Regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, or system of belief, if shoes or clothing are too tight, it is only a matter of time before lack of comfort shows on the face and tension distorts behavior. So it is with all those things at work that bind minds and pinch spirits.
What binds and pinches you at work? What ties your stomach in knots and inhibits clear thinking? What pushes your buttons and causes you to say or do things contrary to your true self? The success of your career may well depend on how clearly you answer these questions. JUST AS YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO WHEN THINGS LIKE SHOES, BELTS, HATS, OR PANTYHOSE ARE TOO TIGHT, SO MUST YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT STARTS TO PINCH AND BIND.
This subject takes me to words of wisdom from my Grandmother. Whenever I would become anxious or totally stress-out about something, she would say “Baby, wear it like a loose garment”. She admonished me to beware of things that could bind me so tightly I could not think straight. Bind me so tightly I would act foolishly. Bind me so tightly I would forget who I was and what I stood for. Quite frankly, I did not always heed her warning as I plunged mind, body, and spirit into building a successful career. The deeper I plunged, the more tightly I was bound.
Surviving the complexities of a competitive work environment while keeping your core intact is more than a notion. Staying true to who you are and what you stand for is the most difficult part of any job. Learn to SKILLFULLY DRAPE THE JOB AROUND YOUR SHOULDERS AND LET IT FLOW LOOSELY OVER THE VITAL PARTS OF YOU.
Wearing the job like a loose garment does not mean approaching work in a casual manner. Nor does it suggest disloyalty to the company. To the contrary, our livelihoods and the well being of our families depend on strong relationships with our employers. BUT, SEPARATE THE WORK FROM THE STUFF AT WORK. Approach the work in earnest and demonstrate loyalty by consistently delivering high quality results. Beyond that, everything must be worn like a loose garment.
Crazy stuff can happen at work. Most of it has nothing to do with you and little of it can you do anything about. Stepping back and detaching are keys to emotional and physical health. The more you define yourself by what you do at work – job, title, status, general company association – the easier it is to become pinched and bound.
- Focus on what you can control.
- Have a life outside your work life.
- Know people outside the people you work with.
- Validate your worth beyond what happens at work.
Feeling pinched and bound? Loosen it or take it off!