Do you remember the John Lennon and Paul McCarthy song, “A Day in a Life?” The beginning lyrics of “Woke up. Got out of bed. Dragged a comb across my head…” may sound a bit like how you feel each day. If your day-to-day routine seems to melt into the next, maybe you’re missing some element that nourishes you.
Is it just another day? Same old junk you have to deal with. Same old challenges and personalities you have to face daily? And through it all you’re wondering how you will get through the week? Again?!!! And then the next one after that!
Do you start your week looking forward to Friday?
What a way to live, right? There’s got to be a better way and better choices to make on how you can sail through your work day. Is this really what work’s all about? Is there a part of you that’s crying out to enjoy what you do? To find some meaning in it that nourishes you?
Going to work day in and day out in the “same old, same way” is guaranteed to put a damper on feeling inspired to grow at what you do. It’s a dead-end going nowhere but adding cash to your bank account and experience on your resume.
A powerful question to ask, “Is your work life positively contributing to your overall life and personal development?”
It’s pretty easy to become stuck in a rut of mediocrity. After all, it’s predictable and secure right now. Why rock the boat, right?
Oh sure you could go to your manager or another team member and make a request about the overall culture or team meetings or even your work responsibilities. If that makes you anxious or you’ve tried that route before without a satisfying result, then maybe you’re really out of alignment in this position.
That’s one way to look at it. You can begin right now actively looking for a new position and when that “dream job” shows up, give notice. That’s a great plan.
However, that’s not the only choice. Since most likely your same job will show up again; although albeit in a crafty and clever disguise you might not “get” right away. It’s kind of like when you were dating or if you’re in the dating game right now, attracting the same person over and over again even though they come in a different presenting package of attraction! Ugh! And then one day, if you’re lucky or if you’re really conscious about what’s a good fit, you make different choices for yourself.
You may also believe that this is what your professional life serves up for you. Yes, the trade-off to get what you want but it’s not showing up in a satisfying way for you. And there may be days when you wonder if anyone else feels the way you do. Or if you’re just experiencing things differently than others.
Well, lets first clear up something right here and now. You’re not alone!
Guaranteed. If you’re feeling this way, then others are too! Getting different results is the tricky part; especially if you’re feeling alone in this attitude of yours. But then again, everyone is alone, right?
There’s another option to make right now that’s a very powerful choice to investigate. Consider it as a starting point for you to see if some of your beliefs about the work, company and others limits you in any way from soaring where you’re at. You may be caught in a confusing web that creates a single lens viewpoint for yourself.
You’re the one in charge of that. That’s something you can do with some upgrades in your internal operating system.
Please keep in mind that your beliefs or mindsets drive your behaviors and habits. So if you have a tendency to work long past everyone else has left for the day, complaining about others or taking work home with you in the evenings or on weekends, what’s driving that behavior? In other words, what’s the purpose that you have designed for yourself?
Take a moment to answer these three questions:
1. What’s the purpose in not giving your self time off?
2. Why do you need to give more of your time and energy than others?
3. What thought or thoughts pull on your attention?
Some example answers you may have for the above questions may have something in common with these: “If I don’t pay my dues, I’ll get passed over for promotion.” “Others don’t deliver the same quality of productivity that I do.” “I have to constantly prove myself.” “I’m not sure I belong here and I get distracted by others in my department so it’s easier when no one else is around.”
What’s under all of this for you? Constantly comparing your self to others, making others wrong or feeling that you’re not good enough unless you outshine others, puts you automatically into an energy-draining autopilot mode at work.
Let’s dive into this a bit deeper. After doing some breakthrough sessions with “Brianna” she realized that her beliefs were constantly stressing her out. She made work hard for herself and not only was she on autopilot, she was physically, mentally and emotionally drained by the end of each day. She had no energy left for relationships or self-care.
What her thoughts focused on were actually contributing to making things unappealing. Her lack of inspiration and alignment with her work had rapidly declined after two years of working for a company that on the outside had the reputation of being really innovative. The truth was that the culture was competitive and well, pretty toxic between team members.
“Briana” was urged to dive deep into her own beliefs about sleepwalking through work for the past six months after finding that no matter how she tried to shift her team’s dynamics, she failed. As an innovative company, there was no designated executive at the helm of her team.
That was a pretty exciting caveat when she came on-board but after time wore on, there was no shared leadership to elevate not only the team culture but the quality of the work. The attitude seemed to be “lets do just enough to fly under the radar.” She found herself doing the same attitude and she now dreaded going to work each day. She felt undervalued and not on-purpose. There was an emotional sadness deep inside that was putting a damper on her typically bright and sunny self from showing up.
There are a few antidotes you can try on for size if you’re seeing that a some of your mindsets aren’t really providing a clear path to being nourished at work. The thing is that when you can upgrade how you sail through each work day the rest of your life will follow in a similar vein.
Here are some antidotes to try for yourself:
1. Choose to focus on ease throughout your day. If it’s stressful, take a quick walk, do some focused relaxation breaths, drink a glass of water, etc.
2. Begin to notice when your thoughts create a stress response in you and how often that occurs.
3. Observe where you hold stress in your body. In your neck? Lower abdomen? Back? Jaw?
Many people at work are disengaged and doing just enough to get by so they can keep their positions. There is a rapidly growing and pervasive cultural attitude of “don’t rock the boat.” In fact, in the U.S. a recent Gallop poll found that disengagement at work costs companies five hundred billion dollars annually. Ouch!
Being on autopilot isn’t serving you as an individual or the company. And that is solely your decision to change. The choices and decisions you make about your attitudes can set you on a path of being on-purpose and satisfied at work and guaranteed, by the end of the day it will trickle into the rest of your life too.
Or you can continue being a victim to the circumstances by walking through your work day on autopilot. It’s your choice. Completely under your control just waiting for a different attitude and mindset boost from you at the helm. If you feel it’s impossible or too hard to do on your own, then find someone with expertise to help you shift your attitudes and beliefs.
If you want to feel energized by the end of each work day, then jump on this as a development opportunity for yourself. Why wait? If you want a good life for yourself in all areas, it starts with how you view your work day. That’s one of the beginning steps to thriving! Why choose being on autopilot when there are so many other possible choices in life waiting for you?