Do you worry about work?
“Worrying is suffering twice.”
Newt Scamander-Fantastic Beasts
Never have truer words been said.
But, as is often the case, the opposite is true as well.
Positive anticipation (aka looking forward to something) is enjoying twice.
How come no one talks about that?
My guess is because worrying comes naturally, as if it can serve some type of protective purpose in keeping us from actually experiencing something negative. Looking forward to something doesn’t come as easily, it takes intention and forethought.
Sounds like a lot of work.
What are you looking forward to? Is there anything in the next 3 days that is going to be good? I asked my coaching group this today and all I got in response was crickets
Honestly, I understand. Looking forward to something may be disappointing if it doesn’t actually come to fruition.
But we still get the joy of the anticipation itself…
It's not unlike the placebo effect in pain studies. It's expected that about 30% of people get meaningful pain relief from placebo. They actually FEEL less pain because of their expectations, because of their thoughts.
Just the looking forward to could make us feel better.
As I was mulling this over, I came across this note I had written in my planner.
“If you want something to be fun, it’s your job to make it fun.”
I don’t know if it was a quote from somewhere (or if I was giving myself a pep talk when I wrote it), but looking forward to things is fun.
I like fun things.
I would like to have fun at work.
I know this idea may seem like a stretch for you. Maybe fun seems a little out of reach. Could you substitute a different word?
If you want something to be enjoyable/meaningful/peaceful, it’s your job to make it so.
The challenge is putting both things together.
Can you come up with things that you look forward to AT WORK?
Can you practice bringing attention to something you look forward to
instead of something you dread?
Let me tell you what I look forward to (after some intentional contemplation):
Hearing that a patient has had a positive response to an intervention.
Banter with my coworkers
Being organized and running on time
Sharing in my patients’ lives
Giving a patient the education they need to finally gain understanding
Learning something new
Leaving on time with all my notes done
Helping a patient see possibility where they only saw limitations or disability
My heating pad on my desk chair when my back is killing me 🙂
Eating lunch with my NP colleague.
Getting outside at lunch if time and the weather allow.
It’s not hard, it just requires us to zoom in on the smaller parts of our lives instead of zooming out and only seeing things to worry about.
If we get to choose worry and suffering OR positive anticipation and enjoyment, WHY WOULD WE CHOOSE WORRY? It’s like picking sour milk over a latte.
So what do you think?
Can you try and make a list of things that you can look forward to in your day to day?
I would ask “what do you have to lose by trying”
but the more important question is,
“what do you have to gain?”
Don’t miss out on the anticipatory joy.
I look forward to hearing from you. 🙂
P.S. Do you feel a workshop of quick and easy skills like this one would help at your workplace? Reach out to email@example.com and let’s get something on the calendar.
Need more personalized 1:1 help with getting back to loving the job you can’t afford to leave? Schedule a consult call here.