Is anyone listening?
Do you ever just assume that no one would listen if you actually told them how you feel about work? Your frustrations, your exhaustion.
How would you really even make them understand that it’s not one thing? It’s little microtraumas throughout the day, nuances that individually don’t necessarily make a big difference but together culminate in a feeling of overwhelm, helplessness and debilitating fatigue.
Maybe someone asks how your day was but the thought of even trying to explain is more than you can handle so you just answer with , “fine” or “long” or “crazy.” One of the words that fulfills the obligatory response but doesn’t even touch how beaten up you feel. Maybe a friend asks how work is and you give some flippant answer like “it pays the bills” with a silent subtext of “at the cost of my soul.”
But the worst part is, it doesn’t necessarily mean you hate your job. Sometimes you can’t even identify how you got from the place of “hoping you get the job” to the current drudgery of coming back, shift after shift. The transition was slow and unnoticed at the time, much like a child growing 6 inches over the summer and you didn’t realize it until school time comes and she needs all new pants. It just happened, over time.
And all of a sudden, it seems intolerable, like something major has to change right away but even the idea of a big change makes you break out in a sweat.
And so you’re stuck.
But what if something major doesn’t have to change?
What if that thought is one of the things making you feel stuck?
What if you only had to make a teensy tiny change?
What if loving your job took the same process as losing weight, 1 pound at a time?
Or the same as getting in shape, just by starting with counting your steps?
Or getting your house clean by starting with just taking care of getting the mail as soon as it comes in?
In those situations we don’t expect an overnight resolution of the problem. We expect it to take some time and dedication. We know that we won’t start with 100% follow through but we also know that if we take the steps, the outcome is guaranteed.
What if this is true for healing your work situation? What if it was guaranteed that with some effort you could love it, even if the job itself didn’t change? Sit with that thought for a minute. Wouldn’t it be amazing if it were true?
You can change your feelings about your job.
I know because I have done it myself, time and time again.
It was hard in the beginning because I had no evidence that it would work. I took a gamble because something had to give. There were days I showed up great and days that I felt I was back to square one. But I kept going, kept trying new things, re-evaluating and tweaking the process.
Which is why I know it’s possible. Now every time something “terrible” happens and shifts everything at work, I know exactly what to do.
Obviously, it’s too much to put in one post… maybe I should write a book. But in the meantime, I won’t keep you hanging. Here are my top 3 strategies to get you started.
Give yourself the gift of deciding every day that it is in your power to make it better (AKA stop talking about all the awful parts and reinforcing to yourself that better isn’t possible.) Even if it doesn’t seem reasonable, tell yourself everyday “It is possible to love this job and I am going to figure it out.” Sounds cheesy but it is an important first step. It opens the door of possibility in your brain.
When you get to work, write down 10 things you are grateful for. It doesn’t have to be about work. Get to work one minute early and do it in your car if you have to but train your brain to look for anything positive when you get there. The trick is to try “no repeats.” Pick different things every day. Flavored coffee, having the same assignment, not having the same assignment, air conditioning, enough PPE, takeout for dinner, a good stethoscope, plans with friends on the weekend, being able to wear sneakers at work. You get the idea. Write them down. At work. Consider it a warm up for the exercise of doing your job.
Remember why you are there. I go to work to help people (my patients) and to provide for my family. I can do that in ANY situation. Maybe with better staffing or more resources I could help my patients more but if that isn’t the reality then I am going to crush it with the time and resources that I have. Approaching my patients from a place of compassion and service ALWAYS works. ALWAYS. I have to remind myself to stay focused on what is, not what I wish was happening. And be an amazing NP from that reality.
Work can be better. I promise.
What do you have to lose by believing it to be true?
If you really want this for your own life but are having trouble doing it on your own, I can help you. Book a call here.