Today’s post is a selection from Every Day’s a Good Day: Remaining Positive in a Retail or Service Based Profession, scheduled for release February 2016.
“That’s IT. I’m leaving retail. This is my last Christmas season working a retail job!”
Those were the words I uttered – almost two years ago. And, there I was last year, looking at aisles filled with Christmas merchandise that had been receiving for at least four months. Our extended holiday hours started the next week. I was still working retail, despite the courageous statement I’d made at the end of the prior Christmas season.
But, I couldn’t quit – not yet.
I was locked into another holiday sales cycle, with the long hours (some 12 to 14 hour days), the frenzied work schedule (too much to do and not enough time), a new manager that pushed-pushed-pushed, and a store filled with harried, stressed and irritable shoppers.
Our co-manager had a pet phrase he often used. It was his attempt to inspire us, and remind us that we were in charge of our attitudes. “Every day’s a good day!” he’d bellow out as he unlocked the doors to let us in. “Welcome to where happy people come to work. Where every day’s a good day.”
Most of us, in our pre-caffeinated, still bleary-eyed state, mumbled a greeting in return. It was usually along the lines of: ‘yeah, yeah’ – or ‘right!’ (Said with prerequisite sarcastic tone). Sometimes he was met with stony silence. Often, many of us wanted to take that ‘every day’s a good day’ and whomp him upside of the head with it.
Until the day I left work and screamed at the top of my lungs for the first two miles. I felt calmer. I was also hoarse for the next two days.
Something had to change.
I started paying attention to the words I spoke to myself.
I’m too old for this.
I’m too tired for this.
I’ll never make it through Christmas.
I can’t keep going like this.
I don’t have the energy or the resources to deal with this.
I realized how negative the words I spoke silently were. My body was only responding to what I kept telling it.
The first change I made was in response my manger’s morning greeting, “Every day’s a good day!” Instead of scoffing, laughing or coming back with a smart aleck response, I’d answer, “Yes, yes it is.” Whether I agreed with the statement or not, I starting replying with positive, spoken words.
Next, I made a list of affirmations – positive statements to read aloud before I went to work each day.
- I fly through this Christmas season with ease.
- My energy levels are higher than ever.
- I enjoy my job and am thankful for the benefits I receive from it.
- I complete my tasks easily and quickly.
- I am drawn to foods that keep me healthy and give me energy.
- This is the easiest holiday season I’ve ever worked through.
I didn’t want to merely survive these frantic months. I wanted to retain a peaceful demeanor and have the energy to enjoy a happy home life after the work hours ended.
Did consistently using these affirmations make every day perfect? No. There were still moments of aggravation that would creep into the day. There were still days where survival was the only goal. But … the days were better. Some days were great. And, moving towards the end of January. I found that I survived the holiday season. I was still sane. I hadn’t committed homicide. The customers – and my manager – were all still alive. While I was very glad that the frenzied days were behind me, I ended the season less frazzled than ever before.
Next, I needed to change up the affirmations to get me through the next week – inventory week!
Thank you for joining us today. I hope you enjoyed this tool to help survive a work day. Have you used affirmations before? Do you think affirmations would help you get through a difficult situation?