In case you didn’t notice, I played hooky last week. I texted the editor of the Metro Spirit a couple hours before my column’s deadline to say that I wouldn’t be sending one. My reason for giving the Spirit an extra page of ad space last week: A case of writer’s block. It happens more often than you think. I’ll come up with an idea and doubt myself over and over until I come to the conclusion that nobody wants to read my column anyway. Yeah, it’s that bad. Self doubt mixed in with my lifelong low self-esteem leads to a quick downward spiral of ‘nobody loves me, everybody hates me and something about eating worms.’
But when I get into this all-too-familiar dark place, it seems like the world has always got my back. I got compliments about my column from two people over the past week. One of them came from kickboxing bad-ass Steve Dement. I’ve known Steve for a while and respect what he does in the ring tremendously. I’ve trained with him and … OK, that’s a lie; I’ve never trained with him. I’ve seen him train, and there is no way in this or any other world that I could keep up. That guy is a beast! Anyway, he mentioned how much he looks forward to my column, and I was blown away. This guy reads my column? And enjoys it? It was a very unexpected, meaningful and perfectly timed compliment.
Remember the last time someone said something similar to you? Maybe it was “nice job” or “good idea” or “glad to have you on our team.” We all want to feel appreciated, especially in the workplace. When I was offered the job at HD983 that brought me back home from Texas back in 2006, I told my boss about the offer. His response was “well, anyone can be replaced.” Ouch! Even though the new offer was for less than I was making at the time, I took it. Not only would it send me back home but, my old job obviously didn’t need me. I’m still friends with that guy today, and he asked me if there’s anything he could have done, outside of offer a raise, to keep me in Texas. I reminded him of the comment he made and told him that if he would have instead said something to the effect of “we can’t do this without you,” I would have stayed. Feeling appreciated, feeling needed, it’s that important.
I challenge you to make someone feel appreciated today, tomorrow and every day after. It could be anyone. Tell your spouse how great it is that they keep the laundry clean or that dinner is ready when you get home. Tell your kids how much you appreciate them cleaning the house before you get home. Tell the coworker that always fills the coffee pot in the morning how awesome they are for doing that. I’m a firm believer in the idea that the more positive energy you put out, the more positive energy you get back. I don’t care who you are, we could all use a little more positive energy.