Loving your job can be similar to loving a spouse. The job doesn’t have to be perfect for you to love it. You can love it unconditionally without it needing to change, if you want to.
When you choose to love the job despite its faults, YOU are the one who benefits because it frees you up to be more creative, productive, and impactful.
Conversely, if you withhold love from your job, you aren’t punishing your job, your boss or your company, you end up punishing yourself.
Here are the 6 steps for you to LOVE your current job, and free yourself from the frustration, resentment, and disappointment that you might be experiencing:
1️⃣ Purposefully choose what you want to think and feel about your job. Look at your current thoughts. Do you notice that you’re thinking mostly negative, self-defeating thoughts, thoughts that give your power over to your job, boss or colleagues? Or, are you seeing the positive qualities of what it has to offer even while it’s not perfect? To love the job without needing it to change, recognize your thoughts and shift them from negative to productive. For example, you could stop thinking "my boss doesn't support me" and shift that to "this is an opportunity to figure out how to work with all types of people. I'm someone who can conquer this challenge."
2️⃣ Notice how you want your job to be different than it is. How much time do you spend wishing that your job, your company, your manager, your leadership were all different? How much energy does that consume? What if you shifted that attention to the value you provide, to the customer problems you solve, to your deliverables, and to your own leadership? You'll be shocked at how much mental energy you free up by refocusing from the things that you can't change to problem-solving what you can control.
3️⃣ Separate out the facts from your thoughts. So often, we get frustrated, angry, and upset over situations at work. A common pattern is that these situations feel “unfair,” “unreasonable” or “unresolvable”.
One approach is to separate out the facts from your interpretation. Oftentimes, we think things are facts but when we really look at it, we realize the true facts. For example, I had a client who was very concerned that she wasn’t hearing back from a customer and she panicked that the customer no longer wanted to work with her. Her anxiety grew with each hour that she didn't receive an email from him. It seemed very real. She was devastated and worried.
But, we took a step back and looked at the facts. It turns out that one of her emails to him was in her draft folder and one of the customer’s responses was in her spam folder. It was simply a miscommunication, not a signal that the client was unhappy with her.
What are you designating as a FACT, that is actually your interpretation, or a story you're telling yourself?
The good news is that we can change our thoughts and interpretations. Do you feel some relief from this concept?
4️⃣ Figure out what it would look like if you let go of all the expectations and loved your job as it is. As an exercise, try brainstorming out all your expectations of what you want the job to be (that it isn't) and what you think the job should be. What are your expectations of your boss? Of your colleagues? Of the corporate leadership? Of your customers? Look at this list. Are you justifying it, thinking that these things are "right" and you're on a crusade to fix them?
Look, I love being right too. I always have.
But, needing to be right about how the company, the boss, the colleagues, the leadership should be only ends up causing you frustration and resentment.
And, what if you're wrong? What if there's another way to reach the corporate goals without taking your approach?
Spending your time battling your expectations and the shoulds ends up hurting you through loss of energy and loss of time.
Identify all of these expectations and let them go. Notice when you're thinking something that involves a should.
Replace the shoulds with productive thoughts and actions. What can you impact in the company to get it closer to the annual goal? How can you add value to a customer or to your team?
5️⃣ Where is there a correlation between your feelings about yourself and your feelings about your job? Pretend your job is a person. What are all your judgments about your job, your boss, your colleagues, your team, your customers, and the company leadership?
What are the qualities about them that you don’t like? Brainstorm them all.
Then, after you’re finished, go back and circle the qualities from the list that you also don’t like about yourself.
Do you see any correlation? It’s common to dislike qualities in other people (and things like jobs) that we dislike about ourselves.
Now you'll know that you're projecting what you don't like about yourself onto your job. Go to work on yourself for this step.
6️⃣ Love the job before you leave it. What if you got to the place where you loved the job and then decided to leave? Wouldn’t that be so much more liberating and powerful than leaving the job feeling resentful, angry and let down?
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