There is a popular lie that’s been going around, and it is making a lot of people question why they can’t do what everyone else seems to have mastered.
The lie goes like this: You must do what you love, in order to love what you do. As a result, anyone who isn’t currently blissful in their work life, or who isn’t generating a 6- or 7-figure income from their joyful work, feels something is wrong with them. In fact, it might have pushed many people to join the Great Resignation a bit rashly.
If you feel constantly frustrated, dissatisfied, exhausted, overwhelmed or inauthentic in your work, then this blog is for you.
It is absolutely true that being content with what you are doing right now is a major aspect of being happy. That isn’t to imply you ought to just suck up your frustrations, and stuff them. Here are some key actions you can take instead to not only be happy now, but also be even happier in the future.
First, Be Safe
I have to say this: if you are in a dangerous situation, get out. Now. There is a big difference between a controlling or unpredictable or disrespectful boss, and being physically, mentally, or emotionally abused. To be crystal clear, I’m not talking about the popularly flaunted “toxic people” or “narcissistic environment”. You can use the following suggestions even for those situations. What you can’t do is allow yourself to stay in a dangerous place because you are afraid to leave.
Know What You Truly Want
I say how important it is to know what you want all the time, and as often as not, I hear “But I’m not sure what I want. I just know I don’t want this.” That’s actually a great place to begin. If that’s where you are, then start by writing a list on one side of a page with everything that you know you want to be rid of. Then, on the other side of the page, for each thing you believe is wrong, write down what the opposite of that would be.
Now you have a list of what you want! What weighs us down is a wonderful guide for what lifts us up.
Once you know what you don’t want, stop focusing on it. Yes. Stop whining and complaining. Stop wasting your energy on what isn’t working. Stop labelling it “toxic” or “narcissistic” or anything else. Stop pointing at it and awfulizing it.
When you stop obsessing over what is wrong, you aren’t settling. You are able then to pay very careful attention to what is working instead. As a result, you will begin, sometimes gradually, to see how you have more power to create the good stuff yourself, frequently in quite meaningful ways.
There is a familiar phrase: What we resist, persists. I find this is eerily true almost all the time. That is why it is so important to not only stop focusing on what is wrong, but also accept it. Accepting reality for what it is, is not excusing bad behavior, or embracing bad situations. Acceptance frees us up to make effective choices that are realistic. This may feel counter-intuitive and even counter-productive if you feel stuck in a deeply dissatisfying situation. Yet, when you relax, you are better able to see fresh solutions you otherwise would have missed.
When you know what you want, and you stop spending precious energy on resisting, you are finally able to be creative and inspired. Spend some of that time you were complaining about where you are, and start envisioning what you want. But don’t just daydream about it. Start building a plan and a strategy. Talk to people who are doing it. Find out what worked for them and what they wish they had known when they started.
Be bold, but don’t be foolhardy. Dream. Yes. AND Plan.
Cut The Social Media
One of the main reasons people often feel they aren’t happy with their business, job or career is that they see friends and influencers with (apparently) things they lack. If this sounds like you (be honest), it is time to recognize that much of what you see, as great as it sounds, either took years to build, or is at least partially a fabrication.
Certainly social media has its place. But we live in a society that gives more credit to social media than to in person connections. Use it to inspire you, not to demoralize you.
Celebrate The Little Things
Another reason that people find that they can't be happy with what they have is that they are waiting around only to celebrate the major milestones of life—and there simply aren't that many big milestones. Additionally, when a goal is achieved, without celebrating the process itself, it is too easy to let the win just slide by unnoticed. Instead, you need to practice celebrating the small wins, and step in the process, no matter how small. It keeps you on track better than anything else.
Ultimately, when you take the “be happy where you are” approach, the better opportunities are more likely to show up for you. Shifting your mindset where you are, shifts your energy and you are able to see your whole experience in a different light.
If you'd like some support navigating creating happiness with what you do, be sure to apply for your complimentary strategy session and we can start making some progress!