When you go to work, there are usually 2 people involved – the person trying (you), and the critic (you). No matter what moves you make, the critic you bring is always comparing, grading, and judging. You might work on quieting the critic down, but it can find a way to creep back in and throw us off balance at the worst possible moment.

Did you look forward to getting grades in school? The looming period of waiting for a grade given to you? Fast-forward to today, we’re constantly grading ourselves and everyone else around us. We live in a graded world.

Remember though, grades are made up. They’re invented.

So why not invent and give yourself the grade you want, before you start something? How about giving yourself an “A” before you start your day? Before your next team meeting? Before your next difficult conversation?

“It’s not an expectation to live UP to, it’s a possibility to live IN to.” ~ Ben Zander

Give yourself an “A” today. Give someone else an “A” today, like a team member, a peer, or a friend. To balance this, give someone an “A” that you’re normally challenged by, or disagreeing with, or not a fan of (yet).

Give yourself an “A” tomorrow, or a year from now. Write about the leader you’ll be, the supportive team member you’ll become, or the new professional chapter you’ll pivot to.

If you’ve tried this, how did it go? If you’re having trouble getting started, reply to this and I’ll share something that will help, I promise.

Here are a few related resources that I’ve been sharing recently:

1 // Are you dealing with a muddy puddle or a leaky ceiling? James Clear divides problems into 2 groups that you won’t forget. (3 min read)

2 // “Managing up”, or leading your leader is a skill that’s never finished. Here are 15 principles to practice, try a new one! (10 min read)

3 // How can you manage your “mental chatter”? Ethan Kross gives some suggestions at minute 24 on this episode of A Slight Change of Plans. (43 min podcast)

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