We are going through a collective challenging time at the moment. A lot of people feel tired, have low energy, depression and anxiety. But after so many months of uncertainty and unexpected changes, you may be reluctant to take any decisions with regards to your work life.
In this article, I show you the signs that you may be feeling overwhelmed in your work life and how to stop waiting for certainty in order to make decisions about it. Instead, I guide you to test and feel with courage and create your own work life journey.
This summer is challenging you
Where I live at the moment, in the Algarve, I can sense a lot of tiredness from the changing Covid 19 circumstances. I see a lot of red eyes from crying and an atmosphere of melancholy. It’s not one of those summer months that feel light and energizing. For me and you as empaths, it’s not so easy to figure out why we feel low. It could be because of what’s happening in our lives or we may take on the emotions of the people that surround us. Have you checked in with yourself where you are?
I am wondering where this heavy atmosphere is coming from and what we are supposed to learn from this. We are going through a global pandemic. We are experiencing the consequences of global climate change. There are many political shifts and deep divisions in our societies. On some level, I believe it’s impossible for us to keep up with the changes. But what bothers us the most is the uncertainty, the not knowing, not feeling in control.
These are not new issues; they have been in our world for centuries. Although, global connectedness and technological developments are increasing. Hence, the speed of change and uncertainty is also sky-rocketing.
You feel overwhelmed and helpless in your work life
Not knowing can lead to helplessness. You feel you are not in control of your life. You sit back and wait for someone or something to tell you what to do next. You stop making conscious decisions and testing your assumptions by walking the first step, ending up in an endless loop of passive waiting.
I really like the example of calling a company, and ending up in a long waiting queue. You listen to tranquil music and don't know when someone on the other side of the line is going to pick up. We get comfortable in the waiting loop, but also feel less and less connected to who we are and become more like an outside steered Zombie.
One of my callings as a coach is to remind you that you are not just a passive victim who needs to be told what is right and what to do. You are a free human being who is capable of shaping and creating a work life where you can thrive.
What if we hang up the phone with the waiting queue, and ask ourselves “What if I stop pondering and listen to my heart and body? What would I be doing and who would I be?” Yes, we are not only a head with a thinking brain, we also have a body and soul that give us the answers.
Can you move from knowing to testing and feeling?
Things will change again, circumstances will challenge you, you will change, too and that’s ok. If you start into a new direction today it doesn’t mean you have to stick with it forever.
I had a chat with a former colleague and friend of mine this week. She and her partner had quit their jobs and sold their house a year ago to travel and work independently. Now, 10 months later she got an offer from a company to work a 4-day week again and they will move to a new city back in their home country. I was surprised and delighted by this agility. She said it was their best decision to let go of some parts of their old life and gain new experiences from different realities.
Through testing out the self-employed life, she realized that she didn’t like some parts of it. Hunting for clients, not having co-workers around and no predictable financial income were some of them. Now, she moves on to a new phase, creating a new work life as an employee.
This is not failure. "Why aren’t you sticking to your new plan? Why don’t you continue living and working as a digital nomad?". This is an incredibly valuable part of her life experience, which will always have an impact on her and her partner.
I am not saying that stopping, waiting and walking your own path is easy and without pain. But what if you don’t do it? Do you really want to continue pondering, waiting and feeling low? What are the consequences of that?
Imagine how freeing it is when you stop listening to what other people say what society thinks a normal work life should look like. Not letting the news, politics and other things outside of your control run your emotional wellbeing. Imagine taking your own journey step by step, changing and evolving with what is true to you in the stage of life you are in.
Some ideas on how to get started to create your own work life journey and stop waiting in the endless call center queue
I haven’t figured everything out. I don’t have a magic pill or recipe for how to create a fulfilling, authentic work life that fits all. However, I can share some ideas with you that have worked in my journey and in the work with my clients:
Become aware that you are in the waiting queue. How many times per day/week are you frustrated with your current work life situation and continue with the exact same routines? How much do you numb and distract yourself with short term boosters like watching films, news, your phone and social media?
Take time to unplug. Remove the outside distractions as much as you can. Turn your phone off, move your body, be in nature and silence. Even if it is difficult at the beginning, we are so used to noise, and your thoughts will go bananas, be with it. Don’t give up too early.
Write down all the challenging situations you have already managed in your work life. Reflect on what you have gained from them (knowledge, skills, experience).
Connect with your most courageous and authentic self. You can do this through being in stillness and through remembering the last time you felt like this. Go into these feelings and answer the question: “What if I wasn't afraid of change, uncertainty and trusting myself? What would I do next?”
Connect with at least 5 encouraging people who take responsibility for their work life. Ask them for their lessons learnt. Build a tribe of people, a network where you can show up as your whole self, where you feel uplifted. Calibrate how much time you spend with people who are in the passive waiting queue and talk about things outside of their control most of the time.
Remember that we all have a limited (life) time available. So don’t take things too seriously (outside noise) and make your inner knowing and wisdom your priority. The less distracted you are, the more energy you have for projects and people that matter to you.
An extra tip to take the next step towards a fulfilling work life
This upcoming 1 to 8 October, I am organizing a very special retreat: 7 nights in an iconic, spacious building close to the port of Portimão, Algarve with a small group of like-minded female entrepreneurs. You will find lots of open space, a swimming pool, a fireplace, and several outdoor/indoor lounge areas.
Besides daily yoga and mindful activities, you will get 3 x 90-120 MIN transformative personal development workshops with me. These will help you let go of mental stress and blockages, reconnect with your empathic gifts, and collect courage and clarity for your next steps in your authentic, value-driven work-life.
Book your space here and recharge after the past challenging months for more creativity, joy and mindfulness in your business.