Shake It Off: When To Let It Go

“Shake off all fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion.”
~ Thomas Jefferson

Bad stuff happens. Life is unfair. Stupidity drains our energy. We must learn from the tough stuff. And then, shake it off.

  • You’re highly qualified, and don’t get the job, again.
  • Irate customers take their bad day out on you.
  • Your peer is stressed out at home, and is making the project miserable

Of course, you have a role in the story. You must learn from each scene. But, it’s not only about you. Don’t get defeated. Like the proverbial duck, let the dirty water roll off, hold your head high, and swim on with grace.

Shake it Off, A Time Out Story

We on our way to go tubing. My 7-year-old had invited an older friend he admired and desperately wanted to impress. The banter in the back seat turned to conflict.  Something felt unfair. Suddenly, all that “I’m trying so hard” energy erupted in an outburst of tears (from my kid). His hard work to fit in as an older guy, left him looking like a baby. I stopped the car (had a gentle parenting moment) and then said, “okay now shake it off.” We both physically shook our arms and legs, and got back in the car. He rallied.

Grown-Up Shake It Off Moments

The Job Search

Every week I get compelling emails from our LGL community. Beautiful leaders stuck in bad situations. Feeling defeated. The job market is still terrible in many areas around the world (I received 3 emails on this topic from subscribers in 3 different countries just this week). You are not alone. Sure there are important actions to take resumes to hone, interviews to streamline. Do all that. Most importantly, don’t let defeat get you down. Know your worth. Shake it off, stand tall, keep knocking.

Customer Interactions

In the customer facing world, looking to “wow” customers in every interaction can be tough. Face it, sometimes customers are mean. They’re mad at something in their lives, that is not about you, or even your company. Create connection, find empathy, do everything you can. Once you hang up the call, shake it off. Don’t transfer that negative feeling to the next (mostly likely reasonable) customer.

Weird Vibes

Yesterday, I overheard a conversation on the train. I’ve had that same conversation hundreds of times. The guy in the next seat was trying to calm down the woman on the other end of his phone. Her peer was acting like a jerk, the situation had mushroomed and work was suffering. The side of the conversation I could hear went something like this. “It’s not about you. Your peer is really dealing with some complex issues. Try to be as caring and helpful as you can. And, as hard as this sounds, some of this you need to just let go.

A pretty cool poem that may help, She Let Go.

Real leadershipNote: This week, I’ll be dealing with angles of “energy” the second branch of the REAL model. Holding on when we need to shake it off, will drain energy. Reclaim some of yours. Stay tuned this week for other angles on energy. Add your own thoughts. Don’t want to miss any of this? Enter your email to receive updates. Share with a friend. Let’s grow this community together.