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Makeover My Attitude Challenge: Express Your Personal Best, Wk. 5

The greatest danger for most of us is not that we aim too high and we miss it, but that we aim too low and reach it.


Millions of people every day defy expert statistics and succeed in life, not in spite of the odds but because of them. Marcus Lattimore, pictured to the right is USC-Gamecock star running back. He continues to defy the odds as he has had to deal with back to back injuries that prevented him from finishing out the past two seasons. Fans of the football team expected Marcus to return next year however he has chosen to enter into the NFL draft. Marcus and his family recognizes that he has proven himself at the collegiate level and this preparation positions him to take on new challenges and receive different rewards from playing in the NFL. Fans were saddened by the news, yet they recognize the importance of Lattimore using his God given abilities at the next level in his professional career. Gamecock fans continue to pray that he experience a greater measure of God's best as he takes on the challenges of expressing his personal best. at the next level of his professional career.

Like Marcus, when we own our choice to express our personal best in any situation, we empower our self. Consider a time when you were able to weather an adverse circumstance without descending into hopelessness and helplessness. What were the mindset and dominant behaviors that influenced your approach to the situation? Too often, we undervalue what we have been able to overcome and fail to make conscious connections to the patterns of thought and behaviors that made our achievements possible. How much more would you accomplish if you weren’t afraid? Expressing your personal best in a greater way that what you are doing now requires that you face your fears and learn how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Fear is the most common obstacle that stands in our way from our highest self and aspirations. No one, except you can make the fear you feel disintegrate. If you refuse to allow your fears to control you, first by, acknowledging them, second by, making a commitment to take purpose-driven actions towards your dreams, third by, getting help when needed, you will come to realize that there is no situation that you have been allowed to face that is bigger than the God that we serve. A “can-do” attitude enables you to find the solutions and empowerment that dwells in you but have been obscured by the anxiety that you feel as a result of fear.

Fear and the Wizard of Oz

The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

NELSON MANDELA, Autobiography
In the movie the Wizard of Oz, it takes a life and death challenge for each of the main characters to realize that the very thing they want from the Wizard already exists within their capacity.
The Scarecrow doesn’t think he’s smart enough to endure difficulties, and yet all alone he’s the guy with the logic and reasoning that guide the group to make the right choices.
The Tin Man thinks that he’s worthless because he was made without a hart, except that his compassion for others and his passion for not giving up are what keep everyone going.
The Cowardly Lion is ashamed that he lacks courage that should accompany the “King of the Beasts” but when put to the test, he acts with courage in the face of fear. It’s the Lion that steps forward with the real cojones to confront and exposed the man behind the curtain who has assumed a role of power that he doesn’t deserve.
The lesson of the ruby slippers was that the whole time Dorothy struggled to get home, thinking only the Wizard could help her, when she actually had the power to do so all along. Her ability to understand the power of what she already possessed was obscured by her fear.

A Lesson on Facing a Fear

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.

ANAIS NIN, ~ Diary of Anais Nin

 Fear of rejection, criticism, failure and the unknown robs many people of prime opportunities in various aspects of their life. That’s why it’s important that you take action on a consistent basis to nourish your faith in God and in your ability, so that you fully express the seeds of greatness within you.
Years ago, my first promotion at the Columbia Marriott hotel as its housekeeping department administrative supervisor came four months after my initial hire date. Several staff members including the Director of Housekeeping, Pete Peterson felt that the Housekeeping Manager, Peter DeVries had been a bit presumptuous by promoting me relevant to the length of my employment.
When I first learned of this, my anxiety increased about my acceptance of the position. I was young and naïve. It didn’t occur to me at the time that there might me some people who would not take a liking to the fact that I was being promoted in such a short period of time working at the hotel. No one but Peter DeVries knew of my previous supervisory experience. I believe to this day, that the referral he received from my previous boss influenced his decision. It's so important that we are mindful of the reputation that we build in our relationships with others.  We never know how someone's recommendation can help us get the very thing that we want.
After my initial training for the position, I was left to my own devices as to how I would develop my relationships with the department staff and Pete Peterson. In four months, I went from cleaning 18 guest rooms to assigning daily tasks for 30+ employees. I received no training on how to manage this transition. Back then, the philosophy "sink or swim" was prevalent in a lot of businesses.
Once I learned of the concerns about my promotion, I didn’t expect everybody to be smiley-face happy with me. I did want them to get to know me and to know that I perceived this position as an opportunity to serve them, other hotel staff and management and our guests. I never considerd myself to “better than” anyone else. I decided after a few months of getting familiar with my new job tasks, I would create a space for fun for us as a team. I went out and bought a kid’s bowling ball set. I assigned each staff member to a bowling team and announced that we were going to start bowling in the mornings before everyone got started with their daily tasks. The sole purpose: to have fun together before our daily grind.
I didn’t ask permission from my bosses. I thought it would be a good idea and it didn't cost them anything, so  I  took it upon myself to do something. I understood that it was my responsibility to nurture the type of work relationship that I wanted with my co-workers.  As the new kid on the block, I didn’t know how my idea was going to be received by staff or management. The first week, only a handful of the staff participated in the bowling game. Within three weeks, we had a competition taking place as teams begin to covet daily bragging rights when they won. We had a lot of fun. The amazing thing is that many of those individuals who worked with me during this time, remind me when they see me of the good times we had playing these games.
Over the three and half years that I worked in this position before transferring to Marriott’s Courtyard division, the different morning games produced lots of laughter for our department and helped us to develop supportive relationships and a winning team. As my career progressed with Marriott, I continued to inject “fun” as much as I could in morning routines, department meeting and employee outings.
From my initial uneasiness and anxiety when I first learned about the concerns from staff and my boss’s boss regarding my promotion, I was afraid that I had bit off more than I could chew. Once I begin to see this promotion as a blessing from the Lord, which meant that I could trust in Him to be with me and empower me to express personal excellence in all that I was expected to do, I began to think about what I could do to nurture supportive relationships with my co-workers. I loved bowling with my kids, so the family activity served as my inspiration for creating bowling teams on the job.
Thinking on that which is good, admirable and excellent in the workplace inspired me to take these actions of faith, in the face of my fear. I continue to recall this experience when I am charting new territory in my life and I experience fears that could hinder me from expressing the fullness of my seeds of greatness. It reminds me of God’s faithfulness and his ability to empower even the most naïve among us with the discernment to bear fruit in situations that we aren’t that familiar with. My attitude of service excellence towards my internal customers, as well as my external customers helped me to seek ways that injected “fun” with co-workers and guests. This habit enabled me to build supportive relationships throughout my career with Marriott. It stretched my leadership capacity to build high performance teams which helped me to experience an award-winning leadership career with with Marriott.
Makeover My Attitude Challenge: Expressing Your Personal Best
Napoleon Hill stated, “Your big opportunity may be right where you are now.” You have to be able to see opportunity to seize it. Even if you see it, if you are allowing fear of failure, rejection, criticism, and fear of the unknown straitjacket your life you will live a life below your potential. You have the power to do better. You can learn how to be comfortable with being discomfort. You can expand the power of your influence within your present circles. Doing so expands your capacity to champion your seeds of greatness, and brings honor to God and His faithfulness in your life. This week’s prompts encourages you to take steps to get comfortable with fear and so that you express more of your personal best!
“Clue-In” Prompt:
The dynamics of our situations change once we become purposeful and directed. ~Chris Gardner
Think back to a time when you tapped into the reservoir of persistence to keep you moving forward in the face of daunting odds.
·         What was it about that particular experience that pushed you to stay the course until you achieved your desired outcome? Identify the pattern of thoughts, emotional energy and behaviors that helped you navigate the roadblocks and opportunities for success in the situation.
·         In the face of a current challenge, how are you applying similar patterns of thoughts, emotional energy and behaviors towards the achievement of your desired outcome in this situation?
“Power Moves Prompt”
Change is necessary for growth. If you don’t instigate the change you desire to experience in life, the status quo will change – in ways that will make it tougher for you to accept and change.
·         What is the fear(s) that you have towards the present challenge identified above?
·         Identify how your fear(s) is preventing you like the main characters of the Wizard of Oz from tapping into the strength and wisdom that you already possess?
·         What are some small steps that you can take today that will help you begin to reduce the anxiety that you feel relevant to this fear(s)?
·         Begin to take those actions today!
“Teachable Moment Prompt”
This week, research articles on the Internet about all types of people who have confronted staggering odds and were able to succeed in spite of them. Check out a book or two from your public library that shares stories of people who overcame seemingly impossible odds. Identify some of their best practices that resonate with your heart. Make a plan to integrate these clues of success in your daily life. Share these practices with members in your circle to encourage and support their efforts to fully express their personal best.
A word of wisdom: Proper preparation prevents poor performance. You can help to reduce your performance anxiety towards any assignment with proper preparation.
It’s Your Move ~ Aspire Higher
Reference: Fear and The Wizard of Oz was adapted from the book, Start Where You Are by Chris Gardner

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