The other week at work, we had some issues with our email provider. As the first line of defense before getting our outsourced IT department involved, I get the brunt of everyone’s frustrations. The problem itself was intermittent, which for anyone that knows IT, knows that this is the worst type of problem to have. You have to not only figure out the issue, but try to figure out what is happening exactly at the time that causes the issues. It could be as simple as a background operation running at that moment. Needless to say, it can be very difficult to solve the problem.
Magnify Your Problems
Days like the above are what make my job difficult. In my position, I never hear congratulations when things are going right, because well, they are supposed to be running smoothly. But if something goes wrong, alarms, bells, whistles and people screaming my name happen constantly. While I understand my co-workers frustrations with the issues, too many times, they focus intently on the problem, magnifying the issue.
What Happens When You Magnify Your Problems
When you magnify your problems, they get bigger than they really are. In the case of something bad, we make it 100 times worse by dwelling on it all of the time. I used to do this all of the time. I had a class in college that I hated. I had to give presentations in front of the class, which I don’t like doing. As the weeks led up to my presentation, all I did was think about it. I thought about how long I was going to talk for, how I didn’t want to do it; how I would sweat and have a dry mouth, and how many mistakes I would make.
When it came time to make my presentation, I went through with it and lo and behold, it wasn’t that bad. I wasted so much of my time and energy magnifying this issue into something much bigger than it really was. Do you find yourself doing the same?
I have found that 99 times out of 100, all of the “bad” things I think of never come to fruition. It is just me magnifying them to be bigger than they are.
Change the Script
Unfortunately, we all tend to magnify the bad things in our lives. The presentation I had to give. The IT issues at work. The traffic jams. We never magnify the good things in our lives. Think for a minute how things would be if we magnified the good instead of the bad, if we focused on all of the good things we have going for us. How would our kids feel if we magnified how great they are by telling them and others about what they do? How would our spouse feel if we did the same? How would we feel?
Eventually we figured out the issue with our email provider after a few days. I had to constantly remind my co-workers that the issue wasn’t as bad as they made it out to be. Yes it was frustrating and an inconvenience, but they, just like me back in college, were magnifying our issues. Once they realized this, they knew that the issue wasn’t as bad as is seemed. Now, if I could only get them to magnify the IT when things are going right!
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