By Ashley

Perception is a concept that has always been at the forefront of my mind. I wish it wasn’t, but it has been a nagging constant in my head. I have struggled throughout life, worrying about what people thought of me. I want to be liked. In the past, it has caused me to be shy, and I have refrained from saying things I should have or speaking my mind.

In 5th grade, we always took turns reading paragraphs in social studies class. I would always raise my hand to read the biggest paragraphs with the biggest words. And sometime after that, it all changed. The more years that passed, the more nervous I got, and the less I participated for fear of messing up or pronouncing a word wrong. I still had the desire to be the best; I just didn’t want to make a mistake in front of anyone so they didn’t think less of me. And I started working at Blinds To Go as this shy, quiet girl with the same mentality.

Working here, I had to change. I had to be confident in talking with customers about products or they were not going to buy. I had to exude confidence in everything. Working with the public helped me a lot. I have dealt with so many different types of customers and I have learned to brush off those who have made ridiculous or absurd comments about me. I can’t say I don’t care what people think of me anymore, but I can honestly say much of what used to bother me doesn’t anymore. I have grown exponentially in that respect during my run here. However, perception did come to bite me again, but not in the way you may think.

I was doing really well and on track to be a manager. I had to be the top seller in my store before I could move to higher training in another store. I became extremely sales focused on attaining that goal. Once I got moved to the next store, they told me I was also expected to be the sales leader there. So, of course, I was still focused on my sales. This didn’t mean I didn’t care about the store’s sales, though, of course, I cared. It wasn’t until I had a sit-down or rather a reality check, that I realize my team thought I wasn’t a team player and that I only cared about myself. Which I didn’t think was true, but that didn’t matter. This was their perception of me. Don’t lose sight of that. You may think one thing, but the people around you who matter may have a totally different perception. You need to continually address this and make sure you are on the right track.

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