Choose Positivity

Friday, May 26, 2017

Caution: Real talk ahead.... If you've been around here for a while, you know that I like to keep things positive.That is intentional. Trust me, I am not surrounded by rainbows and butterflies. These speech hills are not always alive with the sound of music. ;)

There are days that it takes every ounce of restraint that I have not to vent and air frustration. After all, venting feels good in that immediate moment, doesn't it? However, just as positivity creates a ripple effect, so does negativity. Only negativity creates waves that can quickly become toxic.

Is venting productive? Some would argue no but in reality the answer is yes, sometimes it is. Chances are, you can think of at least one person who no one seems to mess with because they push back the most. So why avoid it then? Vent, complain, sulk your little heart out, right? Nope. Say what? Why?

The answer is simple. Eager eyes are watching. Those eyes may be your students, parents, colleagues, prospective SLPs, etc. As a speech-language pathologist, YOU are a role model for effective communication. What you put out there for the world creates your ripple. What do you want that ripple to carry?

This does not mean that you have to blindly agree to whatever comes your way. There will be times when in order to advocate for you, your students, or your family, you may need to respectfully disagree. Here are some tips to do so productively that maintains the greater good.

WAIT 24 HOURS: It is harder to see the picture when you are inside the frame, right? So before you click send on an email or post on social media, take the time to step back, reflect and let your knee-jerk emotions level out a bit. 

OFFER SOLUTIONS: Your concerns will hold more merit when paired with possible solutions. Try to think of at least 2 solutions that you can offer to help solve the problem. Your suggested solutions may or may not be used but you will know that YOU have done YOUR due diligence in a productive manner that encourages a positive outcome.

CIRCLE OF TRUST: We all need them. Make sure that your small, carefully selected circle of trust has your best intentions at heart and will lovingly call you out if you are overreacting. This circle of trust should be helpful in brainstorming solutions too. (Stating the obvious here... maintain your ethical responsibility of confidentiality. It may not be your story to tell.)

REFRAME YOUR THINKING: YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE, YOU REALLY DO. You don't need to take my word for it though. This is a great time to pull out that file, box, notebook, etc. of "feel good" moments. You know the one. The treasured place that houses sweet letters from students, parents, coworkers, awards or recognition you have received, that sweet handcrafted token from a student... what gets us by on the toughest days. If you don't have one yet, start today. Write down some of those sweet memories, moments of success, kid sayings that have you belly laughing.  Your future self will thank you.

KNOW WHEN TO WALK AWAY: This is perhaps the most difficult one and will differ for each of us. We all have our own unique circumstances and only you will know where to draw the line in the sand. This one is an absolute last resort. Ideally you won't ever need to use this tip but if you do,  do so knowing that you have exhausted all other options.

DANCE IT OUT: Whether you have moves like jagger or are two steps behind (like yours truly), sometimes you just need to dance it out. Throw those feel good songs on. Jam out to on the way to school. Use them to debrief on the way home.

You'll never feel happy until you try! Listening just puts a spring in your step, doesn't it? ;)

What helps you keep your positivity? Let me know! Wishing you all a HAPPY day full of POSITIVITY!

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