When you’re getting up in the morning to prepare for work and you’re really preparing for battle. You hate it, you dread it, you can’t stand it, you want to quit but you can’t afford it…it all feels impossible. You become inward, you talk less, you become paranoid, doubt is constant, you think it’s you, everyone else seems fine, no one wants me here, I’m doing the wrong job, these people think I’m weird, I don’t fit. Everything is worse and everything is bottled up. There’s too much to do, not enough time, everyone is pulling at me. I get it – I’ve been there more times than I realize. One thing consistently got me INTO these places – I closed down and stopped talking to people about how I was feeling. I believed the negativity that no one wanted to listen to me whine and no one wanted to hear my woes.
One thing consistently got me OUT of those places – talking. I think I heard someone call it ‘Talk Therapy’. It’s up there with aromatherapy, shopping therapy, movie therapy, and our favorite sugar therapy. EVERYONE needs a chance to vent, whine, complain… get it off our chests. Think of it as an onion – the outer layers are the annoyances, the moles we grow into mountains. If you can get those out of the way, they reveal the bigger issues that are the real issues. Maybe we don’t feel valued, maybe we are in the wrong position, maybe the office is too toxic – you can’t even look at those unless you vent and whine and complain.
Talk therapy. People see different parts of us and different parts of our situation – they can provide real insight. Or bullshit – it’s up to you. It’s not only therapists (although they’re pretty good at it). Even water cooler conversations can lead you into some great conversations.
Example: If you are not sure if you’re the only one frustrated – use open ended conversation starters…. “I was surprised at how <<the boss>> handled that call yesterday.” You don’t have to say you were happy or sad or disappointed or disgusted. Find out what the other people feel – the more people in the group the better. Your use of ‘surprised’ will be the perfect opener to make the others feel like you agree with them – whatever they feel. You will most likely find people who agree with you that you can commiserate with – it will help BOTH of you feel a lot better. And maybe you’ll find a new friend at work – the best possible outcome.
Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines…it’s a constant in our work life. Mix those in with home life to do’s and mandatory schedules – ‘I promised a date with my spouse tonight’! How do we survive?!?!
I do two things:
1) Acknowledge there are seasons or cycles to everything. Marketing is going be busy in the fall. Selling is going to be heavy in the holidays. Accounting is every winter/spring. Kiddo’s sports/events/theater is every spring and fall. You get the picture. Somethings will get caught in that crunch – be kind to yourself and others. It’s expected if you’re in the right frame of mind.
2) Prioritize based on those cycles.
Life: If you’re a tax accountant, a vacation in February is not a great idea. But one in May – much appreciated and much more enjoyable. Kiddo’s game on April 14???? – talk about it ahead of time. When cycles collide, have someone else clean the house, increase your budget for takeout, make extra meals before hand for easy lunches.
Work: Despite what it may feel like, not all deadlines are real and not all deadlines need to be kept – this is the secret. Which ones are not real and not needing to be kept are something you learn. In the meantime, talk to your boss(es) and explain the constraints (not the family ones) and find out which ones can slip.
Bottom line – be open, be honest, see what’s ahead of you so you’re prepared. Being hit by a Mac truck that you could have avoided completely sucks!!! That’s why you have to slow down.
I just moved to Seattle. Let go of the past, let go of the mistakes, let go of the mishaps, let go of all of it – except the good friends, of course. Starting fresh.
While moving sucks – completely – I do feel a lot better. There is a shift in your mind about changing everything. You get humbled as you get lost finding your way around a new city. You remind yourself how important friendships are as you smile more at neighbors thinking ‘They could be a friend’. You must ask for help on a regular basis. It changes how you see the world.
Instead of the limitations, real and imaginary, that you saw lived within, now the world is alive and real.
It’s scary, takes time, makes you let of stuff you don’t need any longer…but the benefits of being lighter, freer, more open, more vulnerable, and the potential for happiness…priceless.