Tag: stuck

#59 “How Can I Care Less About Work?”

October 22nd, 2021 by

“Why am I so invested in my job, how can I care less about work?” If this sounds painfully familiar, trust me when I state that this is a common dilemma!

Eliminate the Question

Asking, “How can I care less about work?” is a misguided question that is irrelevant to the real problem (see Post #35). 

“How can I care less about work” presupposes you should care in the first place. It implies you have an internal attachment to your external work – and this is dangerous. This question assumes that ‘caring less’ is the solution to your burnout, stress, or work frustrations.

Allow me to offer an alternative perspective. If you can open your mind and welcome new points of view, I would like to pose a different angle.

Before we get to that, the common work approach below may apply to you if you are trying to care less.

The Common Approach

Work does not exist for you to:

  • Care what others think of you or your output
  • Overwork to the point of missing out on real life
  • Worry about employment status
  • Ruminate over harsh words someone said
  • Be available at the employer’s beck and call
  • Fix everyone’s fires except your own putting your job at risk
  • Put your life on hold to aggressively travel against your will
  • Please everybody

The purpose of work is not to be emotionally tied to outcomes of your performance or to others’ opinions. This common behavior can surely lead you towards a meltdown if things go sour at work. Asking, “how can I care less about work” is a cry out for help.

“But I’m supposed to care about my work and performance … if I’m not emotional then it means I don’t care!”

Okay. I hear what you’re saying. I ask you to keep an open mind and read the next section. This is probably new territory for many of you, so notice if you embrace or reject these suggestions.

A More Practical Approach

Work does exist for you to

  • Use reasonable judgment to fulfill an employment contract
  • Perform transactions
  • Attempt your best day in and day out
  • Recognize strengths and weaknesses
  • Fail, try, fail again, and try again
  • Understand your limits and set boundaries
  • Learn how to be resourceful
  • Expand your brainpower by developing yourself
  • Overcome interpersonal challenges by working with difficult people
  • Serve an organization utilizing supplied resources
  • Help others help themselves
  • Improve things that cross your path – projects, conversations, and people

Notice how this list is more flexible and forgiving. This list does not require you to have an emotional attachment to any particular outcome. It absolves you from having to cling to the job; there is no dependency on what others might think.

Therefore, don’t ask yourself, “how can I care less about work.”

Instead, ask yourself, “Did I try my best today considering the way I felt along with the information available?” At the end of the day, there is nothing more that any one person, including you, can ask of yourself.

When you know you’ve done your best per the given circumstances, all else falls into place.

If you enjoy this content, I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and ask me about free strategy sessions for your career!

#54 Are You Lacking Self-Confidence?

August 13th, 2021 by

People talk at work. The boss is unreasonable. Your customer complained about you. What do you do?  If you are lacking self-confidence, it can haunt your professional life in myriad ways. Here are three pivotal reasons you should work on building it.

Blending Self and Job Identity

This is an insidious combination of two separate items that people tend to not recognize.

To blend the self with the job identity implies your job is part of your being. It means your existence is reliant upon your duties, job title or employer. When this occurs, life is grand if the job is going well. However, it also means that when the job goes south for whatever reasons, so does your life.

There are two problems when we blend work with our self-identities. First, you are relying on externals, almost completely out of your control, to feel confident. When we rely on external situations to make us feel good or confident, we set ourselves up for disappointment.

The second problem is that you tend to forget that careers are only one slice of life’s massive pie. People who depend on careers for their wellbeing are likely to forget there are significant, more important things to life.

Think of your job (and your career) as a tool. It is simply a tool that changes over time, morphs into something you may or may have anticipated, and acts as a springboard to your next job.

Jobs and employers are not the end all be all, as much as they may seem. If you suspect you are blending self and job identities, answer the question, “In what ways am I lacking self-confidence?”

Job identity is not self-identity!

Failure and Leadership

You are a leader. It does not matter if you started your first job today or if you’ve been at it for years. Despite your role on the organizational chart, you are a leader and I will tell you why.

First, others depend on you. Your colleagues and your management depend on your results and productivity. You are filling an important void the company needs to thrive so it can serve its customers. Therefore, your employer is heavily dependent upon your good judgment, which leads to reason No. 2.

Second, you are not just a leader in the workplace. You are the CEO over your own life. And do you know what CEOs do? They:

  • take charge
  • make decisions even when it is terrifying
  • are future focused and do not dwell on the past
  • view mistakes as information, not failure
  • try, fail, get up, try, and fail again until they figure things out
  • do not need a checklist, instructions, or directions; they eagerly learn as they go

Defeating obstacles and challenges helps you remove barriers that block you from knowing how exceptional you are. If everything were easy, you would remain stagnant.

Learn to lead yourself before you attempt to lead others!

People-Pleasing

Do you work extra hard or extra-long to keep others off your back? Do you say “okay” when you really mean “no?” People-pleasing can take many shapes and forms in the workplace; this is a sure sign you’re lacking self-confidence.

It is tempting to overwork or create perfectionistic tendencies when the pressure is on. After all, what will others think if you don’t do a great job? But here is the people-pleasing dilemma: you either satisfy others, or you satisfy yourself. Which is more important?

A people-pleaser would rather make others happy over making themselves happy. The root of people-pleasing is fear: “I might be the next to go; I need this job; I have to do everything they tell me to do; it’s too hard to find another job right now, etc.”

It’s not difficult to imagine how a people-pleasing mindset can enable toxicity. Confident people know how to choose themselves and their wellbeing over others (yes, including the boss). The person with high self-confidence realizes their employer needs them more than they need the employer. Confident employees know how to set boundaries and gracefully say “no.” Perhaps most importantly, the highly self-confident person is not beholden to their employer!

People-pleasers choose to not please the single, most important person alive: themselves!

Are you lacking self-confidence and ready to do something about it? Visit my Events Page to register FREE for Class 1 of my upcoming fall course starting Sept. 15, which teaches confidence and life skills for a healthy, sustainable career!

If you enjoy this content, I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and ask me about free strategy sessions for your career!

#48 Five Workplace Lessons to Elevate Your Career

May 21st, 2021 by

Whether novice, veteran or somewhere in between, listed here are 5 critical workplace lessons for optimal career health and professional success.

No. 1 Employers Don’t Guarantee Happiness

One of the most impactful workplace lessons for you to know is that employers don’t ‘make’ people happy. Employer roles do not include cultivating nor sustaining your happiness.. 

The role of your employer is to provide work instructions so you can fulfill part of their business objectives. You produce output and they compensate. It’s a mutually beneficial agreement to create a working partnership.

At no point in time, at least not that I’ve ever heard, do employers promise happiness. To further this point, they are not responsible for your development, your growth or your professional status. Once you sign on the dotted line, you agree to fulfill your employee role; they agree to pay based on their own standards and criteria.

Hence, it is a grave mistake for anyone to assume or expect an employer keep them happy. As I’ve exclaimed before, “it’s not your job’s job to make you happy.” You will only set yourself to be disappointed!

No. 2 Rely on Yourself, Not Your Employer

Referring to Lesson No. 1, your employer’s role is to compensate you for your output, subject to their definition of compensation.

They unfortunately have no obligation to inform you of upcoming RIFs, transformations or new business objectives. Therefore, it is great habit for you to rely on YOU in case work goes south. If, for whatever reason, you find yourself out of a job, a reliance on yourself will provide a healthy, practical activity that is completely within your control.

Therefore, be more proactive in your career journey. I recommend Blog #33 about your Employability Vault. This article spells out a strategy and steps to help you get started with proactive preparations as a fallback plan.

I have seen too many devastated faces at work. You never know what is going on behind the scenes. The Employability Vault is your go-to mental workout, whether work is going great or not going at all.

Lesson No. 3 Behaviors Project Self-Worth

This perhaps may be one of the best workplace lessons for your self-confidence. The lesson is that other people, in general, say and act in manners that reflect the way they feel about themselves.

This is important for two reasons. First, when others point fingers, talk smack, or berate colleagues, they are exposing their insecurities. An individual who is disappointed or unhappy deep down will project this negativity onto others through their interactions. Similarly, a person who is highly confident and appreciative of who they are will treat others accordingly.  

Secondly, this applies to you, too! How you feel about yourself is an indication of the most important relationship you will ever have – the relationship with YOU.

Therefore, what others think about you is really not about you. It is more about their own personal experiences, successes, failures… and what they believe about themselves. What others think of you is directly related to their own sense of self-worth. Hurt people hurt other people. 

The lesson here is to not take disagreements or nasty comments about you so seriously. At the same time, if you find yourself judging someone, redirect that judgment inward to assess your own insecurity.

Lesson No. 4 There is No ‘Right’ Career Path

“What is my right career path?” is a question that plagues many professionals at all experience levels. And the reason it plagues is because this question is a self-limiting, negative question to ask.

“What is the right path” implies there is one right and several wrong answers. We live in a culture that teaches us decisions are generally ‘right or wrong,’ ‘good or bad.’ Therefore, this awful question produces unreasonable pressure for you to choose the right one.

What if there were no such thing as a ‘wrong’ career path? Picture this – you sell the house, move the family out of state, start over at a new company only to find out you hate it. Most people might claim, “that was the wrong career move.” But I beg to differ!

Can you be open to the idea that there is much value in all experiences? What I mean is, you lived through a process that did not produce the outcome you had hoped for. During this time, you experienced things, people and places you had never before known. You tried a new job, new employer, and new culture. Is it helpful and self-serving for you to know that it wasn’t a good fit?

Yes, absolutely, without a doubt it was a learning experience. Just because the job or employer wasn’t a good fit doesn’t mean it was wasted energy. It is just as important to know what you don’t like as it is to know what you do!

Lesson No. 5 Dream Jobs are Created, Not Found

This may be the most enlightening of the workplace lessons mentioned here. I never knew that a dream job was something I needed to create. It was never ‘out there’ to be found, as if part of some scavenger hunt. No wonder I could never find it!?

So, stop searching for your dream job. Stop meticulously analyzing job descriptions out of vigilant fear that they may not fit your ‘dream job’ criteria. And stop beating yourself up because you want more out of your professional life.

Instead, realize that if you want external greatness, you must generate internal greatness first.

I am going to include a phenomenal quote by musical genius Quincy Jones:

“Love, trust and respect.

Your music can never be more or less than you are as a human being. That’s the bottom line.

So you work on being a good human being first, even before a good musician.”

The lesson learned here is that if you want great, be great. Your job can only ever be as great as you are.

Which of the 5 lessons are holding you back? Let me know in the Contact Page!

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my Youtube channel for additional coaching insights!

#47 Your Performance Review: Is it About Performance?

May 7th, 2021 by

Why does it seem like your performance review wasn’t even about your performance? Have you left ‘the room’ thinking, “It’s so unfair … I deserve more … they don’t even know all the things I do … etc.”

Because I care about your health and wellness, I am going to save you some heartache here. I’ve been there done that, and it is no way to live!

What to Do?

First, let them have it.

Let them have their way with the antiquated process they refer to as a performance review. What I mean is, allow them full ownership and detach yourself from the outcomes (See Post #35). If your emotions are dictated by this nebulous process that utilizes the input of others, you will (almost always) find disappointment in the end.

Emotional wellness should not be dictated by external things outside your control.  

One trick to help with detachment: think of your performance review as a credit report. Other people, who you don’t choose, who know little about you, get to hold you accountable. These people judge you against constraints without your consent. Then, they rank you based on said constraints, resulting in a punishment/reward system. You virtually have zero control over the process, rules or decision-making.

You’re left with the output, which may or may not be representative of your behaviors.

The performance review is part of a process that fulfills an organization’s goals. It caters to their own guidelines, business objectives, and even offers legal protection. According to bizfluent, “Federal and state laws regulate employee performance reviews.”

Let the employer own their performance review, their processes and the stakeholders. Of course, if you disagree with written remarks then you must pick and choose which battles to fight. But in general, release the whole process from your mind and let them have it so you can make space for more productive matters.

What NOT to Do

I highly advise against radical attempts to improve next year’s review. 

Do not work extra ‘hard’ or go above and beyond simply for the sake of achieving a ‘better’ review. Your health and wellness are priceless, and aiming to improve the next review can deplete you. It can insidiously drain your energy while sucking the life out of you, creating resentment toward the employer.

And be aware – you’re fooling yourself if you believe, “I’ll just work harder, I’ll stay longer, I’ll jump when they snap their fingers and do all things necessary…” At the end of the day, at the end of the year, you will be judged by others.

Therefore, apply your energies where you have the most control: your own development.

What Matters Most

For a moment, forget about the colleagues, the boss and the customers. Instead of wondering, “What do they think, how can I please them, what will they say, etc.,” I invite you to redirect these questions.

What do YOU think about your performance? What would YOU tell someone about yourself, your work ethic, and your accomplishments? This practice, my friends, is both a difficult yet extremely rewarding aspect of self-development.

Here’s the thing. Management may choose to dismiss your successes and accomplishments. But at the end of the day, you know your performance level. You understand something that no one else possibly can – your own efforts. That’s what matters most: holding yourself accountable to you.

Why does that matter the most?

Accountability is a self-reflective habit that over time will start to create something amazing in your life: sustainable happiness. Accountability includes redirecting your energies away from the forced performance review and instead applying them toward:

  • Tackling your day-to-day obstacles with the provided resources
  • Being like the bigger adult in the room
  • Deliberately choosing productive responses in light of circumstances

Focusing energies inward allows you to recognize, cultivate, and apply self-development to your job and to your life … unlike a biased performance review, which vanishes into the digital world of bureaucratic formalities.

Let me know how unfair your mandatory performance review was and how it affected you!

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my Youtube channel for additional coaching insights!

#46 “I’m Tired of the Grind”

April 23rd, 2021 by

“I’m tired of the grind.”

“I feel like all I do is work, take care of the house, take care of the kids.”

Between demanding meetings, virtual work drama and external home responsibilities, your’e tired. But what is a person to do … you have financial, professional and personal commitments. It’s not so easy for most to just ‘land’ a new job or up and move to shake things up.

Here, I offer mental wellness tips to help yourself get out of your head and become more grounded.

I’m Tired of the Grind = I’m Tired of My Life

You may never state aloud “I’m tired of my life” to anyone or to yourself. People may assume the worst, like you’re lazy, ungrateful or you’re a bad parent. But stating “I’m tired of the grind” is easier. It’s safe and feels more neutral. However, the meanings of these two phrases can stem from the same place: a desire for change, wanting some things to be different than they are.

You tell yourself, “If only I had a better job … less responsibilities … smarter colleagues who work as hard as me … etc.” The list can go on, and I’m positive that you extroverts have been particularly affected by COVID. I personally know many extroverts who feel stuck and isolated working from home, as if in solitary confinement.

While tempting to dream of a different, better life, I offer a word of caution. That caution is to recognize when you resist reality. Resisting reality can take many forms; common examples are statements that start with:

  • I just want (more time in the day)
  • I wish (my job weren’t so boring)
  • Things would be better if (my kids listened to me)
  • Life would be better if (I could travel again)
  • If only COVID would go away (things would be normal)
  • I can’t wait until (I get my raise)
  • I’m tired of always having to (clean up messes)
  • If only people would (do the responsible thing)
  • I’d be happier if (I could take a vacation)

You get the drift. These classic mental examples of wishfully thinking are what it looks like to resist reality. Now why is that important to know?

Permission to be Human

As you recognize and acknowledge wishful thinking, i.e. resisting reality, you also come to understand its impact: how it makes you feel. And when you connect the dots between resisting reality and feeling miserable about it, you take ownership.

Why would I want to take ownership over wishfully thinking? Because ownership equals authority.

Whether emotions, thoughts or home projects, taking ownership (i.e. responsibility/accountability) opens up the mind to creative authority over the issue. Thought ownership is a bold practice of coming to terms with yourself, promoting separation of thought from the thinker.

After separating thoughts from the thinker, you pleasingly discover it’s okay to be human.

When you give yourself permission to be human, a sort of magic happens. You impartially allow thoughts to exist without judgement. There is no guilt or shame when admitting, ‘it’s true, my life would be easier without kids’, or ‘I’d rather not cover for my sick colleague,’ etc.

Authority, or thought ownership, is the ability to embrace thoughts and allow space for them to flow with NO self-judgment. And this opens the door to enlightenment.

Enlightenment is Freedom

Enlightenment, if you were to google, has myriad definitions. I’m going to use my favorite definition of enlightenment thanks to the Happiness Podcast by clinical psychologist Dr. Robert Puff: enlightenment is the radical acceptance of what is.

Enlightenment is the radical acceptance of what is. Let’s recap – How do you lead yourself to enlightenment? How can you get away from, “I’m tired of the grind?”

One, recognize thoughts and moments when you resist reality. Two, own them. Create distance between thoughts and the thinker. Three, permit the thinker to exist as a human with zero self-judgment. 

Finally, as a last step, I encourage you to embrace the below statements with an open mind. Which resonates the most, and how you can work with the ‘grind’ instead of against it?

  • I’m starting to realize that every person has their own grind to manage for themselves.
  • It is true there are ways in which I can change my grind, but I choose not to.
  • Others would love to have my grind over their own.
  • I’m open to believing that managing my grind will someday pay off and I will be grateful.
  • It’s a privilege for me to navigate my own grind.

Let me know which one resonates the most and how you can work with the ‘grind’ instead of against it?

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my Youtube channel for additional coaching insights!

#41 “I Hate My Engineering Job”

February 12th, 2021 by

“I hate my engineering job.” The results of this Google search were staggering to me. And according to an ASME article, engineering is the second loneliest profession (behind law).

This article is not the end all be all answer, because the answer is overly complicated and cannot be resolved in one blog post. However, as a recovering engineer myself, I can offer information to help neutralize the pain.

In the Trenches

Of course, I know there are engineers who ‘hate’ their current role. For crying out loud, that is a large reason why I started my coaching business in the first place!

But, the agonizing responses after searching “I hate my engineering job” served as a painful reminder of my past life as an engineer working in the trenches:

  • I just started as an electrical engineer for a consulting firm just over a month ago. At first I was ecstatic, because I got a job and now all of that hard work over the last four years to get the degree will finally pay off. However I just realized the other day that I hate my job.
  • This is such a cookie cutter job.
  • I don’t like my first engineering job and I want advice.
  • I’ve been an electrical engineer for 33 years and just left the profession 2 months ago. Technically, it’s an “early retirement” but quite frankly I just needed to get out.
  • In particular, I’m in agreement with it changing from engineering > management, now to engineers being yanked all over the place due to management / politics and finance.
  • My love of the profession and my hope that I would one day become like my heroes were gone. I wasn’t solving problems or coming up with creative solutions for customers and colleagues. I was pushing paper and, as a lead, using the lash of my tongue on others to achieve the same exacting standards.

There is not adequate time or space here to delve further into the endless pit of career horror stories. But, “I hate my engineering job” is a very real syndrome among the STEM population. Allow me to sum up the most common reasons I could find:

  • Boredom
  • Politics
  • Finance/business hierarchy
  • Loneliness
  • No impact/no pride
  • No autonomy/creativity

What’s an Engineer to Do?

For starters, here are a few things you need to know that I wish I had known back in the day.

First – Did you realize you are not alone? Engineers tend to (there are always exceptions) allow emotional career frustrations to linger and fester inside, which results in two obvious drawbacks. One, the pressure keeps building over time until you find an outlet. That outlet could spontaneously combust and turn out to be a major regret in life.

Next, you portray the image that nothing is wrong. That you’re just going about your business… that life is swell. And do you know why that is not a good idea? Because other people around you (either physically or on the socials), might be feeling the exact same way. Then, they believe they are the only ones feeling down and out about their jobs because the other engineers they know are putting on a show. It becomes a vicious cycle where all parties suffer in lonely silence.

Second – Did you know that you don’t have to bottle up negative feelings and live a pretentious life? Let me guess … you never learned this in engineering school, did you. They don’t teach us that it is natural and human to experience a wide spectrum of emotions in our careers. We have not been told that it can be stressful and unhealthy to suppress one of our most basic instincts as humans: expression. In fact, I would argue, based on personal experiences, that the STEM world discourages human expression. You are to get the data … do your job … don’t cause trouble … rinse and repeat.

Third – Did anyone tell you that there could be a large disconnect between academics and professional reality? Both worlds can offer feelings of pressure and pride, and both worlds can offer opportunities for growth and challenge. However, the circumstances under which these features are offered can be vastly different. Some engineers do directly apply academics to their jobs – note, this is typically a given assumption for most young engineers. After all, why would you bust your rear end in college to earn a job doing anything else?

The Inevitable

The sad truth, folks, is that many engineers do not require application of an engineering curriculum to be a successful engineer. Thus, you are left feeling bored, regret, hopeless, or worse. It’s no wonder you agonize over, “I hate my engineering job.”  You should know, you must know, that there is often a disconnect between industry and academics.

Engineering school doesn’t teach you how to be an engineer; rather, it teaches you the skill of how to learn in the context of engineering.

Now what? Where does this leave you? For one, you can let me know about your frustrations and dead-end attempts at engineering happiness by sending me a note – let’s chat about it. For an additional thought-provoking insight into career despair, see Post #25, “How Long Will You Suffer from Career Despair?”

Do you feel misled? Are you getting more brain-dead as time goes by? Send me a note and let me know how you are affected by this industry-academic disconnect.

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my Youtube channel for additional coaching insights!

#32 Do You Doubt Your Engineering Career?

October 9th, 2020 by

It’s okay if you read this blog post, you’re not crazy. One of the most difficult revelations you can admit as an engineer is that you are in doubt. You doubt your engineering career. And it is agonizing. Given the student loans, diligent studying, and wishful thinking, your engineering path leaves much to be desired.

Greener Pastures

You had myriad expectations as an engineering student. Perhaps you experienced phenomenal internships with spectacular mentors. And it’s possible you landed what you thought was going to be your dream job. Or, maybe you didn’t land a dream job. Maybe your credentials allowed for an opening into your dream company.

Somehow, the honeymoon phase faded away and now you doubt your engineering career. Your day-to-day is mundane without a clear future among too many supercilious people. The little secret you carry around is that your disappointment has led to job hunting.

Heaven forbid certain individuals find out, i.e. your colleagues or your boss!

This scenario is not what you envisioned years ago. You always believed your engineering career was going to be fulfilling and exciting, with much opportunity for growth and advancement (see Post #25). Now, you painfully doubt your career choice and contemplate moving on to greener pastures, if only you knew where to find them.

A Painful Way to Live

Believing you worked so hard only to question your choices can lead to a bitterly exhausting life. However, the first thing you ought to know is that this is a common dilemma among many engineers. You are not weird. There is nothing wrong with you. Many engineers question their purpose and their future. At times, they blindly throw darts and hope to hit something of value.

Secondly, it sure is tempting to switch jobs, careers or even industries. There are many opportunities out there and you may feel like you are missing out. The logical urge is to leave your current situation behind in search of a better life.

You don’t know if the grass is greener until you get there. Then, what will you do if the grass is brown? How many times will you start over in search of a better outcome?

Third, and most importantly, is that career doubt is a derivative of self-doubt. When you doubt your engineering career, you are placing blame. Regardless of who or what you blame, this career doubt correlates to your being out of touch with yourself. The question is, how much?

If you can better understand the reasons why you do the things you do, the reasons why you think the way you think, pieces of the puzzle will fall into place. Career doubt is simply the symptom of a bigger issue.

Maybe engineering isn’t where you belong, maybe it is. My function is to help you figure this out. Do not delay any longer. Send me a note about your contemplation, and we can work to figure out how engineering should fit into your life: gina@deliberatedoing.com.

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my Youtube channel for additional coaching insights!

#31 “My Employer is Taking Advantage of Me”

September 25th, 2020 by

It was bad enough you felt connected to your job 24/7 prior to COVID-19, thanks to work cell phones. You could not have imagined how much worse the lines would blur. With most professionals working from home, work-life boundaries are muddled as you bitterly realize, “My employer is taking advantage of me.”

It’s Just the Way Things Are

Post #29 summarized an eye-opening interview I recorded with Stephanie Slocum, Career Coach at Engineers Rising. She asked riveting questions about employment and layoffs that people like you want to know the answers to. I offered my insights about job security, worthiness, people-pleasing, work identity vs self-identity, and other impactful topics.

The most common topic people ask me about since the interview is, “My employer is taking advantage of me. It’s just the way things are. How do I say no?”

Some of you are working 12+ hours/day while struggling to complete assigned tasks and take care of a household. You may receive emails throughout the evening with an unreasonable expectation to complete requests by the morning. The examples are numerous, but many people believe this is the way things are. When the employer says jump, your brain is programmed to ask how high.

When you have bought into the mentality that this is the way things are, it is highly likely you will not question the system. It is highly likely you will not push back, and you begrudgingly continue to burn out.

Saying No

You may not realize that setting work boundaries and diplomatically pushing back is an option. It may sound too foreign a concept, especially if you tell yourself you cannot afford to be unemployed.

The reasons to avoid saying no or pushing back include, “My reputation might be damaged; I don’t have a choice; my next raise will be poor; I may be the next to get laid off, etc.”

The option to say no to unreasonable work demands is available to you – it is possible despite the doubts that come up. True, others may snicker or point a finger, and the boss may criticize. But, which is the higher price to pay: the risk of job loss with a disrespectful employer who doesn’t recognize your needs and pushes you over the limit, OR an over demanding life of work that is dedicated to appeasing others’ unrelenting, infinite demands?

Employment is a partnership, not a dependency. Do yourself a healthy, long-term favor by learning the art of saying no.

If you’re a disgruntled, hard-working employee who believes “my employer is taking advantage of me,” I invite you to watch my insightful interview on Youtube. It could be the start of a much-needed, restorative relationship you create with yourself.

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my Youtube channel for additional coaching insights!

#30 The Dreaded Wait Until Friday Afternoon

September 11th, 2020 by

You cannot enjoy the Sunday afternoon game; in fact, you enjoy almost nothing about Sundays. Because Sunday is the precursor to another 5-day work marathon. No sooner when you make the Monday morning trek to your computer does the dreaded wait until Friday afternoon commence.

No Way Out

It’s not that you dislike your job, your colleagues, or your customers, necessarily. On average, you job is okay. It may not be the most exciting but certainly, it could be worse. And it’s better than no job at all.

Your first consideration: the obvious solution is to find a new job (see Post #29). Shake things up with a new boss in a new department or find a new employer altogether. The problem with that tactic … you’ve tried it before. Of course, a new environment will offer temporary relief. However, you eventually reach the point of dreading your Sundays due to the gloomy Monday mentality: “it’s a dreaded wait until Friday afternoon.”

Your second consideration: this is the way it is. Some people get lucky and love their jobs. But you tell yourself you’re just not “one of those people.” How can you possibly enjoy Sunday through Friday when they are associated with work? There doesn’t seem to be an easy solution to the unavoidable, ‘dreaded wait until Friday afternoon’ syndrome.

Energy Drain

If this describes your work-life situation, I must share two items.

First, the situation will not get better on its own. Things don’t magically become less miserable over time. The more you wish for things to be different, the more you suffer. Imagine the person wanting to lose 30 pounds. They cannot wish those pounds away, nor can they hide the pounds by constantly switching clothes. You have work to do if you want to improve the situation.

Secondly, misery compounds when you doing nothing. If you wait for things to change, if you wish for things to change, it means you are resisting. The longer you resist, the sooner your energy dissipates. This is a sure fire way of burning out! Imagine holding a beach ball underwater. You can do it for a bit, but your energy will wear. It is not a sustainable activity. Neither is a life whose purpose is to ride out the dreaded wait until Friday afternoon.

We know a job change or an environmental change is not a permanent solution. So, what is? There exists a common root among the folks who cannot wait for the freedom of Friday afternoons: their mentality. 

You can change as many circumstances as you’d like. Unless you work to reframe your situation and change your perspectives, the same mentality will follow you everywhere.

Adapting yourself to your world is much more sustainable than waiting for the world to adapt to you.

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my Youtube channel for additional coaching insights!

#27 The Job Isn’t what you Expected

July 31st, 2020 by

You may long for the days when your professional life was easier, the days when you excelled. Others referred to you as the ‘expert’. Thinking back, it seems like you had it made. Today is different. You feel out of place as unfamiliar exposure follows you amidst a new bureaucratic maze. The job isn’t what you expected, and you lie awake at night thinking you made a terrible mistake.

Brain Filtering

You see what you believe. It is a concept referred to as confirmation bias. For example, if you believe your child is the best child ever created, you will accumulate evidence to prove this belief true. Over time, you will have made numerous mental notes of all the reasons why your child is the best. And you ignore evidence that disputes this belief. Therefore, if you consistently tell yourself the job isn’t what you expected, your brain will work to find all the relevant proof … and it will ignore the rest.

Confirmation bias is a critical reason why self-awareness is germane to your well-being (see Post #05). When your brain reinforces negative beliefs, it is creating stronger neural pathways that over time, become easier to access. This is how you create new habits. Therefore, it is your job to filter your thoughts and beliefs. Hold on to those that are working well and discard the self-destructive statements that serve no purpose.

Your Contribution

First thing is first: self-awareness. Recognize the self-destructive chatter such as, “I think I made a mistake … It shouldn’t be this difficult … I must prove myself … I miss my old team … people think my job is a joke … I hate the environment … I don’t want this, etc.” You may wonder, “How can these be self-destructive thoughts if they are true?”

Great question! This leads to the next step: analyze how your thoughts enhance your life. Create 2 columns on paper and try this exercise. Column 1 is labeled ‘Thought’; write down your thoughts. Column 2 is labeled ‘Positive Results.’ For example, perhaps it is true you don’t like the new environment. What positive results are created in your life by this thought – how does it move you forward? If this belief does not support your well-being, it’s time to toss it.

In other words, you will contribute to your own agony by focusing energy on the negative beliefs.

Perhaps the job isn’t what you expected. Many jobs won’t be. Lots of things in life aren’t as expected: relationships, plans, children, etc. The question becomes, who do you want to be when expectations are not met?

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my Youtube channel for additional coaching insights!

#26 Is COVID Leaving you Stuck?

July 17th, 2020 by

What does one do when you find yourself stuck in a dismal job because of the tight market? How do you maneuver a new career when negative headlines constantly feed into your mind? If COVID is leaving you stuck, it is time to construct some relevant facts so you quit wasting brain power on futile activities.

The Facts

Fact 1: You own the most powerful asset on the planet.

This tool is capable of solving the most desperate, dire problems in your life. In general, society does not emphasize the need to take care of it or to feed it with constant upgrades. This tool requires attention, nurturing, and exercise to enable forward progression.

It is called your brain, and I challenge you to think about the last time you fed your brain meaningful nourishment. If you want your brain to perform at its best, you must feed it the most empowering information possible. And by the way, that does not include the news media (see Post #17).

Fact 2: Humans cannot evolve or advance without obstacles.

Imagine a life that includes constant bliss and happiness because everything goes your way, exactly as planned. Picture a life that offered zero problems at work with a perfect home life awaiting your charmed arrival. Is this a life you wish for, one in which you would never even know you’re happy?

The fact of the matter is that, despite our feelings, humans need challenges and obstacles. They contribute to our progression as a species. That is, after all, the purpose of our being: to evolve by overcoming perils. The more challenging our obstacles, the more we progress.

Fact 3: There are numerous free resources at your disposal.

As an avid LinkedIn user, I encounter varieties of people who offer services for free. Whether you’re looking for a career coach, a business strategist, strength-finders, communication experts, interviewing hints, job application tips, etc., the resources are innumerable. And that does not include the other socials.

If COVID is leaving you stuck in your current situation, take advantage of the plentiful help available online. For starters, I always offer free life coaching to help you get a jump start out of misery into your next endeavor.

I’m here to assist your mental wellbeing. Simply send me an email: gina@deliberatedoing.com

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my Youtube channel for additional coaching insights!

#20 “Where is my Raise?”

April 24th, 2020 by

You are an exceptional employee, going above and beyond the call of duty. You’ve worked weekends, quelled dangerous fires and customers appreciate your genuine efforts. In your recent yearly review, management praised your work and thanked you for your dedication. For whatever reason, your yearly raise vanished into thin air. It doesn’t make sense, you want answers, and you want to know, “Where is my raise?”

What you Should Know

I don’t mean to be a pessimistic heartbreaker. But, I am going to share something I wish someone would have told me back when. I wish a mentor would have been brutally honest and told me, “Your employer is under no obligation to provide raises.” I would have awkwardly questioned this statement over a disappointing lunch. Nobody ever shared this little but impactful secret.

Had I known I was not entitled to a yearly raise, I wouldn’t have felt like I had just been blasted with a water hose the first time I was denied. It happened more than once; the second time admittedly wasn’t as bad. Nonetheless, I turned back the clock and tried to understand what I did wrong. Why was I being punished for what I thought was particularly good work. I wanted to ask, “Where is my raise?”

Stop Doing This

Today I know better, and I’d like to share a few things to spare you the same suffering. First, it is true. Employers are under no obligation to provide yearly raises (unless, of course, it is specified in a written contract). It is comforting to believe your employer will provide yearly raises out of the goodness of their lucrative hearts. However, you are not entitled. Dependency on a raise to make you feel better is like dependency on your child to earn straight A’s.

Next, stop blaming yourself. There is no positive outcome when you resuscitate previous work scenarios to use against yourself. Forget about this tempting habit to fall into the self-blame trap. Last, it does not matter if you are the best employee or the worst. When your employer decides you’re not getting a raise, stop asking yourself “why”, “where is my raise”, or “what the hell?”

Shifting Focus

What you can do instead is shift your focal point inward (See Post #13). An outwardly focused perspective may include dwelling on a raise you know you deserved but did not receive. How would productivity change and how would your self-confidence change if you only focused inwardly?

For example, perform your absolute best daily so you can savor your own work ethic. Go the extra mile (within reason) knowing at the end of the day you tried your best. Serve your customers on a silver platter, not in hopes of a raise, but because you know you are capable.

Only you can entirely understand the depths of your own capabilities. The job, the employer and the raise are simply external byproducts. Nothing is more rewarding than the justified self-elation stirring about after blowing your own mind.

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my Youtube channel for additional coaching insights!

#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?

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my Youtube channel for additional coaching insights!

#12 Fulfilling your WHY

January 3rd, 2020 by

Why do you do what you do, i.e., are you fulfilling your why? I dare you to write down your answers. Do your answers feel good? Perhaps they bring about genuine sadness … or a sense of longing for something more. Maybe your answers are superficial enough that you don’t recognize the person who wrote them.

The Negative Build Up

If fulfilling your why is compatible to, “This is my passion … it is fulfilling … there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing…”, congratulations, you’ve made it! 

However, if your answers are less than thrilling or flat-out depressing, then let’s take action (see Post # 05). Because if you don’t process the negative emotions of feeling stuck, bitter, confused, etc., then you may continue to ignore. When you continue to ignore, the negativity builds and eventually combusts in one form or another.

Reclaim your WHY

Perhaps you can acknowledge you are suppressing your feelings and sweeping them under the rug. Now what? I will offer that you don’t have to change your job (or your circumstances) in order to be happy. This may be a new concept to you. But the source of your unhappiness or negative feelings is not due to your job, your boss or any external entity.

Rather, your ways of thinking, i.e. your beliefs, are causing you to feel negative emotions. It’s tempting to blame your career or an external entity, but the root cause of most problems derives from your belief systems. Blaming external causes for your feelings depletes your wellbeing because it makes you feel powerless.

A significant life coaching lesson to my clients is that the sources of our pain are not other people, our jobs or external circumstances. The source of our emotional pain is due to the way we choose to label the world around us. How do you choose labels, and how do those labels influence your why?

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my Youtube channel for additional coaching insights!

#10 Your Future is Bright – True or False?

December 20th, 2019 by

You look forward to your next training, professional conference or job title. Your future is bright and your possibilities seem endless. Your career could take multiple turns for the better. Correct? Or … not so much? Perhaps your boat is sinking and at this point you’re just hoping to remain above water.  

Responsibility

What is true about your future? Two important points to keep in mind and these can be gamechangers. First and shockingly, your future does not depend on your employer (see Post #13). It does not depend on your colleagues, your boss, your recruiter or your friends. 

A common self-destructive habit too many professionals believe is that they have little control over their futures. As if others are somehow responsible for the way your future unfolds. Your future is bright thanks to the explanation provided below.

Accountability

Also shocking to some of you is that you are 100% responsible for creating your own future. This is a job for you and you only. Every action today will affect you tomorrow – it is your decision to make a move in this moment. You are sole owner over your credentials, mentality, professional development, etc.

Your future is bright because you are CEO over your own life. Take ownership over your brain and hold yourself accountable to your future creation, just as a CEO holds its professionals accountable to their judgments.

How are your actions today going to affect your world tomorrow, next month or next year? What actions do you take next for your future growth and evolvement?

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my Youtube channel for additional coaching insights!

#6 The Boss is Happy but You’re Less Than Satisfied at Work

November 15th, 2019 by

You find yourself less than satisfied at work. But your boss wouldn’t trade you for the world. Despite your stellar performance, you’re not loving the work. There’s a lingering thought that won’t go away: “This work matters to my boss, but it doesn’t matter to me.”

Your Agreement

I challenge you to think about the purpose of your job – of any job. Is it to fulfill your intellectual desires, to promote your professional development, to produce results in exchange for benefits? Let’s suppose the purpose of your job is to complete X, Y and Z. In return, you receive a paycheck. Is that not the deal you made with your employer when you accepted the offer?

If you find yourself less than satisfied at work despite your boss’ praises, the solution does not start with finding a new job; it starts from within. I guarantee if you were to brainstorm ways to become more creative, more resourceful, more engaging, and most importantly – more giving, you would start a personal and professional transformation.  

Your WHY

If you are less than satisfied at work, first, try to think from an alternate perspective. Imagine providing a service out of your desire to serve. “How can I serve my customers/colleagues today, how can I go above and beyond, how can I meet someone new today, how can I engage with the person who avoids me, where are gaps I can fill, how can I help the new person, what can I learn today that will allow me to contribute more…?”

Secondly, investigate your WHY…why do you choose to currently exist in your job (see Post #12)? If you perform a mental deep dive, you will find your WHY is proportional to your satisfaction. To gain more fulfillment and/or happiness, you must first understand your WHY. Then, you can work towards accomplishing it.

In conclusion, if you are less than satisfied at work, help yourself by redirecting your focus. Mentally perform from an attitude of serving, and investigate a powerful WHY that resonates with you. It is a start towards permanent job satisfaction.

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my Youtube channel for additional coaching insights!

#2 Are You Going Through the Motions at Work?

September 20th, 2019 by

Does your day-to-day involve constant boredom and everlasting daydreams? Admitting your dissatisfaction is the first step to making changes for the better. So, ask yourself: “How long have I been going through the motions at work, and why?”

What it Looks Like

Let’s first understand what it means to be going through the motions at work. For one, you most likely wake up dreading the day ahead. Upon arrival, you choose to put forth a satisfactory effort over a spectacular effort. Staring frantically at the clock as you desperately job search has become part of your daily ritual.

Second, when you are going through the motions at work, your effort is deliberately proportional to your salary and no more. The attitude you carry is, why should I do more if I don’t have to? If you perform your work in accordance with feeling unmotivated, resentful or worse, you are probably going through the motions. See Post #18.

Saving Yourself

The good news? Your professional life does not have to suffer this fate. There are myriad options when you find yourself going through the motions at work. Obvious choices include new employment, new certifications, college degrees or quitting and residing at your in-laws’ basement. Are you ready and willing to take those leaps? If so, make a commitment and go all in!

If no, I would like to offer an alternative. What if you could remain exactly where you are and be motivated to do your job? How would your world improve if you did not have to go through the motions? This powerful alternative is available to you because I understand what it takes to get you to that place. My specialty is to save you from your professional despondency.  

What kind of price have you been paying by doing nothing?

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my Youtube channel for additional coaching insights!