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#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.

#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?

#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? You don’t have to change your job (or your circumstances) in order to be happy. This may be a new concept to you so allow some time to digest. 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 your problems is due to your own beliefs. 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 they influence fulfilling your why?

#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?

#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 due to 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 changing it.

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

#2 Are You Going Through the Motions at Work?

September 20th, 2019 by

I’d like to challenge you to a brutally honest conversation with yourself.  Sometimes, admitting things have not gone as planned 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. Boredom, daydreaming and job searching have become part of your daily ritual.

When you are going through the motions at work, your effort is deliberately proportional to your salary – why do more? 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?