10:00 am squinty eyed on 3 maybe 4 hours of sleep I slowly walked over to the coffee cart to get my morning boost. I had left the office at 1 am again last night. Joe the manager that had arrived last night to replace Bob the current manager on site. He came over on his first morning there to have a friendly chat.
“So, uhm, yea could you come in earlier. It doesn’t look good to the client that you come in late.”
My default response usually looked like me saying ‘Sure no problem.'
Then letting the anger, sadness, rage and my entire body hitting 1000 degrees in 6 seconds flat. Keeping all that tight inside I go for a brisk walk outside. Call my mom to let out the yells and cries against the injustice till there was nothing left. Finally, conclude that this is the job and I need to do as I’m told. Walk back, get another coffee from the coffee cart to feel like I treated myself and then get back to work.
This time it was different. I don’t know what came over me. With complete calm, a quiet strength sprinkled with the parts of me that were fed up; I looked Joe in the eye and said,
‘Sure, no problem. What time would you like me to show up in the morning? Just be aware I can’t guarantee the quality my work will be, but sure you name the time and I will be here.’
‘Are you threatening to sabotage your work??’
‘No, I would never do that my work is important to me and I will give the same 100%, but since I leave this office around 1 am at the earliest most nights, on even less sleep than I am barely getting now I am sure that my 100% will be effected. So I can't guarantee the quality of my work. So, tell me what time you would like me to show up in the morning and I’ll be here. … So what time should I be here 8? 7?’
‘Uhm I’ll check.’
He then went off for a cigarette break, and I turned back to my computer and continued to work.
Later, a colleague of mine had overheard the two managers talking among themselves. She told me she overheard him say ‘I don’t think she liked the idea.’
I never heard another word uttered about it.
The most exciting and surprising part was how I felt. That moment became etched in my mind because I stood up for myself. I felt invincible. It felt amazing.
“-we discover deeper reserves of empathy, opportunities to be creative and we cultivate a habit of fearlessness…. It produces a deep, lasting sense of satisfaction…at each step along the way.” —John Paul Flintoff
Without realizing it I had taken a step towards cultivating a habit of fearlessness. As John Paul Flintoff puts it so beautifully. I produced a deep lasting sense of satisfaction.
I want you to have this amazing feeling.
Can you remember a moment in which you felt invincible? Please share it in the comments below. You might inspire someone else.
So how can you begin to cultivate a habit of fearlessness within yourself? Try this sometime during the next week. Pay attention to conversions you are a part of. Anytime you hear something in a conversation that you don’t quite believe in or agree with. If someone is disrespectful to someone else.
Without making the other person wrong, stand up for yourself. Speak up and share your truth. This is a good way to start to build up the fearlessness muscle. Then one day when you least expect it, the invincible you will show up and stand up for you … and it will feel amazing.
Please share this post with someone who would love the feeling of fearlessness.