Workplace: Chin Up

The phrase that comes to mind today, after weeks of stay-home orders and virtual work, is “Chin Up.” Perhaps it is the best self-coaching I can find to remind myself not to give in to the stir-crazy I felt last week (as I am an extrovert), the fears about our economic future, and the concerns of bill-paying in the present. I choose not to give in!

So, I’ve done some digging on this self-encouragement phrase.

“Chin-up” as an exercise term means to hang from a bar from your hands and then to pull yourself up (without assistance) to the point which your chin is up and over the bar from which you are hanging. A chin-up is also called a pull-up.

If you remember Presidential Fitness Awards during your school days, you likely remember chin-up requirements along with push-ups and running too. During police academy qualification testing, thankfully there were no pull-ups – just push-ups, running, vertical jumps, and I’ve forgotten what other physical requirements. Speaking of job requirements, many job descriptions include phrases such as “must be able to lift up to 50 pounds.” Proof that physical strength and fitness is a part of many jobs across many industries.

“Keep your chin up” means to keep a positive attitude despite the challenges, emotional burdens, or hardships being faced. Often the times a family member has said this as a word of friendly advice, it has not helped. Today however, I find myself using the phrase as a way to keep myself positive and focused on working the plans I had laid BEFORE these times while still being adaptable and pursuing additional work-pathways that may be more financially and predictably rewarding going into the future.

Chin up! Improve your mood. Nothing is as bad as it seems. The project wasn’t a total failure – we learned some things. And all the other attempted encouragements people offer when they include “chin up” in speech. Maybe they are trying to encourage themselves as much as they are trying to encourage us. Maybe I’ll consider that the next time I hear the phrase.

The Cambridge English Dictionary puts this spin on it: something you say to someone in a difficult situation in order to encourage them to be brave and to try not to be sad. Aha! Bravery is perhaps what I am looking for today. Bravery to carry on despite the unknowns. Bravery to hope that as states allow re-openings, all businesses will be able to re-open and regain incomes. Bravery to hope that for those businesses which cannot re-open, all employees and owners will find other gainful employment and means of income.

Chin Up! In a ditty or melody was also on my mind this morning. With additional research about song lyrics with this phrase, I know why. In the cartoon of Charlotte’s Web (based on E.B. White’s book), Charlotte the spider reminds others to keep their chin up and behave in happiness. Interestingly, the song was sun by Debbie Reynolds many decades before that. To my surprise, several groups have recorded songs that include “chin up” in the lyrics. If you too choose to search for “song lyrics with chin up”, you’ll be surprised at the number of songs that are encouraging.

How will you keep your chin up this week?

Workplace: Managing the moments of our day-to-day business lives takes work. Together, let’s explore what issues and activities affect us every day (or some days) that we go to work. – Jana

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