Guess what …. there are probably better ways to accomplish things. Life consistently presents us with opportunities to learn and grow. We just don’t always see them because we are set in our ways and are comfortable.
Take driving as an example. Most people with a drivers license think they are an above average driver. Statistically that is not possible. I would challenge that many of you are significantly worse drivers than you may think and have a lot of opportunities to improve. If there are so many opportunities to improve, why don’t we take them. There are a few reasons.
- We are comfortable with how we drive. Change can be hard so why try.
- We lie too ourselves. Honestly, how often do you tailgate, how often do you drive too fast, how often do you day dream and not pay attention to the road. I bet if you ask your significant other to document all the bad things you do behind the wheel the next time you drive, the list would be eye opening. It may start a few fights as well so be cautious in doing this.
- We blame others for the close calls on the road. Granted there are a lot of bad drivers (you may be one of them), but many of the close call situations could be avoided by driving defensively, being observant, and preparing early for any lane changes you need to make. Remember, you only control yourself and your car, other drivers are outside your sphere of influence. Blaming others is being a victim and takes away your power to improve the situation in the future.
So all this is great, but what does this have to do with the work place. Driving is surprisingly similar to the work we do on a daily basis. Most of us are comfortable with what we do, think we are better than we actually are, and blame others for any problems or misfortunes. In short we are being lazy, lying to ourselves, and acting like a victim. None of these represent a recipe for success.
So how do we turn this around? By changing your perspective and seeking out change.
The people around you provide a wealth of great opportunities to learn and grow. Take the next week and pay attention to at least two people you work with. Preferably one person that you feel does quality work and someone who is not quite up to par. What things do these people do on a day to day basis that defines them. Identify the positive activities and the negative activities. Take time and do some self reflection, what are the things you do well, what do you do poorly. What positive activities performed by your colleagues are lacking in you? What negative activities do you also undertake? Once you have a view of what your opportunities for improvement are, start working towards achieving those opportunities. The more you work on improving yourself, the better you will perform.
The greatest part about this, no one can stop you from improving yourself. You are not a victim, you are a person with a plan focusing on improving yourself. Get started today, it will pay off.