If you can’t drink your colleagues under the table, don’t attempt to. If you can’t function on less than 8 hours sleep, don’t try. Lady Danielle Di-Masi looks at understanding your weaknesses to stay ahead of the game.
What can you handle?
Recently I went out for a delicious Mexican meal with some friends. By some slight (ok, a lot) of encouragement from the other “gentlemen” in the group two conceded defeat and ate some pretty serious chili. We watched one run off to the bathroom for quite a while and then return extremely somber and vague while the other licked out the entire table’s serving of sour cream. Whilst I sat next to them casually snacking on the same chili by dipping my tortilla chips into doses much higher than they were falling off their chairs for, it got me thinking…. It really is up to us to know our own limits and be strong enough to live within them.
When you go to an occasion you need to know what you can and can’t handle, especially at professional functions, meetings or group projects. Can you eat seafood, drink more than two glasses of wine, how much chili can you take in, are there certain people you can’t work well with, can you physically or emotionally work long hours….?
The point I’m making is the men in the above story who were sitting back being entertained said a very strong “NO WAY” when I offered them the same chili because unlike the two in pain they operated within their limits. Smart really. I’m sure we have all seen people at functions spitting their foods into napkins or being the happiest (i.e. drunk) at an event and it is purely because those colleagues didn’t take control over what they can handle.
So although I have yet to meet anyone that can outdo me in the chili department when the tequila cocktails came around I was out, sure I wore the sombreros but I did not pick up a glass with an umbrella in it because I know how much tequila I can handle (hint: zero).
My advice is pretty simple for you, and that’s to consider the things you can and can’t handle. Make a mental list and work within what you can achieve with your “can’s” as you don’t want to be the one with the biggest hangover, the one with a chili burnt mouth, the one that is seen to always cause complaint about colleagues in work groups, or who cries at meetings from pure exhaustion. Know your limits and stay ahead of the game through your strengths. I’m not saying don’t push yourself or stay within your comfort zone – I’m merely just making the suggestion that knowing your weaknesses means you can avoid them till you improve them and that only comes from having an awareness of what you can handle.