So to continue on my story of the ‘broken car,’ I am now happy to report that I am the proud owner of a brand new one. I decided yesterday to just go ‘look’ – my intention was not to buy anything but, it was Black Friday and there were a lot of good car deals going on. I had my heart set on a particular one but, 6 hours later, after 4 test drives (I know, I’m picky), it was down to two.
Financing worked out but now came the big decisions: fix my car, buy a new one, and which one. After going back and forth, I decided to buy a smaller SUV – the bigger one is too big for a short person and I really like the dashboard of the one I bought (yes, picky). I am a bit sad, though, as I didn’t even drive it off the lot as I drove there.
Today, as many of us do, my buyer’s remorse is starting to kick in: did I get the best deal, could I have gotten them lower, would another dealer have given a better offer, should I have taken the other car? How many times do you regret either making a decision that you question or regretting a decision you didn’t make? I think a majority of us live with these fears and self-doubts when it comes to making a decision. I say it’s because we don’t trust ourselves enough while also fearing the inability to face a consequence that may result.
I am reading a great book by Brian Whetten, Ph. D, called “Yes, Yes, Hell No!” He says that when it comes to making a decision, whether good or bad, that we will move forward which are the yeses but then this turns into the hell no aspect. For example, say you really want to move into a new job; you search and find one, you update your resume with keywords and ensuring your skills shine; you open the computer to apply BUT you don’t. You start questioning the process and all the what-ifs that might occur. You have just done the Yes, Yes – Hell No process.
Whetton (2015) says that there are two types of decisions: dilemmas and dreams; I faced dilemma as I was facing several alternatives, while a dream involves something you want to accomplish. He says that decisions are made up of intuition, reason and the fear, and that when these three align we should move forward. But the key is listening to which voice is raising its head and to respond accordingly. Embracing the fear, or fears, helps them release them while holding onto them only makes them stronger. We all have the answers – we just need to pay attention to them. I recommend this book – I think I’m going back to the beginning and reading again to embrace my new car and all future decisions I make.
So last week I wrote how I had major car trouble but looked through the silver lining to see several positives that laid behind looking at expensive car repairs and having to rely on others to get around while the car was in the shop. Today, I am trying hard to find that lining again as they are telling me the car is essentially ‘crap’ – it needs a major repair that is going to cost thousands of dollars. My dilemma is: do I want to sink more money into a car, of which I have no car payments, or do I go buy another car and take on payments again?
The timing also could not be worse: here we are right before Thanksgiving, with family down and the Christmas holiday upon us. This feels like a setback to a setback. Dealing with a double-whammy of sorts elicits a host of feelings – worry, irritability, racing thoughts, etc. We typically place expectations on what we want something to be and when it does not turn out that way, we are filled with all of those feelings and emotions just mentioned.
We think, “If I want this…then it will happen.” This is why we feel so miserable when we suffer a setback in our plans. But, often these disappointments can be blessings in disguise and help us grow in our self-development. We can learn so much about ourselves – our character, our outlook and our strengths – which helps us to deal and move on. They help to strengthen and enhance our capability to handle future setbacks. Here are three ways to deal with setbacks (and setbacks) you may be facing:
1. Take time – when something negative occurs, we must take time to grieve and expel the emotions that arise, such as anger, anxiety or sadness. These are all natural emotions that, if not released, will adversely impact you along the way. Recognize that it can take some time to go through this journey.
2. Go inward – commit to looking inside to your feelings and assessing the situation for what it is; this is not about blame but about looking realistically at the situation for what occurred, why and what your part was in it. This releases you from victimhood, puts you in problem-solving mode, it gets you to accept responsibility and allows you to move on.
3. Refocus – now that you have released any old feelings, it is now time to refocus on what you do want in your life. Ask questions, such as “what do I need to know to deal and move on” and then journal what comes to you (without limitations); set new goals, along with some action steps, to go about achieving them and take one step to action.
Moving through these steps will help you to move and grow through any setback that may occur in your life. Recognizing how you deal and adapting is what enhances your coping skills and strengthens your character. I’m off to explore options, which includes car shopping to see what’s available and manageable, as well as checking other options on getting my car fixed. As uncomfortable as this is, pushing through leads to us coming out on the other side.
If you’d like help getting through your setbacks, call today for your Complementary Discover Session; let’s get you living your best life: http://www.cyscoaching.com
So you’re going through your career, making strides daily, but then slowly you feel stuck and unsure of the next steps. You wake up daily with thoughts of doing something different, perhaps having a great idea, but hold back on the exact steps to take to get them. Other days you just feel…lost. Do any of these sound familiar? If so, then you are caught in career paralysis; if not dealt with quickly, the paralysis can remain forever.
Before getting into how to deal with it, let me discuss why it occurs or what leads to it. The bottom line is that you are dealing with a fear of some type. Fear can rear its ugly head at any time, as 95% of our thoughts are buried deep down; we push unpleasant thoughts and experiences away but they have this nasty way of coming back – and when you least expect them. Fears can include:
- fear of not being good enough ( the main underlying fear for us all)
- fear of failing
- fear of success
- fear of not having enough money
- fear of not having enough opportunities
- fear of the boss not liking me (or fear of the boss in general)
I could go on and on as fear are limitless since they are individualized to each of us. But fear is not always bad – actually, fear can help us to dig down inside and find the inner strength we all have so we can push past fear and get done what we need to do. When we look at fears that are leading to being ‘stuck’ in your work and are depleting the joy and life out of you, if something is not done it can lead to catastrophic results, such as health or emotional issues or poor performance. Over time, you won’t be able to work, one way or another, as you’ll experience disengagement and join the 69% of people who are (Gallop, 2015), or you won’t be long in the job as your employer no longer needs a poor performer.
Here are three questions to ask yourself to turn move past any paralyzing feelings and find fulfilling work, which can be in your current work (you may need to think of moving on if these don’t work):
- What is holding me back? Name the fear exactly so you can now challenge the thought. That is the first step in becoming clear on the underlying reason you are staying stuck
- Is this absolutely true? Following the principles of The Work, by Byron Katie, challenging our thoughts can show us that nothing we think is an absolute, even though we believe it to be so. Knowing we can’t predict a belief of the end-result can lead us into looking at ways to find solutions to our perceived problems. It can also stop the focus on what is wrong and redirect to what it
- How can I become reengaged in the work I do? Starting small and finding one or two way to find enjoyment in your work tasks can go a long way in pushing you to start using your strengths and skills for your job tasks, as well as ownership and empowerment, all of which leads to feelings of satisfaction and personal happiness. You will then take responsibility of your work – the more you do the more motivated you become and the better your performance
Career paralysis is created in the mind; we begin to feel comfortable feeling stuck as we adapt and adopt coping patterns which become our behaviors. When you begin to make the uncomfortable actions new habits, your overall happiness levels will increase and you will begin to like your job all over again. Here is a last question for you: Do you want to stay where you are (meaning you’ve done nothing to change your circumstances) or do you want to have a job you love and that brings you fulfillment? The choice is yours (and ‘ain’t’ that great)!
If you feel stuck and are in career paralysis, why not get some help to push past the barriers and find joy in your work again. Contact us today at http://www.cyscoaching.com to get started.
My inspiration for today came from one of my favorite movies, Hearts and Souls, with Robert Downey, Jr. It is from the scene where Charles Grodin’s character is brought on-stage to sing at a BB King Concert. Even though he wants to perform, he has such terrible stage fright that he has kept himself back from pursuing his passion. Does that sound familiar?
As the character is standing on stage, Milo (Downer, Jr.) tells him that he failed because he never tried. Wow – what a kick in the _*&%&! Just like Grodin’s movie character, how many of you feel frustrated that you haven’t attained a desire you’ve wanted? You may have had this frustration for a long time; you have the desire but something has held you hold you back. And, over time, this frustration builds and builds and you bypass opportunities to go after your desire but you don’t.
It is usually due to either fear or self-doubt, both of which are destructive and emotional zappers. Fears are usually created in the mind and untrue or a skewed version of a past situation. The brain has a funny way of embellishing facts. You must continually challenge your thoughts by asking the question, “Do I absolutely know this to be true?” If you fear failing, you will. But how will you ever know if you don’t try? That question was enough to lead Charles Grodin’s character to get mad and sing. Once he started, his confidence began to rise and he felt elated. He then had regrets that he didn’t pursue his passion before.
So the lesson for you today is to challenge your fears; think about how you will feel if you did, as well as if you didn’t and then see which one spurs you to action.