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.

Grounding, Uncategorized

The importance of grounding

The practice of grounding ourselves is about ensuring that our energy is connected to the earth, that it is anchored and providing us with a steady base. This may be something that we feel is done naturally as part of our daily routines, but unfortunately this is not the case.

When we carry on with our busy lives, rushing here and there, with our mind full of thoughts of what we must do and what is the next thing that we will rush into, we are at the behest of our ego mind.  The ego is where our everyday thoughts reside, as well as where our self-protection tendencies are also stored. The ego is an essential part of our nature, but it is the one thing that can also create disassociation with our true selves- the physical and spiritual being that we are. When we become disassociated, we become ungrounded.

We know what it feels like to be ungrounded.  It is the short breaths that we take, that do not go further than our chest area. It is the low-level sense of panic that is our constant companion. It is the feelings of being overwhelmed. It is the restlessness and poor sleeping patterns that develop. And it is the constant tiredness that we feel, even after a good nights rest. This is because stress and anxiety naturally increase when we are ungrounded. So you can see the benefits of practicing this regularly to help you.

Tree.jpg

The best image that you can think of to help you, is a tree.  A tree grows forever upward and outward.  Always reaching for the sky to express its best and most beautiful self. Yet a tree knows that is can only continue growing and reaching from a strong firm base. Its roots grow at a similar rate to its upper branches, reaching further and further down and across to support itself.

We can learn to be like the tree and ground ourselves through some simple practices.  If you are a regular meditator, you will already be doing many of these. Here’s one technique ( out of many) that might help you.

A simple practice to anchor your energy

  • Before leaving the house in the morning, stand up in bare feet in a quiet space you will not be disturbed.  Make sure your spine is straight, your shoulders are relaxed and your head feels like it is floating above your shoulder.
  • Take a few centering breaths and when you feel calm, bring your attention to the soles of your feet.
  • Imagine a warm energy moving down from your heart to the soles of your feet.
  • Feel the strong connection that the soles of your feet are making with the gound.
  • Now start to imagine that warm energy travelling though your feet, down into the floor.
  • Imagine it going deeper and deeper into the ground, travelling all the way down to the centre of the earth.
  • When you are fully rooted in the moment, set an intention to be grounded for the rest of the day.  Say to yourself ‘I am anchored in the present moment and will remain so throughout the day.’

At the end of the day, make a note of any changes you felt as a result of the grounding exercise.  Repeat daily. Enjoy.

Acceptance, Change, Personal Power, Resilience, Self-love

Using compassion to deal with bullies – the Four S Approach

I was asked by Kindred Spirit magazine to outline how we can use compassion to deal with bullying.  I have learned from a lifetime of dealing with bullying, first as the victim and then as the strong advocate of anti-bullying workplace cultures, is that the bully is as much imprisoned by their own actions as their victims.

Bullies are always wracked with uncertainty and anxiety, which is often what drives their behaviour. They have very little belief in themselves, which is why they can show very little belief in anyone else. By understanding that you are dealing with a deeply insecure individual, it can help you to feel more secure in your own ability. Sticking to what you are good at and not giving ground, you can show that you have the skills and confidence to deal with a situation which will ultimately minimise the impact of the habitual bully.

The other thing to remember is the power of your own thoughts. Our thoughts create our reality, and if you allow these thoughts to be created, shaped or controlled by the bully, you will certainly find yourself playing the victim very quickly. Keeping strong positive thoughts in your mind, especially during a bullying incident is highly effective in minimising its impact.

If you are the victim of a bullying in your home or work life it can be very undermining and make you feel isolated and unhappy. Using compassion to tackle bullying does not mean being weak, in fact it means the very opposite. We need to connect to a stronger sense of our love and compassion for everyone, even the bully, in order to transcend their effects on our well-being.

One of the most undermining things that a bully can do is to infect us with their own lack of belief. Every time you start questioning ‘Is it me?’, stop that thought in its tracks and hold on to a mental picture of all the times you have handled the situation perfectly well before the bully came into your life (or when you were outside of their influence).

The only way that a bully can belittle us is when we start to accept their view of the world, with all its projected anxieties. If you have a sustained and long-term bullying situation, start to use your own mindfulness practices with strong affirmations of your own ability to minimize any caustic effects they may be having. The ultimate act of compassion is towards yourself, and if you know that the situation is not going to change, then seriously think of removing yourself from it.

Try the Four S’s to bring more compassion to a bullying situation:

  • Show concern. Even after an aggressive outburst by the bully, show concern for their well-being. Share your observations that they seem upset, angry, tired or unhappy. Ask them if they want to talk and offer them some time if this feels right.   If they continue to behave inappropriately, tell them you are there for them when they are ready to calm down and then gently extract yourself from the situation.
  • Smile. This one simple act has an immediate effect on our own sense of well-being and a positive impact on our relationships. For the bully that seeks to belittle or undermine, the smile can be very disarming.
  • Speak up. Bully’s get away with their behaviour precisely because people are afraid to speak up; yet you take away their power by doing exactly that. If you cannot address the bully directly, then start by talking to someone you trust. Many organisations have a welfare line to report the incident, or talk to your local HR who often have policies that will help to address the situation. Or if its at home, start to share your issues with a trusted friend.
  • Say thank you. Although this sounds like the very last thing you should do, saying thank you for the person’s feedback and telling them you will bear it in mind, gives the bully and their bluster very few places to go. It’s hard to keep going on at someone who appears to have agreed with you. You have done no such thing of course, for you have only thanked them for the feedback, not agreed with their comments, but you have used gratitude to stop them in their tracks.

Remember that everything we experience in life brings important life lessons our way. When we explore more mindfully what we might be learning through this situation, it can help us to navigate and overcome the effects of bullying.

 

Change, Coming Home to You, Mindfulness, Personal Power, Resilience, Self-love

How to be resilient, when thing go wrong. Recent Feature in Irish Times

Resilience is the art of bouncing back when setbacks or challenges come our way. There will be many times in our life when we are beset by failures, painful situations or conflicting priorities and these can really undermine our self-confidence and belief. Yet resilience is like a muscle that we need to build and test over time so that we can become more and more honed in life’s forge, like a master blacksmith will temper a great sword, so that we can arise stronger each time.

Sometimes when we are in the midst of hardship it is hard to see any silver lining, yet if we persistently focus on the negative and reinforce our undermining self-talk, we are likely to find our self-confidence dwindling before our eyes.

But with practice, we can build our resilience and learn to take life’s knock backs in our stride.

There are four steps we can take to build our resistance:

The building blocks to resilience

Having a healthy belief in ourselves
This is the cornerstone to building resilience. We cannot achieve anything if we do not believe in who we are and what we stand for.

Staying connected to the present moment
Resilience comes from understanding that the only moment that is real is the present moment. By connecting to this through our breathing and through our awareness that all moments will pass, including the present one, we can learn to release difficult and painful experiences more easily.

Learn to take criticism well
Nobody likes being told that their idea is rubbish or their plan is unrealistic and if we are caught up in the excitement of our own ideas we tend to shy away from getting any realistic feedback. Yet criticism, when offered constructively, can help us to avoid pitfalls and failures which come down to our own lack of experience.

Be realistic
Learn to be more self-accepting and more gentle with your inner thoughts. A harsh inner critic is hardly motivating if you are trying to pick up the pieces and move on. Self-love will be a much kinder way to move forward.

If you want to start building your resilience today, start by connecting to what really excites you in life and build your ideas around something that matters to you. Your own belief and passion will take you further and help you to cope with setbacks better than anything else.

 

Read the full article HERE

Book Writing, Change, Featured, Happiness, Personal Transformation, Resilience

Radio Interview with TippFM

TIPP FM logoToday I was invited onto the Fran Curry show at TippFM, a local radio station in Tipperary, Ireland.

Our conversation covers many things including the process of coming out to my parents thirty years ago, how to turn our troubles into tribulations and how to manage the nagging voice in our head.

I hope you enjoy it.