We have all been there. If we get 1,000 pats on the back and one negative comment - what do we focus on? That one negative comment. Right? That happened to me recently when I returned to work after running the 50 miler. I had sooooo many people come into my office congratulating me and asking me about the race. Everyone was just very curious about my experience.
Well, after one colleague left my office, I overheard her telling another - "Jessica just ran 50 miles!" The other colleague responded, "Yah, that is what I hear. That really surprises me." It really wasn't the words that bothered me, but the tone in which he used them. I wanted to join in the conversation and ask, "Why does that surprise you?" In hindsight, I should have butted in. I could have done it jokingly and without being defensive. But instead, I chose to dwell. I wanted to ask him:
- What, do you think I am not driven enough? I can tell you that I am as driven in my career as I am in my running life and it's nothing that I hide. Why would he think that?
- Do I not look fit enough? Yes, I dress pretty conservatively at the office and don't show a lot of skin, but I think you can still tell that I am fit.
- Am I too "girly" to run trails and get dirt under my fingernails? Ok. I can see how I may project that image in my everyday life. I like having my fingernails painted, wearing makeup, wearing jewelry and such. But still, athletes can be "girly" and not be afraid of getting sweaty and gross.
- Do you think I am a scaredy cat? You don't see me fearing failure at the office. Why would I fear it running? I often tell my staff that if a campaign fails because we tried something new, or took a risk, that is OK. Fail fast and move on. I am not afraid of apply this to my running either.
|THIS is a scaredy cat!|
What irritates me the most is that I let this comment bother me so much. Why do I spend so much more time on the negative than the positive? Not just with this particualr situation, but it's something I see myself doing every day in my life. I'm working on it and the most important thing is that I am self aware. I have the power to choose to look at things differently.