Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

One can’t help but laugh when a quote pops up on the facebook newsfeed or in the middle of a work presentation for that matter that has been attributed incorrectly to a noteworthy person. The plethora of Buzz Feed articles and lists that call out the true originator of a saying and post the incorrect quote side by side are so widespread that by now you cannot claim ignorance.(See the One does not simply post for more on that rant.)

The truth is most of us have these stereotypes or pre conceived notions that do not allow us to interpret the situation without bias. In the book “The Power of Habit”, the author explains how difficult it can be to redirect your thought processes unless you identify the queue, the conditions that trigger the queue and what that makes the habit loop feel rewarding. It is the continued reinforcement of bad habit and traits that makes us less effective and efficient at work and in our everyday lives. Most of us go through our existing without ever giving a thought to what those triggers may be and how to retrain ourselves to enact more fruitful behaviors. I’ve seen many people fail to achieve their goals because they lacked the discipline and will power to do so. We are always in control of our own destiny. Take a moment to assess what needs to stay and what needs to go.

Concentrate hard on what you want to accomplish. Do you need support to complete the task? Do your performance and everyday life goals align? Could you eliminate some of the clutter in your mind and your workspace by prioritizing, delegating or dismissing some of the load? Ask yourself, does this contribute or broaden the bigger picture? If not toss it aside and start over. Quitting is not just for losers, it is a strength of intelligent people.

Take a step back and organize your environment and thoughts. Notice how your family, friends and even your dog can pick up on the anxiety and misplaced energy. Wandering aimlessly through life will deliver you to a destination you didn’t want to go to via the road you most likely wouldn’t have taken yourself. Ask for assistance when you need it and know when to steer the ship away from dire straits. Never apologize for taking time for yourself and most importantly, remember you do not need to justify your NOs.

It is never to late to turn your luck around. Start sharing correct information. Validate your sources through Snopes.com, and sources like Wikipedia or veritable subject matter experts. Don’t pass misinformation or gossip; research the topic yourself before forming and offering an opinion. The more you do to cement a reputation of trustworthiness and accuracy, people will value your opinion and seek your counsel. There is nothing more unappealing than a person who is always lost or incorrect. Figure out the type of effort the situation requires and make the time to learn the protocols, expectations and appropriate behavior for the tasks at hand. Not preparing for the worst can turn an easy problem into a mountain.

Before you post a meme, news article, opinion, link or quote, check yourself before you wreck yourself. It will not only make you appear smarter and more knowledgeable but it will improve people’s perceptions of your abilities and skills. Err on the side of caution for the sake of all. 🙂


Rules to live by:

  1. Don’t spread gossip or rumors.
  2. Fact check everything you post.
  3. Fact check sources periodically.
  4. Don’t assume that because a source is trustworthy the content is safe or secure.
  5. Discourage inappropriate or unwanted behavior immediately.
  6. Never reveal personal information to unknown sources via phone or electronic communication.
  7. Pay yourself first: housing, food, clothing and misc, in that order.
  8. Respect people’s boundaries.
  9. Don’t use expletive language in the workplace.
  10. Assess the mood of the room before making an off color remark.
  11. Don’t admonish or correct people in public unless you are 100% correct or the behavior is a safety hazard.
  12. When in doubt, take an action item.
  13. Be curious and respectful when addressing strangers or higher ups. Follow any guidance given by the person as to how to address them properly. (Name or title)
  14. Give thanks immediately after receiving a gift, compliment or service.
  15. Learn to accept and dole out compliments.
  16. Accept a NO answer and move on or away from the subject. Don’t beg.
  17. Treat others like they want to be treated. When in doubt, follow the reasonable person standard.
  18. Don’t listen to reply. Give advice only when asked.
  19. Be on time.
  20. Be kind to others and respect their dignity even if they do not respect yours or theirs. Rise above.

For more rules check out the post Etiquette Rules: Kindness is Sexy.

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