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Feel Better About Work - Part 2 (Assess Your Situation)

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I’m back with more on how to start feeling better about (or at least tolerate) where you are (your current work) while you’re figuring out where you’ll go to next. I’ve touched on mindset and the importance of making room for things like hope and possibility by challenging our brain when it reports certain things to us like the news. We might be noticing our tendency to say things like “I don’t know” when we contemplate the “What’s next?” question. Saying “I don’t know” over and over and over again leaves us feeling powerless and disengages us from the part of our brain capable of figuring things out. So, we can calm our primitive brain (the part that only wants to keep us safe, comfortable, and from using up too much energy) down a little by reminding it that we always have the option of having our own back, of making decisions, and of taking one small step forward. In addition to managing our primitive brain when contemplating change and surviving a work situation that doesn’t feel like a fit, we can decide to not indulge in everything that is awful about our work and take a slightly different approach instead. Now you might be thinking I’m about to suggest something like a gratitude practice. Hey, I think gratitude is awesome and there are lots of studies that back up how helpful a practice like this can be, but that’s not where I’m going here. So, yes, if you can find some things to appreciate about your current work, go for it, but then do this… I’m going to suggest that you be even a little bolder. If you’re at the point in your job where you know you’re going to be leaving, now is the time to get really clear on why. It seems obvious, doesn’t it? But, it’s a step that’s often overlooked. We all have the tendency to get so wrapped up in how miserable we are, that we neglect to determine what exactly is causing that unhappiness. So, it’s time to ask yourself some hard questions about your current situation. Is it your position that you're not happy with, or is it your employer? Is there one key piece of your position that puts a sour taste in your mouth? Have you always disliked your job? Looking at things through a curious eye can take your brain away from the rumination that often comes when we’re feeling things like resentment, confusion, and even despair. Refocusing our thoughts in an intentional way can be very helpful. Put them to use for good instead of evil. Yes, consider what’s not working but don’t let your thoughts stay there. Immediately turn what’s not working into ideas of things that that might. Consider polar opposites, lateral options, and really think and brainstorm. I know, encouraging you to “get curious” likely isn’t the super actionable step you were hoping for. But, these important questions will lay the groundwork for you to attack the next steps with a clear head and a narrow focus. More to come your way next week! In the meantime, get curious. Thanks for reading.

p.s.: Ready to start believing you can make the change you seek? Want some support and a proven framework to follow while you do it? I can help. You can read more here.

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