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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Keep Faith in Yourself to Survive at Work

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment. The Buddha

Be Your Own Boss

A boss once told me, "you've never had a boss in your life." I have to admit it's true.

This doesn't mean I'm a rude or unmanageable employee. It means I judge myself by an internal set of criteria, not those set by an organization. I guide my actions by my life mission and sense of purpose, and I trust myself to handle whatever comes.

In the current economic climate, in which hard work and excellent skills don't guarantee you a job, learning how to be your own boss ~ especially if you're an employee~ is an important survival skill.

Fear Leads to Mistrust and Self Doubt

Layoffs and unrest at work can make you weary, questioning and mistrustful. Who's next? Is my job safe? Should I be looking for another job? If they can do that to him, what's stopping them from doing that to me?

The threat of losing your job can be real. But the real threat isn't losing your job. It's losing faith in yourself and your ability to influence the course of your own life.

As long as you believe in yourself, you can always get another position. But lose faith in your valuable skills and good work ethic and your self-confidence falters. Now filled with self-doubt, if you do get laid off it's much harder to find work.

Move from Self Doubt to Self Confident
When fear reigns supreme at work, don't let the fear-bug give you a bad case of self-doubt. Become your own boss in charge of your future by consciously concentrating your attention on you, your skills and what motivates you  at least once daily.

Watch your tendency to overwork in response to the free-floating fear at work. Like many others, you may have difficulty taking time to focus on yourself when you become frightened by the instability and unrest at work. But you can't save your job by overworking and leaving yourself too tired to center yourself. Mistakes happen and tempers flare.

Most people are just too tired at the end of the day to sit calmly and think about their life purpose. This is why I recommend you set aside quiet time first thing each morning.

Plan to give yourself the first thirty minutes of the day. If you have kids or other attention grabbers (like work), get up earlier to give yourself uninterrupted self-centered time. Turn off the cell phone. Leave email, twitter, and facebook for later. Now ~ sit quiet ~ practice the pause ~ and ask yourself questions. There are no perfect questions and no perfect answers.  Whatever you focus your attention on will grow  ~ and that includes your career.

Knowing the Right Question to Ask is Half the Solution

As Albert Einstein said,  "knowing the right question to ask is half the solution."  Start your daily self-centered session by making a list if questions that may interest you.
What are the questions I need to ask myself?
What work skills do I have?
What is my ideal job?
What skills do I need to develop for my ideal job?
What do I enjoy doing?
If I was to have a next career, what would it be?
What is the most important thing on my mind right now?
If there was one thing I'd like to do more than anything else, what would it be?    What is my sense of purpose? What is my life mission?
Keep listing questions until one of them pops out and catches your attention. Pick one question to address and list possible answers to the question. Allow yourself to answer without concern for the truth. You may discover something that sounds outlandish or impossible at first, isn't such a bad idea.

I like the more primitive feel of writing on a piece of paper or in a journal instead of using the computer during these morning musings. It taps into a different part of my brain and slows the pace down. Later, I reinforce my focus by working on the computer to summarizing what I learned about myself.

Let Your Internal Motivations Guide Your Actions at Work

 The more time you spend discovering, or rediscovering, your sense of purpose and mission, the more your daily actions will be guided internally, and less influenced by the environment of fear.

If you think about it, your internal motivators will do a better job of guiding your actions than any externally derived mission statement. How many people do you know whose sense of purpose is to destroy, annoy or un-employ others? And how many people do you know whose ultimate goal is to be un-involved, and dis-engaged? Exactly! Very few.

When we live out of a sense of purpose or mission, we mean to 'do good' by others and make a positive contribution to the world around us. Mission-driven people fail to see the obstacles because their eyes are clearly on the goal.

Trust Yourself

In times of economic uncertainty, wondering whether your organization will keep you won't help. Put your trust in yourself.

Trust yourself to do a good job now and in the future. Trust yourself to find a good job if you get laid off. And trust your ability to work hard and develop new skills if necessary.

Things haven't changed that much ~ a good hard worker with valuable skills is still an asset to any organization.

If you are unclear about your sense of purpose or mission there's no time like NOW to give it some thought. It's your life. Take the time to guide it in the direction you want it to go.

Need Help Navigating a Career or Life Transition?

If you or someone you know would benefit from coaching, please contact me. The first hour is free.


barb said...

Your blog is always the best part of mt day! I am right in the thick of taking my thoughts and ideas and turning them into a new opportunity for myself and those closest to me. Reading your blogs feel like little pushes from behind inching me closer and closer to something new and inspiring. I wasn't looking for coachihg but it turns out I needed it. Thank you:)

Kim said...

Susan: You have hit the nail on the head. WOW!! I have been questioning myself because of external evaluations. I am good at what I do and I thank you for reminding me to listen to that quiet, becoming louder, voice inside of me. Blessings. Kim Miller

LightartedSue said...

I'm so glad Lightarted Living speaks to your heart and provides you little nudges from behind. That is the intended purpose of the blog. Imagine what we all could contribute if we just did one small step outside of our comfort zone each day. Let me know if I can offer you 1-on-1 coaching. First hour free...can be done on Skype, in person or email.

Kindest Regards, Susan

LightartedSue said...

We all question ourselves at various times, especially when negative information is coming in from the external environment. As long as you keep yourself tired, hungry and overworked, you will let the external negativity seep into your inner sanctum.

Take time for yourself. Pause. Allow yourself the luxury of dwelling on your positive attributes and your strengths.

Listen to that inner voice. That's the voice that cares about you.

You are involved in the ultimate life-giving work. Acknowlege the importance of what you do and celebrate your commitment to helping others into this world.

Blessings to you!