Acceptance, Career, Habits, Happiness, Life Enahancing, Meaningful Work

Showing up for work, showing up for life! 

Showing up for work
Image by: Bartek Szewczuk of Getty Images

If I asked you if you were happy at work, felt engaged, challenged and fully involved in your job – what would you say? The chances are that you would say ‘no’ since research shows that over half of the working population are unhappy with what they do.  Just think about that for a moment, one in two of us would rather be somewhere else!

Given how much of our life work takes up and the knock-on effect that such dissatisfaction will have on our personal relationships, this is a very dim picture indeed.  When we fail to ‘show up’ at work, we are also failing to ‘show up’ for life. We are checking out at key points in our day and our week, to the extent that we are failing to be truly alive.

Showing up is about bring our whole self to a situation. Our mind, our body and our energy. When we are fully present, we can take the time to observe deeply and get a much greater understanding of our situation. We can also learn to actively listen and stay grounded in the present moment when work pressure builds.

When we do a job we love, it’s easy to show up for work, putting our best foot forward, a smile on our face and enthusiasm into our tasks.  We feel in sync with our work and enjoy the time we spend at it. The cost on our time and lifestyle is offset by the benefits we receive doing something we love.

When life is in sync in this way, we find everything is lighter, more enjoyable and easier to achieve. Stress is merely fleeting moments, that pass when we achieve our goals and we are able to see the benefits of bringing our whole self to the workplace.

Yet if we feel out of sync with our work, unappreciated and under-valued, its far harder to show up in that way. We find ourselves becoming resentful, disengaged and unwilling to do the tasks that our job requires of us. Whilst our instinct is to withdraw, perhaps become surly or simply check out, all that does is make a bad situation worse.

We can fall into misguided thinking, such as believing that when we fail to show up and when we become disengaged, we are hurting our employers.  In reality the only person who gets hurt is ourselves.

Organisations rarely feel the benefits of such resistance and we create some very unhelpful habits in our working life that can have a corrosive effect on our personal lives. Resentment has a way of seeping into all of our interactions and leaving a bitter taste for others to swallow.

The importance of showing up for work is more about one’s own self esteem, than it is to do with the work situation we find ourselves in. If you are stuck in a job that is not satisfying or no longer suits you, not showing up for work will not change that fact, but it will certainly make it feel harder.

The benefits of showing up for work include:

  • Putting your best efforts into your work each and every day will help you to reach a level of satisfaction about your own skills and experience.
  • Having a healthy work ethic and maintaining good interpersonal relationships, even in a poor work climate, means that you can show up for interviews with prospective employers in a positive and engaging frame of mind
  • Showing up for work allows you to act with integrity, think clearly and navigate through difficult situations in a way that supports your long term growth and career goals.

 

Some simple ways you can show up for work, whatever your circumstances:

 

  1. Smile.  This is one of the simplest and easiest ways to build strong and effective relationships.  Even if others around you are not given to smiling, greet everyone every day with a smile.   You’ll find it’s contagious.
  2. Be a problem solver – not a problem creator.  Every time you come up with a difficult situation, take it as an opportunity to learn new skills and be creative. These are great life skills and will serve you well in any work setting.
  3. Do what you do to the best of your ability. Even if your work is boring, or you have outgrown your role and are feeling undervalued, focus on what you can do, rather than allowing your ego to take you down the garden path of ‘should be doing this’ or ‘could be doing that’.  The magic of doing what you can in the present moment is that you will get noticed for being a conscientious and reliable person.  Great traits to get you promoted, or to demonstrate to a new employer.

 

Remember that the driver of your career is you, so taking the time to see the value in every day will help your real skills and abilities to shine through.  If you would like to see more tips and tricks, visit www.findyourjoyfullife.com, where you will find many more tips and tricks.

Career Reframe is a unique program to allow you to transform your career into a life affirming adventure and get paid for your unique skills. If you would like a free consultation on your career email mary@findyourjoyfullife.com.

Change, Emotions, Featured, Gratitude, Happiness, Meaningful Work, Personal Transformation

Finding happiness at work

happiness

Our jobs are such a big part of our life and when we are not happy at work, it can colour every aspect of our lives. Work defines a large part of our life, precisely because we spend so much of our time there. Yet, when we look around, we find many people are very dissatisfied with their work; feeling trapped and unable to see beyond their current circumstances.
Happiness and Work are rarely used in the same sentence. In fact, our level of dissatisfaction with work is widespread. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) over 25% of us are unhappy at work. One in four of the working population really wish they were somewhere else.
We can however turn what appears to be a negative into a positive. We can learn to enjoy work, leave the pressure of it at the office and then come home ready to fully engage in family life.
To do this, we need to embrace the habit of happiness. Far from being an emotion that is dependent on our external circumstances, happiness is a choice, a state of mind and an inner practice. True happiness always comes from ourselves, rather than from our environment. We have the power and the ability to bring happiness into our life not only every day, but in every moment, through the simple practice of welcoming it in.
My own journey to happiness was a long and arduous one. I grew up in a very unhappy household, became a rebellious teenager, leaving school without any qualifications and started to drink heavily. In my younger days, I associated happiness with external circumstances, such as being out with my friends, having money to buy things I thought I wanted or being praised by others for my actions or abilities. The difficulty with this kind of conditional happiness is that it is completely out of our control; we have no real say in when or how it happens. When we observe the animal or natural world in its natural surroundings, we do not see the same need for approval from its own kind. A tree strives to be the best version of itself it can be; it does not look at the other trees and make comparisons that turn into a negative self-image. The same is also true in the animal kingdom.

 

Making a choice about happiness
For happiness to be part of our lives, we must first make a choice about it. Do we for example, want to be happy? How would we recognise our own happiness? What in ourselves helps to maintain this happiness? By looking more deeply within for the source and opportunities for happiness we start to reverse perhaps a lifelong trend of looking outwards for its source.
Once we have gained some insights into our inner source of happiness we can then look to how we can change our habits and behaviours to make room for happiness in our life. If we know that we enjoy sports, getting creative or have a passion for writing, we can start to set some time aside to follow these passions.

Finding Happiness at Work
One of the traps many people fall into about their work and their satisfaction with it, is to assign conditions which, when met will bring them happiness. They say; “If only: my boss/colleagues would leave; I’d get promoted; I could have a pay rise…” In the long run however, these conditions fail to satisfy. They are transitory victories, which are swept aside as soon as a new cause for unhappiness settles in. Happiness, real happiness, has little to do with external factors. It is an inner space and place, which has a constant smile and self-assuredness. Once we arrive at this place, which requires no external conditions, we can find happiness in the most unlikely workplaces.
Our life purpose will be found somewhere in the simple act of giving and contributing. What we give will depend on our talents and gifts, but all of us have something to offer. Work is one of the places outside of the family where we can share our gift. If we arrive at our work happy, kind, considerate and compassionate, we make our day and everyone else’s enjoyable; we contribute. We don’t look around and feel resentful if someone else has a more favourable relationship with the boss, or compare our salaries, or workloads. We simply smile and look at how we can do the best job possible or how we can help our colleagues with their work.
Look at ways you can bring your talents into your work life. If your talent is numbers, offer to support the accounts department, or perhaps build up meaningful reports on performance and data, which will help your team to work better. If it’s music, but your day job is in elsewhere, perhaps start a community choir, which can raise money for good causes and give other colleagues an outlet for their creative talents.

Start your happiness habit today

Some simple practices that will welcome happiness into your life include:

  • Smile. This one simple act has an immediate effect on our own sense of well-being and a positive impact on our relationships. Practice your smile today and make it a regular habit throughout your day.
  • Start a gratitude Journal. On a daily basis, write down all the things that you are grateful for in your life. Your health, your family, your work, having money to pay bills, your food. The list is endless. Taking time to acknowledge all the things that make your life better is a great shortcut to happiness.
  • Get close to nature. Our natural world is one of the best antidotes for depression or unhappiness. Use your lunchtimes to walk in a park, or at weekends take a walk in a forest, near a lake or by the sea if its close by. When we spend time with nature, we can put our life and our worries into perspective when we look at the greater majesty of life which abounds all around us.

Mary McGuire holds an MBA and MSc in Human Resources. Her early career as a social worker, led on to becoming a Chief Executive of a charity for people with Autism. For the last 20 years she has worked as an international business consultant, working with companies and leaders all over the world. More recently she has trained in Energy and Shamanic healing at Omega Institute in New York, and offers Healing clinics in Donegal, as well as international coaching and speaking engagements. Her first book ‘Coming Home to You’ is available on www.findyourjoyfullife.com and on Amazon. Email Mary@findyourjoyfullife.com

 

Change, Coming Home to You, Featured, Meaningful Work, Personal Development, Personal Transformation, Resilience, Uncategorized

3 steps to living a life of intent

goals“Intention is the driving force in our life. It is the fuel of our actions and gives purpose to our goals.  To become intentional and live a life of meaningful action, we need to learn to harness our thoughts and the energy all around us.  If you have tried to make changes in your life but find yourself going around in circles or making little progress, learning how to harness your intent will make all the difference.”

 

There is a power, which we all hold, which allows us to move forward with our goals and plans. It is always with us and available to us whenever we need it. That power is intent and can be accessed through focus, belief and new habits.

It takes intent to live a life of action and to achieve our goals. If you have a burning ambition or goal you want to achieve, try these three steps to help you to move forward with confidence and ease.

1. Believe in yourself
People who struggle to attain success may be holding self-limiting beliefs of what is possible or what they are capable of achieving. Beliefs are often hidden from us, held deeply in our sub conscious mind, related to events that may have occurred many years ago, but had a lasting impact. The messages we receive from people around us such as parents, peers and teachers shape and form our beliefs. We are not always conscious, in our early years, of forming these beliefs about ourselves and the world around us, but they will have a profound impact on how we go forward with our lives for years to come.

The best way we can understand our beliefs is to learn to question what we are thinking on a regular basis. This will give insight into what has been the anchoring force behind our current situation. By asking ourselves questions and writing down the answers, we can understand patterns which are having a profound effect on our life. So if you see yourself reacting to something in a particular way – ask yourself: what is this reaction really about? Where did those thoughts / feelings come from?

Once we have a clearer understanding of our beliefs, we become empowered to change them into new beliefs. And the great news is that changing beliefs can have an instant and profound change on our whole life.

2. Focus on what you want
Observing and changing our beliefs will help to break down barriers to our success. Now we can set about focusing on what we do want.

Change often fails because of a lack of focus on where we are going, and why. How many times have you seen someone leave a situation because they are unhappy, only to find themselves repeating the same pattern again and again? This happens when we only focus on what we want to run away from, but have less clarity on what we want to move towards.

The same is true for those who are constantly focused on the future, sharing big plans that are rarely realized because their feet do not seem to be planted on the ground. They cannot make an accurate assessment of their starting point, to help them navigate the journey to achieve their goals.

We can avoid these pitfalls by holding in our mind a clear understanding of what we want to achieve and where we are starting from. Having a powerful vision is a way of focusing our effort and energy on moving towards something new.

Take a few moments to write down what it is you want to achieve in your life. Make it really clear and descriptive, so you will know when you have achieved it.

When you have written your vision, take a few moments to look at it and breathe deeply as you read it. Feel the emotion in your heart, as if you have already achieved it. Put the statement out somewhere you can see it every day and take a few breaths every time you see it and connect with the emotion in your heart.

3. Create new habits
When we have a clear vision of what we want to achieve, we need to look at how we change our behaviours and habits to allow room for the new reality to emerge. Change will not come from the heavily trodden path we have already followed. It requires us to lift ourselves from the patterns of our life and create new paths and new space for the real magic of change to emerge.

We tend to view habits as ingrained and very difficult to change. The reality is that we can create a new habit at any moment. If we create new habits that give us more pleasure, we are likely to release old and unwanted ones. This is a much gentler and supportive way to bring about change without using a negative or judgmental inner voice, which is often applied to ‘break’ bad habits.

Habits are incredibly easy to create, once you have put your intent and vision behind them. It takes three weeks of daily practice for a new habit to form. This means any area of your life where you are struggling right now, can be turned around in three weeks simply by creating a new habit.

Ask yourself what one thing can you start to do for yourself today, which will make a big difference to you and your life?

Write down your habit and then regularly review your progress over the next 21 days.

Do you have any experiences of making big change in your life that you would like to share? Do leave your comments below. Best of luck with allowing intention to drive your life forward.

For more hints and tips on how to make positive changes to your life visit: www.findyourjoyfullife.com

This is an excerpt from Chapter 4, The Power of Intent in ‘Coming Home to You – A Handbook for Personal Transformation’ by Mary McGuire Available here, independent bookshops  and all online retailers.