In the pantheon of Awesome Fake Holidays, today – Everything You Do Is Right Day, according to important internet sources – is right up there with Talk Like a Pirate Day in terms of boosting your self-esteem and tickling your spirit. Just for today, it’s OK to believe that everything you do will turn out right. (It’s also OK to talk like a pirate, but you’ll have to wait until September to do it without getting stared at.)
(Photo Credit: Frederick Homes for Sale/Flickr)
Here’s how to celebrate Everything You Do Is Right Day at Work:
1. Try something new, especially if it scares you.
What would you do, if you weren’t afraid? It’s not just a Sheryl Sandberg quote; it’s also a question that might help you identify what’s holding you back in your career.
We all have strengths and weaknesses when it comes to our skill set, for example. Fear of admitting that you don’t know how to do something well, whether it’s code or use PowerPoint, can keep you from addressing the issue.
But today, everything you do is right, so there’s no need to worry about looking stupid or unknowledgeable. Use that free pass to get excited about learning something new, and sign up for a class.
2. Don’t apologize once.
Many of us apologize too much at work. This is especially true if we’re female, or young, or both. Just for today, nix “sorry” from your vocabulary. Take responsibility, look for solutions, but don’t apologize. You might be surprised to find that your peers are just as happy to have the fix instead of the apology, and you’ll feel less like you’ve lost social standing.
3. State your opinion graciously, but without fear.
Do you bite your tongue in meetings, because you’re not confident in your opinions? Here’s a dirty little secret: the office loudmouth, the one who monopolizes every meeting, isn’t right 100 percent of the time either. You have the right to your opinion and your perspective is valuable. Speak your mind.
4. Listen to another point of view, without defensiveness.
If you know you’re right – and today, you do – you don’t need to be afraid to hear what someone else has to say. Instead, you can listen thoughtfully, prepared to take in new information, without fear that letting those words out in the open air will somehow negate your point of view.
Few people really listen. If you can become one of them, you’ll build solid connections with co-workers, even when you disagree with one another, and be more successful in the long run.
5. Be confident that you’re on the right track, even if the track doesn’t run in a straight line.
The story goes that Thomas Edison made 1,000 tries at the light bulb before he got it right. Once, a reporter asked him how it felt to fail 1,000 times. Edison is said to have replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
Think of your career the same way. It almost certainly won’t go the way you’ve planned, but that doesn’t mean that you’re anywhere but exactly where you should be. In other words, yes, everything you’ve done is right, even if it represented a setback in that moment in time.
Finally, because someone out there will always take an opportunity like this and use it in the worst possible way, a word of caution: positivity doesn’t mean being positive that yours is the only voice worth hearing, and believing that everything you do will turn out OK isn’t the same thing as thinking you’re always right. Today, like every day, you’ll have to balance being confident with being willing to listen, take in new information, and change your mind.
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