If you met me three years ago, you would probably be surprised as to what came out from my small mouth. (I like to think that my mouth is small, being soft-spoken and all.)
I have always been a perfectionist (even though perfectionism can be a form of hiding). I always see things as if something better can be done. I don't settle for anything less than perfect.
It can be a good thing as it can push me or another person to do better. But, most of the time, it's not. It can create a rift, a division. (Nothing can ever be perfect. Pursue excellence instead.)
I caused a lot of divisions and rifts between staff members and managers in the company I used to work with because of my perfectionism (or maybe I'm just being to hard on myself again). I had never been one to withhold a thought, let alone a criticism. I always added wood to the fire felt by my officemates towards a manager or another officemate by sharing my own "observations, thoughts, suggestions, and criticisms." During upward feedback, you could always count on me to point out what's wrong with a manager.
Perfectionism. What an excuse. It was a form of hiding, of avoiding the effort to be forbearing and understanding.
I learned my lesson the hard way. I contributed to the low morale in our group. I know they had other reasons for quitting their jobs, but I couldn't help but blame myself a little bit for making my officemates feel bad about the company we worked with. I failed to appreciate what was good and influenced others to be critical as well.
During that time, I may have had good intention because I believed that things could be better. But, I had bad execution.
Now, I really try my best to speak only good things. I still fail from time to time. I really do. But, I'm trying. And so far, it has been great.
My relationships are better. Morale in the company I'm working with is better. My relationships in the company are better as well. And we all see the good in the company we're working with. (Don't talk with my close friends though because I still joke with them telling them how much I want to quit my job. It's somehow true. But, for the right reason of pursuing my passion and doing work that matters.)
Our words have power. I'm currently reading "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie. He shared that an exceptional author stopped writing because of criticisms. Another committed suicide. I also know of a college dropout who is now a billionaire many times over because only loving words were spoken to him despite failing at school. All because of the power of words.
Right now, I'm striving to speak only good things. I'm not quite there yet, but I'm trying. And the world would probably be a much kinder and loving place if we all speak only good things.
[31 Day Challenge Update] If you read my post yesterday, I'm still run by fear. But, I can't stay this way for too long. I will really try again tomorrow.