- Written by Lucy Shaw
Dear Lucy: I work for a woman who has no idea how to give a compliment! She looks for the slightest error in all of my work. I am constantly on pins and needles, waiting for her to criticize my work. My last boss was the same way. I know that I do good work and pretty soon I am going to go off on this woman and probably lose my job. Help!
Dear CW: Three words...gratitude, expectancy, worthiness. This morning I went to the dentist. I had a temporary crown in the front of my mouth for three weeks. I did not like the way it felt or looked. As my dentist prepared to remove the thing, he asked if I had experienced any trouble with it. I said it felt heavy and was the ugliest temporary I had ever had! (Actually, in retrospect it was neither of these things in a way that was noticeable or painful!) Much to my surprise, he simply said, "thank you" and kept right on talking. I was shocked and profoundly amused.
Why? I had been meditating on the power of gratitude for several weeks and thus became very alert to acts of thanksgiving. It was as if the Universe smacked me in the face with a quick lesson on gratitude.
The dentist could have engaged me in a conversation about just why and how ugly I thought the temporary crown was. He could have defended it on the basis that it was only temporary, he could have become indignant and pouted for the rest of my visit. Instead, he simply said "thank you" with a smile and moved on to the real reason for the visit, which was to remove the temporary and install the permanent crown. He expressed gratitude for my feedback and moved on to something that he could do something about it. His capacity to be thankful diffused what could have escalated into a fight about the quality of his work or spoiled my appreciation for the beautiful work that was to come.
I needed this lesson and it came from a professional who has learned how to make gratitude work in his life and business. The other important word here is "temporary." Like all things in our physical existence, that crown was temporary! How often we choose to get upset over issues of life that simply "came to pass." So many Bible verses begin with this statement: "And it came to pass." So, first, begin to express gratitude for this opportunity that life is giving you to learn why and how you may improve so that it can pass!
The second word is expectancy. The Law of Attraction simply means that we pretty much get what we expect in life. Have you grown to expect to be criticized and therefore draw it to yourself? Have you such low expectancy of your own self-worth that it gives others permission to criticize you? What are your expectancies regarding people in authority?
When lessons repeat themselves in our lives, it's time to look at ourselves and take some responsibility. Really look at how you are feeling and thinking about these questions and your willingness to change these feelings. Otherwise, when you leave this job you will find this same lesson waiting for you again.
Learn to anticipate your boss's needs and make yourself and your work indispensable. Pay attention to what pleases her. This is not manipulation...it is the art of giving your very best with someone else in mind and not yourself. Be very careful that you are not blaming or criticizing others. This will always lead to your getting the same treatment in return.
The third word is worthiness. Perform an honest appraisal of the quality of your work. Is there room for improvement, attention to detail? Are you performing your work with attention to quality and not in anticipation of being criticized? And here is something that some of us just won't do...make an honest list of your accomplishments, what you are good at, what you have excelled at in the past. When you complete the list, go over it and pat yourself on the back. Give yourself credit where credit is due. That's not vanity, that's honesty and self-appreciation. Don't wait for someone else to do it.
Another good question to ask is this, "do you enjoy the work that you do?" If you don't, one way to learn to do so is by being grateful. Not the kind of gratitude that says you should be glad that you have a job. I am talking about the gratitude that is a sincere whisper of thanks for the opportunity to give, to use your hands, to use your presence to bless. As we appreciate, worthiness becomes unquestionable. "In all things give thanks" and watch what happens.
Thank you for the question!
(For help with the feelings that get in the way of prayer and peace of mind, get Lucy's new book, "BE NOT ANXIOUS." Order it directly from her at 901-907-0260 or go to her web site www.heartworks4u.com.)