It’s happened to all of us at some point in our lives, where we’ve nodded and agreed to something that we didn’t want to agree to.
You’ve become so adept at working faster, keeping up with the juggling priorities, the opportunities, and the work coming in, that it’s become easy to use a small part of your brain to do these activities.
Then you check yourself if something doesn’t feel right. It’s perhaps not what you signed up for. You may no longer enjoy the job, your boss, the organisation, or your lifestyle. All you know is that something is amiss.
You wonder how you got here, and the feeling of unhappiness, frustration, and perhaps boredom seeps in.
You may become withdrawn, lash out, snappy, or say “I’m going out” or another phrase.
You say to yourself, it will be okay, you’ll find a new job, move house, go to the gym, and do something to push past it. Because there are worse things that could happen.
And do you know what? That is true, but these strategies aren’t particularly effective.
Compromising your happiness, and accepting layers of stress, boredom, or frustration, is not effective. Maybe you could let it go once, but if it repeats itself?
This week I’ve had a number of conversations with clients who want to do X and need some help, and quickly it turns into a push/pull mindset situation as they wrestle with the fact that happiness will start/restart when they do X.
How many times do you sacrifice happiness? Even for one day?
The first step to addressing this is acknowledging to feeling it (as opposed to judging our negative emotions). Accept that you feel this way. Emotions are your guide and navigation system. A reaction to something.
Next, disassociate your unhappiness with the negative. By detaching the unhappiness with – that person, or that situation, or that product, you can then focus on unhappiness vs happiness.
Ask yourself – what is happy, for me?
If it’s sharing your voice, participation in a project, openness at work, or being creative, for example, you can then go and participate.
And don’t ignore that with some offices that are fully remote or hybrid, this doesn’t suit everyone. If you know that you are happier around people, visit a co-working space, find a way to connect with other people, get out for a walk, or do something that will change your environment.
It’s very easy to sit in one space and say, “I’m grateful that I work at home; it’s so much easier” when it’s making you miserable.
It’s possible that making a shift isn’t that easy, so I recommend taking one small thing that you can create a habit out of. Put it on a post-it note and place it somewhere as a reminder.
For example, if you want to change careers, write – RESEARCH – and go research what that might be. If you miss the commute, and yet don’t, write – MORNING COFFEE – put your shoes and coat by the front door, grab a coffee, and go out for a walk each morning – even if it’s around the garden.
Do one small thing that shifts the balance and gives you back the momentum for positive change.
This week, write down what happy means to you.
No overanalysing, no overthinking, just jot it down – and use colour if colour comes to mind.
Sending lots of happiness.