Sweating the small stuff-are you guilty?
What does sweat the small stuff mean?
Basically, a person who sweats the small stuff is a someone who worries about every tiny detail about everything. For instance: they might be hosting a party and they will worry about: enough food, house clean enough, space for everyone, enough drinks, forget anything, outfit okay, fire in the fireplace or no, outside or in, the list is very lengthy and goes on through-out the night. This is probably why most of those who sweat the small stuff don't throw parties; they would be too busy worrying about the very first detail and they would never get to the second.
Tied up in your own prison.
Rough definition for Sweating the Small Stuff
Sweating the small stuff-in simple terms, which is not meant to insult anyone's intelligence-means to worry about just about everything. You might worry about whether your tie matches your suit. You might worry if your outfit is appropriate for a dance you are attending. You might worry that your shoes will clash with your purse. Your might worry that the report that was handed in to your boss yesterday-and took a month to complete-will not be good enough to meet his standards. You might worry that the gift you bought for your spouse will please them even if it is the one thing they have told you they wanted for an entire year. Sweating the small stuff can hold you back from being the person you were meant to be. It can make you frightened of even the simplest things. It can keep you tied up in your own prison for life.
I was going to put a quiz here, but it just didn't seem to fit. I thought I would try this for fun instead.
Do you sweat the small stuff?See results without voting
A free spirit, no worries here
You must like yourself...
Before you do anything to improve yourself at work, you must like yourself at work and at home. That means that you have to be happy with who and what your are. So, if you feel you are overweight, not sophisticated, poor on etiquette, dumb, etc., you have to do one of two things. You have to change yourself to be better, or you have to accept who and what you are. This isn’t easy to do, but it is necessary to the process. You can never be happy and confident at work or socially if you aren’t happy with yourself. YOU are the only one YOU must please.
This is what an initial list might look like
Good Fashion sense
Outfits sometimes don't match
Always on top of what is being done
Not well organized
Don't always remember my manners
Always have a salad for lunch
But can't stop craving chocolate
Haven't missed a day at work
But always seem to have a headache
Always willing to learn new things
Can't help the kids with their homework-too complicated
Before you can like yourself, you have to evaluate yourself:
Sit down with a piece of paper and draw a line splitting the paper in half (doesn’t need to be perfect). Now on the left side of the paper print “PROS--GOOD THINGS” and on the right side of the paper print ‘CONS--BAD THINGS”. I have created a list to the right to give you an idea of what it might look like. Now list things good (that you like) and bad (that you don’t like) about yourself. For instance, do you feel you need to loose weight? Then that would go on the ‘CONS’ side. Do you think you are good with the bills? Then that would go on the ‘PROS’ side. Try to keep the list personal as much as possible because personal is what we need to work on first, however, if you have a strong professional like or dislike, feel free to list it.
Now, look the list over and adjust it if you need to until it is as accurate as you can make it. Check it over good. Take your time. Even ask family and friends to help, if you like, but remember this is for you to like you not for you to do things to make others like you. However, if you do something that makes others angry and you don't like it, then that might be something you could list.
With your list complete (don't be surprised if it takes up more than one page), go down the list and try to match like things from the ‘PROS’ and ‘CONS’ side. For instance: if you have ‘a good parent’ on the ‘PROS’ side and ‘gets angry at my kids’ on the ‘CONS’ side, then the two would wash each other out and you can cross them off the list. Or if you have ‘can’t remember to pick up dry cleaning’ on the ‘CONS’ side and ‘forget to drop off dry cleaning’ somewhere else on the same side, they can be combined together.
It can be your Insurance Policy
Once done, your list can help you to like yourself and thus gain confidence.
Armed with your ‘PROS’ and ‘CONS’ list whittled down to the basics, look over the list for items you can change. Don't just check the 'cons' side either. There might be some on the 'pros' side that you are not happy with as well. Just remember that this is not a class room or a college lecture, You have all the time you need to make these changes which is good because change takes time and patience. Nothing will happen overnight. But you can help yourself by putting your list up somewhere where you will see it everyday. Mark the one you are focussing on, but don't forget the others. Slowly, you will begin to remember the changes. Slowly, you will be more confident. Slowly, you will stop second-guessing things that you do. That means that slowly you will stop 'sweating the small stuff'.
If there is anything that you can not change? Then don’t! Yes, it is that simple. Simply accept it as being what it is and move on! So, if you think you are way too short (or tall), look at the possibilities of changing it. You can’t, not really, I mean you can wear heels or flats and wear things that make you appear taller etc., but it doesn’t change the facts. You are much better off simply accepting the facts and moving on. So you are shorter than average; so what? You have the advantage over the tall ones. Or visa versa. You are who you are and you can’t change it so quit getting upset over it and quit trying to use ‘tricks’ to make yourself appear different. You are still you inside and that is what needs to come out!
Getting angry won't help!
Now that you like yourself, let's apply it to more than at home....
At home you see a more confident image in the mirror. You have begun to take the time to match out clothes before you go to bed. You have chosen clothes that fit you more comfortably. You have given yourself a make-over just for you. And you feel great!
But don't forget the work place and other places where you might go. You will continue to sweat the small stuff if you don't carry this process into other domains. Do you have to make another list? It wouldn't hurt, but it isn't necessary. All you have to do is remember that you like you and trust you to make good decisions. You have the confidencce you need to accomplish the task. So calmly take the reins and accept whatever might happen. If something should go wrong, remember that it is merely a learning step to a better you. So, accept the correction and learn from it. Of course you could go to the rest room and kick a trash can or two in anger and them go back to your desk and pout for the reset of the day, but I don't really think that will help much, do you? You could also try to put the blame on someone else, but that is a bad choice under any situation. If you did the deed, then accept the payment whether it is good, or bad!
Blaming others might look good for you right now, but in the end the truth will come out.
Are you ready for the hard part?
Now you are armed with the absolute best abilities you can get. You are comfortable with who you are. You are comfortable with your knowledge and abilities. You know you can do it, and you know you can do it well! Besides, if you don't know all of the information, you have the confidence to look it up so that you do have it. You aren't sweating the small stuff anymore, right?
You don’t really care what others think, because it is what you think that counts, right? Do you think that you are ready for the hard part? I know you are because you have the confidence and the skills to do it well. Care to try? Okay, here goes:
Always try to look forward, looking back might stink, and get you no where.
If something goes wrong, it will go wrong no matter how hard you work at it. If the boss doesn’t like it, he won’t like it no matter how much you worry. If someone takes offense at something you said, they will take offense no matter how much you try to explain. Your worrying and fussing and letting your stomach get into a knot over it WILL NOT MAKE A BIT OF DIFFERENCE TO THE OUTCOME. So, arm yourself with your confidence and your knowledge and walk away.
It is in the past and you can’t change it. Focus on the future. What can you do differently to make it better, stronger, more emphatic, whatever it needs? That is what you need to focus on. In other words, if you told Betty that she might want a stick of gum before her date and she got mad because you said her breath stunk; well, it did, and you were trying to be nice and help. What could you have done differently? Maybe spoke to her about the onions she ate for lunch? Maybe suggested she should always freshen up before a date? Maybe nothing? Either way, she probably would have gotten angry because you were still telling her that her breath stunk! And, you can't change that. So, next time, smile and ask her if she would like a stick of gum before she leaves....
You took First Place!
You're done! You're ready to go!
Experiment and see how you do!
For your first experiement: you have decided to go to the park in your comfy clothes because you just didn’t feel like getting dressed up today. Now, accept that people might look at you a bit funny, smile at them because you are comfortable today, and keep going. You did it! You accepted it. You are stronger and better for it. Yes, it is that simple! Just be sure they are comfy clothes like sweats or something, not real pajama's which might be totally inappropriate.
Anyway, don’t believe me? Then go to your favorite coffee shop, get a coffee (or whatever you like) and sit in the middle of the shop. Wait, don't go home and change first, go just as you are! Is everyone looking at you? Are you smiling at them? Then who cares? They are more than likely wishing they could be strong enough (brave enough and confident enough) to do the same thing! Or they might be wondering why you aren't at work yet, who knows. Sorry, couldn't resist.
Caution! Caution! Caution!
You didn't think I was going to let you off that easy, did you? You need to keep a few short rules in mind:
- The boss might not like comfy clothes at work, it's not professional.
- You should make sure you are dressed appropriately, even if you are comfy, you are still in the public and don't want to get arrested.
- Your kids will follow your lead, make sure it's a good one.
- DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF, it just gets in the way of your confidence!
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- What does 'stop and smell the roses' mean?
A story about taking the time to see around you.
© 2012 Cheryl Simonds
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