Little triumphs – it’s always the little things. As with the old adage ‘look after the pennies and the pounds take care of themselves’, it could so apply to mental state too. The little things, the little triumphs, the little smiles and little gems of happiness, it’s amazing how much they have an affect on your whole outlook.

I had a pretty stressful important meeting yesterday, I was dreading it, truly terrified. I’m not good at confrontation at the best of times, but when it’s your job to sort it out, you have no choice. Nowhere to run and hide – and especially when your boss is sitting next to you. It’s funny because I reflected on the whole thing as I was sitting there during the meeting, analysing my reactions and formulating a plan of attack. I felt quite clear really – something I didn’t expect. Yes, the gnawing fear and anxiety was rumbling quietly behind the mask but it didn’t overwhelm – medication? Mind over matter? Not sure really, but I didn’t lose it, I grabbed my focus and took control.

Firstly I sat quietly, taking in all arguments to see where the other two parties around the table were coming from. I knew what standpoint we had to take, but I wasn’t going to put it out there immediately… There’s no benefit in that. Sometimes it’s important to make sure that however you put something across it’s in the correct way for all to understand and take in. The other two parties were rather strident, it didn’t appear that either wanted to budge on what they were saying, and it became clear that actually both were having difficulty in actually understanding what their different standpoints were. Problem is with contracts is they can be so subjective, open to interpretation. The problem then is getting everyone to agree to the same interpretation – assuming the same interpretation is indeed correct.

This was what my mind was whizzing away to understand. What was the correct interpretation of this specific clause? At that point I had clarity. I knew what this was, so then I worked backwards in my head to get to a point where it was all straight and I was ready to speak my piece. And I did. And after a few conversations with each party, we all came to an agreement. A small triumph for me. Definitely a small triumph for me, because just a month earlier, I would have sat there, not spoken up and hoped my boss would have saved the day. Even if he didn’t, I just wouldn’t have said anything because I wouldn’t have had the conviction of my thoughts, no confidence that I might actually have been right. And I was right.

I spent last night mulling it over (yes – I know, I should have tried to have just parked the whole thing and relaxed, but sometimes a little analysis after the event isn’t a bad thing… REALLY!) and I came to the same conclusion each time. I was right, I’d done the right thing and perhaps I am half good at my day job after all!

Well, I got to work this morning and my boss said ‘sorry I didn’t get the chance to mention it yesterday, but you did a good job in the meeting – you took control, got agreement and to be honest, I didn’t have to be there at all. So you should be proud. Good job’. I was so pleased – not only had I gained some confidence back, but it’s not just my perception of my work, my boss noted it too. Again, a little sentence of praise, but a huge deal to me. Confidence and happiness can come in little packages – take note of these little things, the little Triumphs.