Do you ever notice that kids can learn pop songs overnight? Luckily my kids are gravitating toward the inspirational ones rather than the racy ones. They have been singing 3 songs on the top of their lungs for the last few months. Coincidentally, these 3 songs are exactly what I needed to hear.
Work has been tough this year. It’s not so much the actual work content but there has been lots of difficult situations, personalities, or unexpected politics. With all the things I write on this blog, you would think I can navigate anything by now. It’s not true! None of us are ever perfect and it’s okay. Mastering any soft skills is a constant journey. With every new company, new manager, or unexpected situation, my soft skills are tested anew. Sometimes they work. Other times I stumble and learn. 🙂
In the last year, I have let someone else’s careless management style affect my self confidence. That’s where these 3 songs came in. They remind me that I need to know my own value and fight back as needed.
How much do you depend on external validation to feel good about your work? I realized I was depending on it way too much. It’s odd as for the last 6 years of contracting, I didn’t cared much about what people thought about my work. I KNEW I made a difference. Being renewed by the same client 3 times in a row also served as enough validation that I was valued.
Something changed when I started full time employment again. I found myself in a surprisingly, critical culture and was unprepared. Long story short, I started letting other people’s careless criticism affect my self-esteem and happiness.
- I forgot to protect my inner strength and self confidence.
- I forgot that I can be satisfied with my job as long as I think I am doing it well. My standards are usually higher than any companies.
- I forgot that at least 50% of managers don’t know how to motivate their teams and I shouldn’t rely on it or take it personally.
- I forgot to not stress about things I cannot control and simply communicate to manage expectations
- I forgot that I always have a choice to quit and go elsewhere. I have developed enough transferable skills to be valuable in many jobs.
Luckily, I reached the bottom about 4 months ago and realized it’s time to fight back and re-gain my “mojo.” On May 19, I calmly quit and gave 6 weeks notice to ensure none of my projects were dropped abruptly. To my surprise, I was immediately given 4 options instead of quit outright. It was also the beginning of my mental and emotional recovery from near burnout.
I know I digressed a bit but I wanted to share the context of why these songs meant so much to me in the last few months.
First song is Fireworks – by Katy Perry. It reminds me that we all have something beautiful to contribute to this world. It reminds me that I can ignite my own fire even when I feel “already buried deep six feet under.” There is always a chance to start anew.
Do you ever feel, feel so paper thin
Like a house of cards, one blow from caving in?
Screams but no one seems to hear a thing
Do you know that there’s still a chance for you
‘Cause there’s a spark in you? You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July’Cause, baby, you’re a firework
Come on, show ’em what you’re worth
Make ’em go, “Aah, aah, aah”
As you shoot across the sky-y-y
- I have the power to stand up for myself
- People are imperfect, insecure, and stressed. They will hurt others when they are hurt themselves.
- I don’t have to stand for all the passive aggressive comments. I may not be perfect but I can make my own path and be my own champion.
- Every situation is a chance to learn and grow
Just imagine me singing these lyrics at the top of my lungs in my car. It’s both funny and liberating 🙂
You held me down, but I got up (HEY!)
Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now
I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar
Full lyrics here
Song #3 – Fight Song by Rachel Platten. My kids started singing this one day in the car in unison. I have never heard it before. They knew every word, even my 3 year old. Amazing! I am so glad pop culture now have songs that can teach kids this stuff so early. This song applies to everything we encounter that are unexpected and difficult. It reminds me
- To remember the big picture. There are much worse things in life than a bad situation at work. There are kids who have cancer. There are friends who suddenly have to have open heart surgery.
- I am lucky to be healthy and have a great husband and family life. I am grateful to be alive.
- We all have lots of fight in us in the face of any adversity. We are survivors of anything.
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosion
This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me
Full Lyrics here
I hope these songs will also inspire you when you are feeling down on yourself. Self confidence can only come from within. In life and work, there can always be people who lack self-awareness, abuse their position of power, and try to put you down out of insecurity. It is up to you to not take it seriously, realize your own worth, and take action if needed. It is also up to you to not repeat their mistakes onto your own teams.
So I invite you to enjoy these videos and sing at the top of lungs whenever you need to. Best wishes to your career success and happiness!
Your comments: What methods do you use to boost your self-confidence? What other songs inspire you? Share your comments below. 🙂
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p.s: Here are my kids singing part of Roar – I am blessed with such animated kids. They inspire me everyday!