I’m not a very disciplined person in a lot of respects. I try very hard, but because it is not ingrained in my character, I often FORGET to be disciplined.
And last week was a week of discipline.
Something I’ve had drilled into me in my professional life is to nip things in the bud. The minute something goes down a wrong path, and before it becomes a habit, you have to nip it in the bud. Because I don’t like conflict, this was a hard one for me to learn both as a manager and as coworker. But I have found that people respect you more for speaking up early rather than letting something carry on. Not saying anything is often viewed as permission-granting.
I’m not perfect at this skill, but I work on it. And because it runs counter to how I would prefer to live, it takes a certain amount of emotional energy.
The other thing I’ve had to get better at is disciplining my thoughts. This has been on-going since I was little. When I first started working on this, I was struggling with anxiety in school. I would get the syllabus on the first day of school, and see that on the last day of the class there would be a… gasp… FINAL EXAM and I would start wondering how I was going to pass that test. Seriously? I hadn’t even been through the course yet.
As I’ve gotten older, and hormones have gotten crazier, I’ve had to work on disciplining where I let my thoughts go. For example, my dear husband has a horrid schedule for the next 3 weeks. I’m not going to get into the details for safety issues, but it is TERRIBLE. Plus, he is supposed to get awarded a base closer to home, but the guy who posts the final awards WENT HOME EARLY on Friday, even though the company stated that it would post the results on Friday at 4 p.m. CST.
My natural bent is to go down the, “We will never have another holiday together. We will never have another lazy Saturday together. We will never …” And I definitely start down that road, but then I make myself remember that in a few years I will have mostly forgotten this time that we are going through and that it WILL get better. Sometimes it takes a huge amount of emotional effort to turn this attitude around.
But it is always worth the effort.