The annoying aspects of your job are not likely going to change any time soon.
This may make you believe that there is no way that you can feel better at work. You think that everything would be better if you just had a “good” job.
For the sake of argument, let’s go there.
What would a “good job” look like?
How would you feel about it?
What would you feel about you in that job?
What if you could feel that way now?
Just imagine that…
But then there’s those cold, hard facts..
Your job has certain rules and expectations.
You are working in that job.
Your work environments (building, coworkers, systems) are not determined by you.
So if these facts are true, as facts typically are, is feeling better at work even a reasonable possibility?
It’s reasonable, it’s not that complicated, and doesn’t require you to change jobs.
Let’s start with one of my favorite Wayne Dyer quotes:
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
(Don’t panic, this isn’t all there is to it.)
If you want to feel the way you would in a “good” job AND you can’t change the cold, hard facts of your present job, then the one feasible option is to change the way you see your current situation.
Let’s be honest. We know that changing the way you look at things changes the way you feel. How many times have you tried to offer someone a different point of view when they are stressed out and you can see a solution that they can’t? How many times have you offered a teenager a perspective other than the catastrophic one that they believe firmly?
But of course this is trickier when it comes to ourselves which is why I think the second step is crucial. After reminding ourselves that the way we look at things changes everything, we have to ask ourselves a powerful question.
What other ways could I possibly look at this?
I have talked about the strategy of powerful questions before but this one can be a game changer. When we put something in question form, we automatically set our brain to looking for answers.
And here’s the best part, even ridiculous answers can get the ball rolling. Any possible alternative viewpoint can put a little crack in the solid negativity of your current perception of work. And once the crack is started it can grow as we become more curious, creative, or compassionate with how we choose to look at work situations.
I actually prefer to start with outlandish suggestions. It helps me move out of my seriousness and over attention to negative things (and being outlandish is fun).
Maybe the exam room didn’t get cleaned because the tech has a raging UTI and was going to pee her pants.
Maybe the receptionist didn’t check someone in because she just found out she is going to be a grandmother.
Maybe my patient was late because their ride had a flat tire or they had to stop for a motorcycle rally to get through town.
Maybe the administration hasn’t ever had personal experience with patients in chronic pain so they couldn’t possibly understand why something would or wouldn’t work.
These, while unlikely, do place a little crack in the severity of my work experience and from there I can start to think about other, more likely scenarios that can help me extend understanding and grace to my day.
I can find alternative ways to look at things that make me feel better, less victimized and more compassionate.
And less victimized is how I look in a "good job". Just by changing the way I look at things I can feel that way now, in THIS job, today.
You don’t have to try it. It isn’t right or wrong to think in a specific way about work. But as Wayne says, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”.
And isn’t that exactly what you want?
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