A huge number of the working population today puts on a smiling mask to hide their pain as they head to work each day...
Is this truly the kind of life that we dream for ourselves or for our children who are constantly reminded to brace themselves for the grind ahead.. ?
Needless to say, there exists the need for much greater awareness and sensitivity around this; it’s imperative to acknowledge and deal with the problem head on, and prevent any stress like situation to arise. However the big picture draws our attention to the grim side - that of a recurring pattern of discontent and stress that is leading to mental health problems, depression and related diseases.
Are we then becoming the slaves of this situation and letting our job related struggles become our identity through our entire life?
Many consider work related stress as a norm and a natural byproduct of an ambitious life, they choose to bury the issues or resort to temporary quick fixes not realizing that our subconscious mind that operates 90-95% of our behaviors ,rarely forgets !
As we are becoming increasingly aware of an epidemic like situation, we better pause for a moment and question ourselves - what are the real reasons within us or in our environment that is leading to all the struggle and pain; and what’s the impact on our lives in the long term…
As a Success Coach , I am approached more often by clients who wish to seek support in meeting their career goals .., however through the coaching process, it never begins or ends there.., it’s always more about self discovery, awareness and empowerment towards finding one’s unique purpose and unique solutions !
As responsible human beings, it’s our onus to discover the root cause of every challenge and paint the canvas of our life with the colors that make it most beautiful...
I remember one of my clients - a well to do entrepreneur, proud of her transition journey from full time job of 15 years to having set up her flourishing boutique for some years now, and a settled married life with two kids, - seemingly happy! She approached me to help her take better control of her business and take it to new heights. As we began our conversation, she discovered that at the core, she was not completely in charge. Her procrastination, lack of enthusiasm and fears in accepting new assignments were troubling her, slowly spilling on to her personal and family life as well .Through few coaching sessions- now comfortable and willing to narrate her own story in a safe and trusting space, she came face to face with her sadness – all coming from those last years of her job where she had witnessed dwindling performance, lack of recognition and trust from her seniors in giving her independent assignments - from there she had unconsciously planted seeds of believing herself as ‘not being good enough “ for taking up anything big - be it in her personal or professional life. It took us sometime, to help her figure out further, but once cleaned of the blocks and fears, it turned out to be extremely liberating, setting her free with new wings!
The big realization here was that her entire identity up until that point in her life had been formed around that particular negative experience at work, and this may happen with many who lose jobs, suffer layoffs or unmet expectations from careers ..
When your work defines you and becomes your identity, everything that happens at work seems personal..
Many people have either defined themselves—or been defined by others—from day one, thanks to the strong messages that society keeps broadcasting ever since we are children”, that the title on your business card is directly connected to your worth as a human being,” and further reinforces it regularly with unfair feelings of envy and comparison ..
Reminds me of my own post I had written a year back in the context of children and how early we start asking them about what they wish to become when they grow up, http://mydovecorner.blogspot.in/2016/02/somethings-that-matter-guilty-or-not.html
By defining yourself by what you do and the success you have achieved at your job, rather than by who you are, you can put yourself in emotional jeopardy. You lose touch with your faculties, gifts and higher powers, - and coping with life transitions, such as job loss or downfall in business, can become even more difficult.
Our work and our careers no doubt form an important component in our life. We all feel happiest when we realise to the best- our potential to create and to use our gifts; and beyond just working to pay bills, we often feel more fulfilled when we are doing the type of work we love.
But if you have few interests outside of work; you feel restless when you're not working; you can't carry on a conversation without referring to something at work; you make yourself available to people at work round the clock; and when you're at home with family, your mind is back at work – then you've allowed yourself to be defined too much by your job.
If that describes you, then keep in mind the intangible price that you may end up paying for the success you are chasing without first establishing the awareness and clarity of what you as an individual stand for, and the story that you keep telling to yourself and to the world!
Some people live their entire lives this way, without ever feeling the desire or a reason to change. But we all have the power to choose, to make good a chance to start creating a version of our best life.
Our self-identity is more about our potential, our values and qualities as a human being, and who we are as individuals. What we do for work is a piece of our lives..
We all need to have a solid identity apart from our job title. We need to redefine our sense of achievement and accomplishment- and to truly live a life – a life which has a meaningful purpose that excites us to get out of bed every morning, looking forward to activities and pursuits that are as important as work. This essentially means a healthy work-life, where we are not emotionally tied to work ,every second of our existence.
It is imperative that we start looking at developing strong and healthy emotional connections with people outside of work that can help provide meaning in life, and provide the support if and when we have a sudden career change or challenges at work.
Where there is sadness, heal it. Set yourself free...
I invite each of you to study your life, go through the process of understanding and defining who you are, not just what you do... This self-examination alone, will give you the strength to survive the ups and downs of a career and work -life...!
And it all begins with the process of self-discovery. This may call for outside support and consulting a coach or a professional who has the training to help you unpack…, in the most trusted and non judgmental space, ..
Whatever it may take, don’t wait for a jolt before you ask yourself the crucial question, “Why are you here. . .” towards finding your authentic self.
It’s never too late to be who you were meant to Be! - George Eliot