right next to the lady that nobody wanted to be by. She wasn’t mean to me, but she was mean to basically everybody else.
Being the rookie that I was, I didn’t know any better. I started to pick up on her habits, and not long after, I too was becoming the mean person in the office that nobody wanted to be around.
After being there for two months, she ended up leaving. Now I was in my first corporate job, I was still the rookie, and I was treating everybody else around me with the same amount of respect that I had for myself, none. I was becoming somebody that I had no desire to be just for the acceptance of somebody else.
After she left my manager ended up pulling me in for a one-on-one meeting. With her, she brought a long list of things that I needed to work on. If I didn’t improve, I was probably going to find myself unemployed. My manager never actually told me this, but the look in her eyes said it all. She was regretting the fact that she had hired me.
If I would have been laid off in the first two months of having my first “real” job, I would have been devastated. With the already non-existent love that I had for myself at the time, this would have crippled me, and I knew that.
Forcing myself to look in the mirror and question who I was becoming, I knew that it was now or never. It was either become the employee and the person that I envisioned myself becoming, or become an unemployed millennial who was also an emotional disaster.
From that point on, my only focus was to be the best that I would be. Not the best for my co-workers, not the best for my managers, but the best for me. I was going to do everything in my power to become the employee that I knew I was capable of being, and even more importantly, I was going to push myself to become the best person that I could be as well.
Four months after nearly being fired, I was pulled into a follow up one-on-one meeting. This time, however, my manager wasn’t carrying with her a list of things that I needed to improve on. It was actually the opposite. She was carrying things that I was doing exceptionally well, and it was enough for me to be rewarded with my first ever raise. A raise for not only doing a 180-degree turn, but also a raise for becoming a top performing employee.
Do you want to know what got me that raise? Being the best that I could be. I got that raise because I was focused solely on being my best, and because I was focused on being my best self, I was then able to give my best. Do you want to know what nearly got me fired? Trying to be somebody who I thought others wanted me to be. Yep, I almost got fired because I was allowing others to control my actions and the belief that I had in myself.
Others are not going to value you unless you first learn to value yourself. Learn to be the unique individual that you are meant to be, learn to let your light shine, and strive to be your best self so that you can become your best self.
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