How well do you know yourself?

In a recent blog post titled You Can Figure Out What To Do About Not Liking Your Job I highlighted the importance of knowing oneself in order to move forward from a job you don’t like to one you do.

I talked about looking inside, getting honest, seeing what’s really there and allowing that to guide your decisions and direction in regards to your career.  Understanding yourself, is the first step to getting clear on what kind of job is going to be a good fit.

Knowing this is how you drop doubts that the time and effort required to make a change, is worth it.

So you know this time you won’t end up back in the same place – unhappy, unfulfilled, looking for something better.

As promised, my next few blogs posts are going to focus on tackling the issue of getting to know yourself head-on. I’ll outline specifically the ways you need to know yourself in order to move forward with confidence in finding a job you like, or maybe even love.

In this post, I want to deal with what’s going on in your head.

Your brain is the most powerful tool that you have access to. As one of my brilliant teachers, Brooke Castillo says, “Our Thoughts create our Feelings, which drive our Actions, which create our Results”.

More simply put – Your thoughts create your reality.

Am I’m saying what you’re thinking has landed you, and kept you, in a job that you don’t like?  Yes.

That’s exactly what I’m saying. If you think this is a stretch, it’s not. Here’s an example:

Take my client Sally (this isn’t her real name). As I often hear, Sally is in a job she doesn’t enjoy. She finds it boring and hard to stay engaged. She wants a change, but she doesn’t know what that is and consequently she doesn’t know how to make it happen. She feels stuck in her job.

Let’s apply Brooke’s concept to Sally’s situation:

  • Circumstance – Working for a government organization
  • Thought – My job is boring
  • Feeling – Bored
  • Action – Distracting by checking personal email at work, complaining to friends about my job being boring
  • Result – Being stuck in a boring job

Sally’s thinking creates the result of being stuck in a boring job.

It has nothing to do with the job and everything to do with her thinking about the job.

Once Sally became aware of this she saw how her thinking was keeping her stuck. It was making it practically impossible for her to enjoy any aspect of her job and certainly stopping her from putting any time or effort towards making a change. In order to improve her situation immediately, I asked Sally to focus on things in her job she did like. One thing she mentioned was being lucky to work with such great people. Here’s what happens when she focuses on that aspect of her job:

  • Circumstance – Working for a government organization
  • Thought – I’m lucky to work with such great people
  • Feeling – Connected
  • Action – Engaging with colleagues to work on projects together
  • Result – Looking forward to work some days

The change in her thinking brought immediate relief from the job she didn’t like.

Now, don’t get me wrong here. I’m all about finding a job that’s engaging and fulfilling. I also believe you are much better suited to some jobs than you are to others. More about this in the Getting to Know Your Personality Traits, Talents and Job Roles post to come. Here’s the truth…

Even if you were to change to a much more engaging job, it’s not the job that creates the feeling of engagement, it’s still your thinking.

Certain situations promote you to unconsciously think positively, which creates positive feelings, which drives positive actions which creates positive results. Do you want to put yourself in as many situations that promote unconscious positive thinking (like a job that fits your personality, strengths and talents so it’s effortless to feel engaged)? Absolutely.

If you can start to think consciously, to find positivity even in a negative situation, that’s when you take control.

To manage your emotions and actions regardless of what is happening in your life. You can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you react.

You get to choose what you think. If you clean up your thinking before you change jobs, one of two things will happen:

  1. You might realize you don’t need to change your job, you just needed to change you.
  1. You will move towards a new career from a place of peace and calm, a place where you can make sound decisions and choices, instead of desperate (I need to get out of this job and make the pain stop now) choices.

Here’s how to get to know what’s going on in your mind – Do a thought download.

Set a timer and do not let your pen leave it for 5 full minutes. You may write ‘I don’t know what I’m writing’ for the first 30 seconds or so, but eventually something will come. Use the questions below to prompt yourself if you need help getting started.

  1. What do I think about my job?
  2. What do I think about myself in my job?
  3. What do I think about my organization?
  4. What do I think about my colleagues?

Were you surprised by what you found?

If it was a lot of negative thinking, be gentle with yourself. Know that finding these negative thoughts is actually a good thing. It means there’s lots of opportunity for change!

As my G.I Joe cartoon watching as a kid drilled into my head, ‘Knowing is half the battle!” So, get into it. Do a Thought Download, or 2 or 3 or….Notice what’s inside, see what’s there and start to understand how what’s happening in your mind is creating what’s happening in your life.

Truly, fully understand how powerful this concept is and how it’s showing up for you.

THEN, we’ll talk about how to change things. Don’t worry I’m not going to leave you hanging with this, I got your back.

If you don’t want to miss the upcoming blog posts that will address how to make these life and career changing shift in your mind, or the posts that will detail the other aspects of yourself you need to know in order to get out of a job you don’t like and into one you do, sign-up for my list here.