Micro-Action 3: Snap that rubber band
Welcome to another excerpt from my workbook, Workplace Positivity.
Now that we have identified our negative tendency towards these thoughts and
words, it’s time for a practical way to catch them early and eventually eliminate them
I’m not into self-harm, but the rubber band trick is pretty handy.
Have you ever reached into the oven and caught a little bit of your wrist or arm
on something hot? I know from personal experience it doesn’t feel great. The next
time we reach into the oven, we’re a bit more tentative and attentive to what we’re
The rubber band works in sort of the same way. Grab a rubber band from your
desk drawer and put it around your wrist like a bracelet.
Here comes the painful part. Each time you catch yourself saying something
negative, snap that rubber band.
The quick pinch connects your mind with your body. It tells us the words exiting
our mouths are not in line with the new habits we are trying to form. Even looking
at the rubber band bracelet is often enough to remind us we are on a path to more
We’ve made a decision to stop saying negative words. We’ve geared up with our
trusty accountability partner and our snappy rubber band. But what do we do when
other people’s words and actions pull us back into the pit? We create an exit plan.
COACH NEAL’S NOTES
When is a rubber band worth $40 million? When it stops you from tweeting a
statement that gets you and your company fined that much money. Elon Musk tweeted
out that he was thinking of taking his company, Tesla, private. That led to fraud charges
by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Musk and Tesla paid $20 million apiece
as part of a fraud settlement and led to him resigning as chairman of Tesla’s board of
directors for the next three years.
I just wonder if Musk had a rubber band he could snap when he got impetuous ideas,
if he might have better outcomes in the long run.