How to do it: the dentist

“Is your neck ok?” That’s my dental hygienist at 8:10am this morning. Crinkly smiling eyes.
“I’m just a little tense”. Me, under the tiny metal pick, head crooked and sideways on the vinyl cushion behind me. Bracing for it.

That’s how the day started. Then I remembered that I need to get my pain tolerance up if I think I’m going to give birth naturally in the future (all my friends are talking about it). So I engaged different muscles in order to distract energy away from my terrified little gums and teeth roots. Ankles, core, toes. The results weren’t that bad.

Later in the day I was in a meeting with my boss. I told her something that proved that I had conquered last month’s project from hell (PFH) and how I was now teaching others to execute the same type of project without the anxiety and lack of training that I had to contend with. This is great.

But then I realized: she’s not over the fact that I openly hated and resisted the PFH before I mastered it. She knows I hated and resisted because on a dark day I sort of told her. Sort of. Then I went on to rise like a phoenix. But that’s not as important, to her. To me, it’s fantastic, but to her, not so much.

And then this little gem appeared: It’s not what you do, but how you do it.

I could have done a mediocre job of the PFH and I could not be training other people on it and showing them the light and passing on all that I’ve learned. I could be throwing them into the fray, never having really figured out how to do the PHF myself, and waiting, and watching. I could have done this with a blase attitude and my boss might really think I’m terrific.

But instead I did a great job of the PFH. But my emotions came along for the ride. Openly. Sort of.

It’s like when you send an email. And you think the content matters, but really it’s the response time that matters. People care more about when you responded than whether you responded with a grammatical error. Or more than three sentences. Well, some people anyway.

So I went to the dentist. My teeth are clean now, which was a productive outcome. And I practiced being a fearless goddess in touch with my own power. It’s not really about what I did… it’s how I did it.

About Allison

Inspiring radical evolution in work and life.

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