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Think Kit is the annual blogging project from our friends at Indianapolis Web design and SEO agency SmallBox. Think Kit challenges writers to blog every day in December. To many marketers, that’s just part of the job, but Think Kit pulls out opinions from friends and colleagues throughout Indianapolis and beyond. After signing up for the project, SmallBox will send you prompts each day to help your writing process.

So … as the name of this project would imply, one of the things I’ve loved about SmallBox’s leadership and employees is that they really take the time to think. They get deep. I won’t be writing every day for their Think Kit project, but today’s prompt made me get deep. Today’s topic is “A word to the wise,” and it asked: What was the wisest decision I made this year?

I’ve made some good and bad decisions this year, but the answer to this was fairly obvious to me. I made the conscious decision this year to “check myself.” I’m a passionate, opinionated, headstrong, stubborn person. I believe in myself, and I often believe I am right. That being said, I’ve been known to go down with the ship. I am, at times, looked at as insightful, seasoned and wise, but I am also looked as as volatile and conflict-driven.

I decided in 2013 that I needed to count to five … maybe even 10, at times. I had to stop focusing only on what I wanted, in a given moment, but I had to take a step back and look at the entire situation – the forest, instead of just the trees.

At an agency, you’re often under tight deadlines. Demands are made. Results are expected. Pressure is high. Raidious is chock full of creative, passionate people, and a fast pace is expected. I work with people who “own their work,” and they take their work personally. Obviously with a fast pace, high pressure and a deep investment in how your work represents your agency and personal brand, there comes anxiety and stress.

In the past, my impulsiveness and insensitivity contributed to that stress. After learning from a few workplace conflicts in the past year, I decided to be more mindful – mindful of my thoughts and feelings, and of course mindful of my co-workers thoughts and feelings. I stopped to analyze the severity of a situation, and tried to see the situation from my colleague’s perspective. I decided to choose my words more wisely.

While this is still very much a work in progress, what I have quickly discovered is that you can be calm and purposeful but still not lose your passion. It simply comes down to stopping that gut reaction from escaping past my lips. I swallow it, and I think about it, and then I often release a more focused, less self-centered response.

I appreciate the patience my Raidious colleagues have shown me. Our company culture is one that truly fosters this type of personal growth.

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