How to learn to love your job, again

love

Perhaps your job felt like love at first sight but slowly it turned into your heaviest burden. Maybe, you worked incredibly hard to get your role but, actually executing it is far less glamorous than you first thought. Whatever happened to change your rose tinted glasses perspective about work, it’s possible to revive your relationship. If you’re reading this now, you’ve already taken the first step.

Set goals with your supervisor 

Work can seem aimless if you don’t have things such as goals, that you are striving towards. Work with your supervisor to set reasonable but motivating goals. These goals will help to provide structure for your working week. Trying to achieve these goals can be a great challenge and really get you engaged in your role, again. Once you reach these goals they can also be excellent negotiation points for a promotion or an alternative role.

Make a list of things you want to improve 

Make a list of what aspects of your current job you’d like to improve. Take some time to be objective and clear your head. Write a list of everything you don’t love about your job. Be as specific as possible. Name, names if you have to. Then spend the same amount of time writing a list of how you can improve these negatives. More often than not there is always a solution, even if that solution means a change in your attitude so you can bear a certain annoyance. Having a game plan to deal with the things that disgruntle you at work, can make the world of difference to your coping mechanisms.

Figure out what you really love to do

Write a list about the parts of your job you really love to do. Drill down into the key activities that make you happy. Then, brainstorm a dream working day, involving all of the activities you particularly enjoy. Finally, look for the overlaps in your current role. Consider talking to your superior about making these enjoyable tasks a bigger part of your day-to-day work. If there are no overlaps, you can look into other opportunities, that provide what you need, to feel excited about your role.

Leverage your network

Make connections in your field by attending industry meet-ups, events, or conferences. This can, not only help to build a support system around you, but it can also open up more industry-wide doors for you. Meaning, that if you are really unhappy at work, you can start to prep yourself up for another role by either speaking to others with the jobs, you want, or by making connections with preferred organisations. If you are content where you are, you can benefit greatly by building relationships with others in your organisation. Connections open more doors, period.

Stay present

It’s impossible to love your job if you’re mindlessly browsing Facebook, Instagram, or Amazon all day. You are, in fact, making your working day even harder for yourself. It’s not satisfying to waste your time by procrastinating. When you do this, you ignore your problems and push yourself further into a negative rut about work. Try to stay present and concentrate on the task at hand. Actively work on your levels of engagement. Before long you’ll start to feel your brain pumping and this challenging feeling will motivate you to enjoy your role, once again.

Make a ‘Gratitude List’ for Your Job

Write down all the things you’re grateful for, in relation to your job. This can be the list of things it enables you to do, or who it has made you become. All your failures or speedbumps, simply make you a stronger, more experienced professional. Studies have shown that listing everything you’re grateful for can help you to feel more optimistic about your current circumstances.

Expert backed confidence hacks

confidence

A lack of confidence finishes more dreams than failure, ever could.

Confidence is not indicative of skill, it’s merely an enabler. You can be the most suitable candidate for a role, on paper, but without confidence, you can’t portray this as well as you’d like.

We all have our issues with confidence so, here are some expert supported ways to keep your confidence levels up when you next need a boost.

Refer to yourself in the third person

This might seem odd, but recent research has shown that if you refer to yourself, in the third person, during self-talk (for example your inner pep talk before a presentation) it can make a big difference to your confidence.

The trick here is to use he, she or your name to distance yourself from a terrifying situation. For example, instead of saying, “I am about to deliver a presentation” try saying,  “Angela is about to deliver a presentation.” In other words, see yourself as the observer.

According to the researchers, this type of self-distancing helps you see nerve-wracking moments as challenges, rather than threats. Resulting in you feeling an instant alleviation and confidence boost.

Overcome imposter syndrome

You have the job, the certificates, even the awards but you’re still worried about being called out, as a fraud.

You are not the only one. Many of us suffer from imposter syndrome. Interestingly, this is known as the syndrome of high achievers. Those who set the bar low simply do not care much about the quality of their work.

To overcome the inner imposter syndrome, remind yourself of your achievements. Write a list of your personal successes. Can all of that list just be a coincidence or luck? I think not, it’s time to recognise your value.

Work out

Your body needs exercise. We were not created to be sedentary. Even a simple stretch, power pose or walking, helps.

Practicing physical activity allows you to stay in touch with your body, raises your energy levels and releases more endorphins. You are happy after you work out, so it’s worth the hard work and pain. This process is quite reflective of how we reach our goals – working out makes you more target driven and tenacious when it comes to goal setting.

Before you go to an important meeting, interview, or any other stress-inducing situation, do a little workout, stretch or strike a simple power pose and make yourself feel more comfortable.

Visualise your success

Visualisation is a critical part of achieving any goal. It’s hard to be confident when you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Your future success just doesn’t seem real.

Close your eyes and start seeing your success as a reality. Picture how you’ll get there. Picture how you walk, stand and even dress. Try to engage all five senses in it. How does it feel and smell, what do you hear, who are the people around you, what do they wear? Every little detail matters. For better results, take a piece of paper and write everything down, or even draw it. Do what works for you but most importantly get visualising.

Meditate

Meditation helps you to become more self-aware. Get to know your low confidence triggers, find ways to be more at peace with yourself. After a good meditation, weak confidence seems like a distant dream based on tiredness and stress. When you really put your mind to it, you see confidence as a very small issue.

Meditation is a tool to inspect your daily thoughts and become more self-aware about your own thought process. It helps you to nip limiting self-talk in the bud, and encourages you to create a new, loving and compassionate self.

Get comfortable with failure

No one likes to fail, but failure is the best indicator of your progress. If you’re serious about getting confident, then you need to get comfortable with failure, as it will be your best teacher.

There is no easy way to do this, but according to Peter Guber, you can fail faster. Fix your mistake, as soon as you realise it and learn how to avoid it in the future.

 

 

 

Master your morning routine with the five M’s

morning

Morning routines are nothing new. It’s likely you’ll have your own routine in the works but how effective is it? Many people won’t want to change up their mornings for fear of getting off to a bad start. Well, these people are far too comfortable. If your morning routine is providing you with nothing more than comfort and perhaps more sleep time, it’s time to shake it up. Here is how to bring max productivity to your morning with the five M’s. Enjoy!

1. M Is For Morning Journaling

In our busy, day-to-day lives, our minds end up collecting a lot of nonsense, fears, negativity or worse. Morning journaling is one of the best ways to resolve this.

Morning pages is a creativity-unblocking technique first described in Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way. It involves writing three pages by hand before you do anything else in the morning. Try it out and see what you think – it could be truly life-changing.

It really works because you declutter your mind and get rid of all your distractions before your work day has even started.

2. M Is For Meditation

Meditation is different for everyone. You are certainly not limited to sitting cross-legged saying “OOOM”.

Meditation is one of the best and most effective ways to keep your mind calm.

People typically spend 5-10 minutes on meditation each morning. There are great apps for a guided meditation – the Headspace app is particularly popular.

But more than anything else meditation helps you to stay focused and on track with a stronger and more balanced mindset. If meditation is new to you research what type would be best for you and give it a go. Meditation can be done in various ways such as listening to an app which takes you through a guided meditation, walking or even running.

Meditation is a highly personal act, so experiment until you find a way that “clicks.”

3. M Is For Make The Bed

It sounds odd but If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It sends a message to your brain that you’re not a slacker and it gives you a small sense of accomplishment encouraging you to continue to complete tasks, throughout the day.

4. M is for Morning Meal

If you want a supercharged, productive day, your body needs fuel via your morning meal.

Make sure your breakfast is healthy, nutritious and delicious. Enjoy eating it and use the time to focus on the food and just get lost in the moment. Before long you’ll look forward to waking up and enjoying your breakfast.

5. M Is For Movement

You could be the type that works out before work and if so then you’ve already nailed this M. If you’re not then you can fulfil this M by setting aside just 10 minutes, every morning, to move your body.

What does this mean? It simply means that during this 10 minutes you will focus on your body. Simply stretching for 10 minutes will activate your muscles, help you to wake up and also help you to create energy for the rest your day. You can obviously set aside more time and go further than stretching however this is the bare minimum required.

A bit of advice – implementing all five 5’s at once might be too much. Try introducing one at a time until you can do all five, with ease.

So, what are you waiting for? See how the five M’s could change your world today.

Read more on the five M’s with this excellent blog on Forbes, here.

The efficient trick of honouring sadness

sadness

We are told time and time again that focusing on the “good” is the best way to deal with depression or sadness.

However, this does not mean that we should suppress sadness in order to only focus on the good. In fact, we should treat feelings of sadness with the same respect we give to happiness. We should honour sadness.

Many people put pressure on themselves to be happy all the time. This is not realistic. Life is not a happy cartoon. Distracting yourself, or even ignoring sadness only makes it worse. Sadness can actually be beneficial if you deal with it correctly.

Why honouring sadness is good for you

1) Feeling sadness is the only thing that helps release it

Much like any suppressed feelings, you can only push them down for a short period of time before they shoot to the surface, at the most inconvenient time.

Instead, bringing a spirit of curiosity and compassion to sadness lets you explore feelings without getting stuck in them. Become your own detective, think about why you feel sad and just feel it.

Notice where the sadness is in your body. You might feel chest aches, heaviness on your shoulders or tears. Accept these feelings and let them rise to the surface.

2) Unpick the sadness 

Think about back to when you started to feel sad. Is there anything familiar about this feeling? Is it triggered by something in particular? What early life experiences felt similar? Start to increase your self-awareness around why you feel sad and this is a sure way for you to understand how to cope with it.

3) Invite Them In

What would you do if you allowed yourself to just be really sad? What would your day look like? Ho much would you cry? What movies would you watch? Would you sleep? What would you be in your pyjamas? If you let yourself just breakdown, would it help? What would you be thinking? Or doing? Even if you can’t take a sick day, or literally have the sadness breakdown you believe you’re on the brink of having, imagine if you did. Don’t live in fear of your sadness.

4) Get creative 

Emotion unlocks art and creativity that our rational mind tries to keep muted. It’s a great time to explore what you really have broiling under your veneer of reason. Use this time to write, draw or play an instrument. Do whatever skill takes your fancy or whichever you have a natural flair – just make sure you do something.

5) Be kind to yourself 

Often we can make ourselves feel a whole lot worse by our reactions to sadness. Thoughts such as “this is pathetic”, “I need to be stronger” or “Just snap out of it” – are particularly problematic – you are not a robot. Embrace your humanity. Just like being kind to others in their time of need we should equally be kind to ourselves. Not only does kindness make us feel better in the moment but it also helps us to deal with the sadness in a more efficient way. Instead of encouraging us to surpess feelings of sadness it encourages us to accept them.

The absolute best way to deal with sadness is to honour it and who knows, you may find something beautiful at the end of your blue tunnel.

 

 

How to combat the effects of stress

stress

Thankfully, according to researchers at Stanford, a meaningful life is almost always a stressful one; the more we care about the things in our life, the more stress we are likely to feel. We simply can’t have one without the other. So, for all of those finding that stress is a daily occurrence – at least it means we are having a meaningful life. Apart from this statistic, there is little advantage to stress only a heap of consequences, many of which, actively reduce the quality of our lives.

But imagine if you could have a meaningful life, with stress (as we can’t have one without the other, unfortunately), that didn’t involve health consequences or unhappiness? Sound too good to be true? Well, actually, it isn’t – we have a lot more control over our stress than we think. Here are the best strategies to overcome the consequences of stress.

Change your thought process 

How you think about stress ironically impacts you more than the actual stress. Positive attitudes about stress were correlated with better health outcomes even when stress levels were chronically high. Interestingly just knowing you can handle stress is a way of protecting yourself from its harmful effects. For more reading on how to rethink stress, see Kelly McGonigal’s Upside of Stress.

Forsee your stress

Don’t let stress throw you into a tizzy. Instead plan when stress might hit you and foresee when it might reduce your ability to be as organised, eloquent or as efficient as you usually are. If you have trouble remembering things or spotting mistakes in your work during periods of stress be aware of this and make extra allowances or time to ensure it doesn’t impact your life.

Let stress motivate you

Stress is adrenalin, that can be put to good use. Rather than letting it crush you – use it to let you crush everything else. Knowing you are putting your stress to good use, or even thinking it benefits you actually helps you to avoid its negative consequences so, it’s a double win.

Social contact

Whether you walk with a parent, chat with your colleague or talk to your spouse during your commute, socialising helps you to cope and feel supported. Irrespective of whether you talk about the stress at hand – simply knowing you have people around you makes you feel stronger and more able to defeat consequences of stress.

Stress can be challenging, especially if you are career driven and ambitious. But, by simply changing your perspective, on how stress fits into your life, you can avoid its negative consequences and even reap a few rewards!

 

For more help with managing stress and anxiety, check out this useful anxiety blog.

Don’t let these bad habits damage your happiness

happiness

We all strive for happiness. Happiness, however, has no universal definition. Instead, it depends on you and whatever it takes to get you to the bliss, content, utter euphoric state of happiness.

Unhappiness, on the other hand, is easy to identify; you can see it, feel it and you definitely know when it’s wrapped its arms around you.

Happiness, rather satisfyingly, has little to do with financial circumstances. A University of Illinois study found that people who earn the most (more than $10 million annually) are only a tiny bit happier than their employees.

Psychologists from the University of California found that happiness makes up of only 50% your life circumstances and genetics `9i.e things outside of your control). So, the remaining 50% is up to you.

Unhappiness can catch up with you. It grows, following a long period of time, not being self-aware. During this time your thoughts and actions have been unhealthy for you. You have failed to look after your needs, properly and you are left feeling unhappy.

The good news is that this state of unhappiness is not permanent and resolvable. So much of your happiness is determined by your habits (in thought and actions) and once you are aware of the unhappiness traps – they are easily avoided to ensure you a future, filled with happiness.

1. Not being true to yourself

If you’re anxious, say it. Don’t pretend you’re not feeling something when you are. Suppressing feelings is unhealthy. It doesn’t let you deal with anything. Instead, by pushing your feelings down, and not dealing with or accepting them, you are vulnerable to them coming back and attacking you, when you least expect it.  The height of emotional intelligence is, respecting your feelings and allowing yourself to experience the consequences that come from embracing them, for what they are. Only then, can you express and use your feelings, in a manner that helps (rather than undermines) your ability to reach your goals.

2. Too much tech, too little nature

Everyone enjoys binge-watching a TV show and checking up on social media. The real question issue is how much of your time do you give to that TV show or social media pages, avoiding the real world? Does it make you feel good or numb? Most times, it doesn’t make you happy but just passes your time. Is that what you want your life to be? Did you know that taking a walk in nature is a natural anti-depressant? It can boost your flat mood far higher than any tech, ever could. Monitor your tech time and make sure you’re spending more time with nature, than tech, for a happier life, it’s that simple.

3. Waiting for the future

Telling yourself, “I’ll be happy when …” is one of the easiest unhappy habits to fall into. Future imagined circumstances don’t lead to happiness. Happiness happens, right now. Even if you get everything you want for your future, happiness comes from within. You can’t be happy, even if you have the husband/wife, car, job of your dreams if you haven’t worked on your internal happiness. Don’t spend your time waiting for something to change how you feel. Instead, be in control and focus on improving your happiness, right now.

4. Fighting change

Change is an inevitable part of life, and if you fight it it’s because you are struggling to remain in control. The problem with this is that you remain on edge, constantly fearing change and actually put up a barrier between yourself and the actions you need to take to improve your situation. You must remain adaptable for change. Be flexible. Your brain needs challenges to survive. Your brain craves adversity. By avoiding adversity you become mentally weak, which leads to unhappiness. Embrace change, live an interesting life and reap the happiness rewards.

 

 

 

Why your brain needs adversity

adversity

Do you ever find your mind wandering just as everything in your life seems perfect?

It’s almost as though your actual problems silence the ones fabricated by your mind.

Maybe you start to wonder which is worse – fear of future problems with their lack of boundaries or actual problems which you have some form of control over?

If you do feel like you’re always scanning your life ready to identify the next thing to worry about than you’re right.

And you’ll be pleased to know that you’re not alone, in fact, it happens to most of us and it’s down to a disposition in your brain meaning that it thrives from adversity.

Why your brain thrives from adversity.

The human mind is “antifragile“,  this means that it actually gets better with adversity.

Like an immune system that strengthens after repeated exposure to germs,  your brain needs stimulation in the form of a challenge in order to grow.

This is precisely why it’s instinctual to keep creating problems — even if there aren’t any real ones in front of us.

The more mental space you have – to imagine problems – for example, if you have a disposition towards rejecting any kind of real challenge or adversity in your life, the more your brain will compensate by creating a problem to overcome.

In effect, unless you are actually dealing with a problem in real life, you will be imprisoned by fears in your mind.

Shielding the mind from any adversity makes us more vulnerable to anxiety, panic, and chaos. We become mentally weaker and unable to reach our full potential.

How to add adversity into your life

Antifragile things need tension, resistance, adversity, and pain to break and transform. Learn to embrace all of life’s hurdles. We can only feed our antifragile brain by experiencing all life has to give us, taking the good and the bad. The worst thing, as explained above, is to fear future problems – it simply perpetuates your state of fear before you are unable to take any challenge through not only fear but a weakened mental state.

The key to adding adversity in your life is to be self-aware about the boundaries of your comfort zone. Do everything you can to step outside of them. The more you push your comfort zone the more your brain and mental agility will grow too.

Further, when you do start to worry about future problems, try to first ascertain whether it is a likely or real threat. If you do not believe it to be real or likely than change your mindset. Instead of thinking about problems that may not exist, be grateful. Think about how grateful you are for the things you do have. Try to break the habit of unnecessary worry.

How to keep your attitude in check during a bad work day

boredom

A toxic attitude can spread faster than distasteful gossip.

A bad mood is infectious and if you don’t nip it in the bud it can be impossible to work. Before you know it, the rest of your colleagues will be feeling your negative energy. Even worse, you risk giving a bad impression to your superiors who will be less than impressed by your bad attitude. Something that, (especially if it happens more than once) can really tarnish your reputation.

So, you need to get your attitude in check—and fast.

Here’s how:

1. Avoid Venting

It’s human nature—when you’re having a terrible day to want to vent to those around you. Unfortunately, this creates a domino effect in the workplace and only achieves to spread negativity. Even worse, imagine if it gets back to those in charge that you’ve been bad-mouthing their business? There are little benefits to venting at work, about work. The key to keeping your unpleasant mood in check during the workday is to say, as little as possible. By staying quiet, you avoid the risk of opening your mouth and saying the first snarky thing that comes to mind.

If you absolutely need to get something off your chest speak to someone that doesn’t work with you.

2. Take a Break

The downward spiral of negativity moves quickly. A bad exchange with your co-worker turns into a bad morning, which turns into a bad day. Nip the bad experience in the bud and don’t let it take over your day.

One of the best ways to do just that is to get up and take a break. Go outside and take a walk, run an errand, or head out for a quick cup of coffee. Do anything that will get you away from your workplace and change your environment.

Research shows that attempting to continue to stay focused on the task at hand will only lead to an even worse mood. So, the absolute best thing to do is to stand up and take a break. In the end, that’s much better than trying to power through.

3. Perform a Random Act of Kindness

One of the very best ways to get yourself out of your funk is to perform a random act of kindness. In fact, research shows that these small kind acts actually raise your dopamine levels—making you feel a lot happier.

Your random act of kindness can be to anyone – at work – on the streets – it’s your choice.

Doing something nice and unexpected, can stop your bad mood, and help you to feel empathy, over anger, allowing you to cool down.

4. Fake it ’Til You Make it

Don’t let your bad mood rule your entire day. Instead, put on your most convincing happy face and push through.

This might not be easy but it’s far better than potentially ruining your reputation with a sour attitude.

Even better? Science says that smiling (even when you don’t feel like it) can actually help to improve your mood. So, it might be just what you need to turn that awful day of yours around.

Bad days happen to everyone. For a long and successful career, you really have to manage your mood to make sure your reputation does not suffer.

15 affirmations that will immediately change your mindset

affirmation

We are an embodiment of our thoughts. Whilst external factors do have influence over what we think, how we construe those external factors, is the most important part of our thought process. I’ve written extensively on how failure has driven many to success, well, affirmations premise on the same principle – we can’t control what happens in our life but we can control our reaction to those circumstances, it’s all down to our thinking. Life truly stems from our thoughts – we are what we think and affirmations help us to craft the life we want.

Why affirmations offer so much value

Affirmations help to purify and clarify our thoughts so that we stay aligned with our internal values. Affirmations are very powerful and actually restructure the dynamic of our brains because they raise the level of positive hormones in our brain and create “positive thought” neurons (http://www.arlenetaylor.org/brain-care/953-affirmation). This process creates, new, positive thinking channels allowing us to permanently change the way in which we think, for the better.  The word affirmation comes from the Latin affirmare, originally meaning “to make steady, strengthen.

Why we should practice self-affirmation

Affirmations strengthen us by helping us to believe in the potential of an action we desire to manifest. By saying our dreams and aspirations aloud in our heads, we instantly feel empowered and reassured by our own words. This is because we actively discount other (conscious or unconscious) negative thoughts or doubts we have attached to our goals and we finally allow ourselves to truly believe our dreams can and will become a reality. Affirmations are proven methods of self-improvement, not only do they re-wire our brain, as discussed,  but they play a crucial role in crafting our future. Thinking positively and ultimately believing in yourself opens you to a world of opportunities, one that could easily be closed, with a more negative mindset.

15 of the most impactful affirmations

So, on days when you feel clouded or bogged down because things may not be going your way, here are the most impactful thought affirmations to help you instantly change your mindset, for the long-term;

1) I am superior to negative thoughts and ill-intentioned actions

2) My ability to conquer my challenges is limitless; my potential to succeed is infinite

3) I acknowledge my own self-worth; I have no need for external validation

4) I am confident and I can handle any obstacle thrown in front of me

5) I am calm, peaceful and want the best for everyone around me

6) I am right where I am meant to be in my life, I trust in my path

7) I am intelligent and capable of accomplishing anything I desire

8) My positive attitude, confidence and hard work naturally brings me to new opportunities

9) I am grateful for everything I have in my life

10) I always make other people feel important when I am around them

11) I accept people for who they are and believe they are doing their best

12) I attract success easily into my life

13) My thoughts are filled with positivity and my life is plentiful with prosperity

14) Though these times are difficult, they are only a short phase of life

15) Today, I wake up with strength in my heart and clarity in my mind

For more about affirmations and how they can benefit your life read this comprehensive blog here for affirmations for every area of life read here 

 

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