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Tag: Reality

#19 COVID Effects: Do you Secretly Wish to be Laid Off?

April 10th, 2020 by

Restaurants are only permitted to serve takeout, students must adjust to online learning and employees find themselves working from home. If they’re working at all. Many service and professional workers have been pushed out of their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You feel sympathy for the newly unemployed as they scramble to figure things out. However, in the midst of their unwelcome unemployment, you secretly wish to be laid off.

Old Problem Solved

In your mind, a forced layoff means you get to sever ties without submitting your 2 weeks’ notice. That solves many problems for you! First, it provides an easy explanation during future job interviews. “They laid me off due to COVID downsizing” seems to take responsibility away from you as the employee.

Second, your spouse has no control over your being laid off. If only your employer let you go, you wouldn’t have to convincingly persuade your spouse that your time is up. The third issue a layoff will resolve is your reticent desire to get the heck out of that place. You can create long list of reasons why it’s time to leave; or, perhaps you’re holding on to one significant reason. Your bottom line: secretly wishing to be laid off paves the easy way to other, more satisfying employment.

New Problem

My challenge to you: how will you handle similar circumstances in your new place of employment? Imagine this: pretend you eventually find a better job with a better salary and a better commute (see Post #08). You’re as happy as can be for several months – this is what you’ve always sought in a career… until it’s not.

How would you handle your new circumstance if, let’s say, one day you learn the company is sold? How would you handle a new boss, a reassignment to a new program, or a round of salary cuts? When a career checks all the boxes and life is well, you’re not challenged to evolve, grow or to practice self-awareness. It’s an insidious deceit for all of us when life operates as a well-oiled machine.

Adaptability

Even a well-oiled machine wears down and requires maintenance. Just when you believe that new job is perfect and meets all your requirements, one day you’ll find that it doesn’t. Will you then think about searching for the next one?

When you next job isn’t what you thought, are you going to secretly wish to be laid off again? A layoff (or a new job) may temporarily provide relief from current career woes. The best long-term solution, however, is to work on your mental adaptability skills. You will be a happier, more productive and resilient person if you adapt your brain to job circumstances rather than forcing job circumstances to adapt to your brain.

#17 Do You Think for Yourself?

March 13th, 2020 by

Do you embrace information without question, OR do you tend to think independently? I will talk about the differences and you can determine how these apply to your life.

Living a Programmed Life

Imagine the last time you openly challenged a theory, a boss or a customer. Our society, at times, does not advocate that you challenge status quo. You tend to conform to the norm when you don’t ask questions or perform your own investigations. When this happens, you are believing information as is or perhaps you don’t have time to verify. You probably like to be efficient, and right or wrong, it’s efficient to believe what you are told. It’s not efficient to question information that many embrace without the blink of an eye.

For example, have you ever questioned processes, policies or feedback at work? How about your faith or religious beliefs? Or marriage and the idea of rearing kids? And what about your financial dealings, such as 401ks, IRAs and other investments? The point here is that you have full control over your personal actions and beliefs – how often do you make decisions based on your own interpretation of knowledge? You run the risk of living by default when consistently conforming to ideas, customs and norms without question.

Think for Yourself

In contrast, an independent thinker tends to make deliberate, conscious decisions. And an independent thinker acknowledge their reasons for making such choices. If you think on your own behalf, you tend to question ideas, practices and status quo. This is not an easy practice because others generally don’t like to be challenged. And I am not suggesting you question everything and everyone in your life (see Post #12). Rather, I challenge you to thoughtfully ponder ideas, principles and the lifestyle you live by. Have these been chosen for you or by you?

In conclusion, we fall between the two extremes of accepting all information at face value vs questioning status quo. Where do you stand?

#15 What is your Level of Perfectionism?

February 14th, 2020 by

Some of us push perfectionism to the limit. We admire the way every object in the house has its assigned function and designated space. We don’t mind scrutinizing (or admiring) our work 10 times over just to be extra sure there are no mistakes. Others, however, are not-so-proud perfectionists. You may be familiar with triple and quadruple-checking our own work, and doing so from an uncomfortable feeling of fear. “What if something is incorrect or out of line?” you hauntingly wonder. 

The Root Cause

Perfectionistic tendencies may look different for every person. However, the common denominator for perfectionists boils down to one thing: self-worth. Self-worth, or lack thereof, comes from fear – i.e., “What will they think of me … what if I’m wrong … is my work good enough, etc.” Fear is rooted in self-doubt and insecurity. 

The more insecure you are with your existence, the more you want to prevent mistakes or answer for wrongdoings.  As mentioned, the root cause of your perfectionism comes from a lack of self-worth. Your answers to these questions are indicative of your own self-worth: what do you think of you, how do you view your worth as a human? 

Strive for Less than Perfect

The best way to mitigate perfectionism is to increase your self-worth. Imagine a world in which you are willing to embrace all feelings, positive and negative. Picture how your life would be different if you were comfortable with living an unapologetic, authentic life (see Post #18). 

No lying, no masking your feelings and no shaming yourself for being less than perfect. This is a self-confidence skill that is available to you.  It is a skill you can work toward building over time, similar to hiring a person trainer at the gym.

Perfectionism stems from fear; fear stems from self-doubt and insecurity; self-doubt and insecurity come from your self-worth.  When your self-confidence is sky high, my friends, then you have your own back no matter what. When your self-security is drastically improved, can you see how the need for perfectionism dwindles?

#11 What’s the Most Important Thing to Know?

December 27th, 2019 by

What one piece of information, what one skill or ability, what one resource is the most important thing to know? Today’s fast-paced, high pressure environment doesn’t afford much time for self-reflection. It is easy to dismiss ourselves in the midst of making everyone else happy. What piece of information serve the best purpose for your life?

Your Career: What is Most Important

If you ask yourself, “What’s the most important thing I know?”, your immediate answers will likely fall into one of two categories: personal or professional wellbeing. You may instantly try to answer this question in terms of your career. Perhaps you’d like to advance or change your career, make more money or run for the hills as fast as possible (see Post #04). 

What if, in the context of your career, the most important thing to know is that you can depend on YOU … that you will have your own back no matter what? Imagine how different and rewarding life could be if you knew you can count on yourself 100%. You would feel elated and confident knowing the most important thing: you can get on your feet and thrive despite any prevailing circumstances.

Your Life: What is Most Important

In terms of your personal life, what is the most important thing to know? Perhaps that your family loves you or they will be okay should tragedy strike. Maybe the most important thing to know is that your finances, insurance policies and related benefits are securely in place.

Or, perhaps the most important thing to know is that your personal wellbeing is completely within your control no matter your circumstances? Here is a brain exercise – picture your daily self conducting your life from the feelings of security, confidence and resilience. Again, the most important thing to know: you can get on your feet and thrive despite any prevailing circumstances.

It is worth reflecting on the things that matter most. One tactic is to ask and honestly answer, “What is the most important thing to know?” Personally, thanks to my life coach training, the most important thing I know is that I will be fine and my brain will help me through any given circumstances. I know how to fall and get up. The same peace of mind is available to you.

#7 Wishing for More in Life

November 22nd, 2019 by

Do you spend too much time wishing things were different, wishing for more in life? Perhaps you long for a new job, a bigger raise or a closer commute (see Post #20). On the surface, some of these wishes sound positive and encouraging. But if you dig deeper and think about the meanings behind your wishes, you are probably causing yourself unnecessary suffering.

Resisting Reality

First, when you want things to be different than they are, when you are wishing for more in life, you fight reality. You run the risk of convincing yourself, by wishfully thinking, that your current situation or your current state could and should be better. The more you wish, the more you believe you’re either missing out or you’ve earned the short end of the stick. The act of wishing equates to resisting reality. Is there an upside to thinking you’re at a disadvantage?  

Might it better serve you to focus on the things you have right now? You may argue that it makes you feel bad, that it serves as a painful reminder of what you don’t have. You may say, “The whole reason I wish is because I don’t like the way things are right now!” If so, this is a critical indication that you are caught up in your mind and it’s time to hit your mental reset button. 

Unnecessary Suffering

Secondly, wishing for more in life makes you feel terrible. Wishing is the act of spending precious brain energy longing for things you don’t have (or can’t have). And that kind of painful longing probably makes you feel quite pitiful. Yet, you do it over and over without realizing you’re causing your own pain. 

As you spend greater lengths of time wishing, the worse it is going to make you feel. And even if your wish were granted, it will be a temporary relief. It will only be a matter of time until you start wishing for more in life…

The problem with wishing is that you are not utilizing your thoughts in a way that move your life forward. Wishing is a way to deny reality and cause undue suffering.