Remember when you started your job? You were excited to have been chosen amongst all the other applicants. Your search was over and you were excited, maybe a little nervous, about this new opportunity. You may have been eager to see what a difference you could make and prove yourself, make a good impression. Who knew what this opportunity could lead to: promotion, new career, more and more money? Things were probably great for the first few weeks, months or years if you were lucky.
Then something happened. It almost doesn't matter what it was. Something was said or done and you perceived that the company was not as great as you thought it was originally, or that you were not appreciated as much as you once had been, or that the people you worked with were not as trustworthy as you believed people should be. That's about the time it started to take more effort to get out of bed in the morning.
You felt okay walking in the door at work but you were tired by the early afternoon. You couldn't wait for the end of the work day so you could get away from your "job" and live your "real life." How about the day you called in sick when you were perfectly healthy only because you didn't think you could deal with it that day? Sunday evenings became depressing and Friday afternoons were all you were living for.
THE HONEYMOON WAS OVER!
That honeymoon sensation you know and love is merely the presence of possibility. Isn't life a joyful and exciting adventure when it's full of possibility? Why does the honeymoon period have to go away? Well, it doesn't. Or at the very least it is always available to you if you want it back.
"What?! You must be joking! Once it's gone, it's gone!"
Not so fast, my friend. The joke is on each of us because it is we who cause the diminishing and eventual death of the honeymoon period. The good news is we have within our power the ability to recreate and sustain it.
Remember that first rush when the job began? You did that, your perceptions created that feeling. Remember when that feeling went away? Yup, you guessed it. You did that too. Instead of perceiving possibility you started focusing on limits, disappointments and you decided the job did not have as much opportunity as you once thought.
Take a breath, forgive yourself for creating this miserable situation and get ready to turn that around. The following tips will help you to start challenging the decisions you have made that may not be as accurate as you once thought. Challenge the status quo and be willing, for the sake of your happiness, to try on some new activities that may go against your norm. Have fun with it!
Avoid workplace gossip. We are all guilty of sharing tidbits around the water cooler. Why wouldn't we? When true information is scarce, work is dull or stressful and the topic is so titillating how can you pass it up? You want to pass it up because gossip is like fast food. It's quick, easy, and tasty and fills you up...temporarily.
However, overtime what you begin to notice is a lack of energy and maybe some tension in your middle. That's because most gossip, however light and speculative, is not positive and could be draining you for one or any of the following reasons:
Be open to new possibilities - notice when you have thoughts like "it IS this way", "that person IS that way", or "nothing is going to change."
You are in effect hammering nails into the coffin of your vitality. Seeing people and situations at work as limited and unchanging will definitely have an impact on the enthusiasm you bring to your job.
Instead take on the principle that in each given moment we are all doing our best and that change is constant. How many stories do we have to hear about people and situations being misjudged, and the impact that has, before we realize that story plays itself out in our lives every day?
Start being open to the possibility that the people in your work are much more than you have witnessed thus far and there are more opportunities than you are currently aware of it.
We each shape our own perceptions of the world and those perceptions in turn determine our experiences. By being open to new possibilities you will soon find yourself witnessing a new picture.
Review your goals - do you really want to achieve them or are they feeling a little stale? I'm going to take the perspective that they are goals your boss is expecting you to achieve (even if the boss is you) and they will be addressed in your review. In that case we're not going to throw them out the window and start over. What we are going to do is breathe some new life into them.
Do you like to play games? Are you even slightly competitive with yourself and others? Perfect. Make hitting the markers of your goal a game. Have fun with it! What are you going to do to move yourself forward to achieving your goals? What is the tangible result? How many points will you earn? How are you going to reward yourself?
Another perspective: find others who have the same or similar goal and support them in achieving it. Sometimes taking the focus off ourselves for a bit makes the task less monotonous. Also, by engaging in contributing to another's success you may find new inspiration for attaining your own.
For many people helping others succeed is a reward in itself. This segues perfectly to the next tip.
Find opportunities to make a difference for others - taking the focus off of yourself for a while can completely transform your experience of your job.
There are soul-satisfying rewards involved in contributing to others. Not only does it make you feel good in the short-term but there is a sense of community that is built when those who work together are supportive of each other and act for the greater good.
Wouldn't life be great if this were the norm? It begins with you...
Acknowledge and appreciate your value - it does begin with you.
If you are not absolutely clear about what you bring to the table how can other people be clear? If you do not acknowledge and appreciate your accomplishments how can others?
I'm not saying brag to everyone who will listen. However, when you are talking to your boss do you mention your contributions and how you feel about those contributions? Don't wait for others to notice before you can feel good about it.
You made that sale, you rocked that presentation, and you anticipated your boss' needs before they verbalized them, or you provided above and beyond customer service; do a victory dance (appropriately) and feel free to be happy about it.
It's a simple formula: when you appreciate your contribution, others will appreciate your contribution. When others appreciate your contribution you feel valued and secure in the knowledge that you are making a difference. Doesn't that feel good?
Try on one or more of these tips over the next few weeks. Commit to it and tell someone about your endeavor to change your experience of work. I'll bet after a few weeks of trying out these tips you'll feel like you've hit the reset button.
I'd love to hear how it goes. Contact me to share your experiences,
Jodi Flynn of Luma Coaching coaches entrepreneurs and small business owners around their mindset for success. She helps them to identify the default tendencies that are getting in the way of growing their business and/or their enjoyment of their business.