I've been at my current job for about 6 months. While it's far from being a challenging or personally rewarding job, it did happen to come along at a time when I needed to slow down and get my feet planted on solid ground. However, I've been having a problem with one of my co-workers. Not an outright conflict, but just an undercurrent of discord due mainly to some personality clashing. I'm very laid back, and she's very rigid; I'm more of a people person and she's very analytical. Sometimes the way she says and does things grates on my nerves because I perceive them as being harsh and insensitive, but to her credit, sometimes I am overly sensitive and read too much into small matters.
When I arrived at work this morning, she had left a note on my desk asking me to see her first thing in regards to an email that was sent out yesterday. She had already followed up that same email with a personal visit to my desk to ask if I had any questions, to which I responded that I did not. So when I saw the note, I felt as though she was on a power trip and trying to beat a dead horse. Instead of going straight to her, I went to my supervisor to vent my frustrations. Six months of pent up frustration came tumbling out and in the course of the conversation, I learned why my co-worker does what she does, the history of some incidents that occurred in our department and better insight into her personality. After my supervisor and I finished talking, I went to my co-worker with the note and was mentally prepared to discuss our conflict with a level head and without resentment. As it turns out, all she needed was my signature on the email. I felt like a big fool.
Not only was I "making a mountain out of a molehill" over the email, but I caught myself thinking on the way to work negative thoughts about my co-worker and my job. I learned long ago that whatever your mindset is becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; if you think bad things will happen, they will, and vice versa. Essentially I was setting myself up for a conflict that didn't exist because of two main reasons: first I allowed myself to let negative thoughts creep in, and second I didn't address the personality issue sooner.
As soon as I sat back down at my desk, the Bible verse that is delivered to my inbox every day came from Matthew 7:7: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." The answer to my problem with my co-worker was there all along, I just didn't bother to ask for clarity. Instead, I let the seed of negativity be planted and then by not addressing it, I let that seed grow and thrive.
Wisdom comes from learning from your mistakes. Hopefully this is one lesson that I won't have to repeat.