Self-Love and Career/Business
This topic can strike a chord with some people as we too often settle with what’s reasonable rather than what is true in our hearts.
However, in today’s day and age, we are less restricted when it comes to career choices and changing careers. We have come a long way from letting parents decide what’s best for us, or maybe having to traditionally follow certain career paths, or maybe even not being allowed to work outside the house at all. Yet, despite having greater freedom compared to our ancestors, many of us still feel restricted when it comes to choosing a profession. These restrictions could be due to the socio-economic status of our parents or our own inner thought patterns.
Obviously, we must adhere to some degree of practicalities when pursuing our career dreams. I would not encourage anyone to put their career dream before making sure they have adequate means to feed and shelter themselves. Once that level is secured, it depends on priorities and how much effort is required to achieve the dream career or business.
During one of the many self-development seminars I attended, I met this guy, who was one of the presenters and in his 40ies at the time. He took living the dream to the extreme. At the time of the seminar, he was training to become a gymnast. Not only a hobby gymnast, no he trained like an Olympian, and – wait for it – like a female gymnast. I’m not sure, if he wanted to be more outrageous or he thought that it would be easier to achieve the extreme flexibility of female gymnasts compared to the extreme strength of male gymnasts. By the way, he also dressed up as a female gymnast for his training sessions.
I got to chat with him, because he had knee pain, which didn’t surprise me, and I treated him during breaks so that he could continue to present. His message was that we throw the towel too early, we don’t allow ourselves to dream big and then follow through. He admitted that his project of becoming a female gymnast at his age was very unrealistic, but he achieved a level of skill in a very short amount of time that astounded me. He was also not afraid to push through discomfort and pain to a degree that many people would not even consider let alone actually do.
What do you really want?
Courage and patience are certainly required, even if we don’t follow the gymnast’s footsteps. This is clear to those who know what their dream job looks like, but for those who don’t even know what they want, they need to start at the basics.
What is it that you really like? What are you passionate about? Why don’t you like what you’re doing now? These are questions that you need to ask yourself. Too often we allow ourselves to be unhappy with our jobs but keep them without reflection. I can’t recall how many times I wondered about these questions. It took me ages to get clarity on what I really wanted to do in life. Not that I didn’t do interesting things in the various jobs and careers I had. In fact, I enjoyed many aspects. But something wasn’t right. I could feel it, but I wasn’t sure what it was. It only became clearer and clearer to me the more I engaged with self-development (if you are still searching for your dream career and want support, let me know and we can arrange a complimentary session).
Acquire the knowledge
Once we get crystal clear, then we can start working on the realisation of our dream. We can learn as much as we can about the dream career or business. This is usually the time when we discover that even the most treasured dream has boring and hard parts to it (for example, psychology is so interesting and exciting, but it also requires applying statistics, which is one of my least desirable topics).
However, keep pushing through the harder bits until you feel that you have accomplished a solid foundation of what you want to achieve. This will help your confidence, and with more confidence you will convince more people about your capabilities and this will in turn help you to land that dream job or attract clients to your dream business.
For many people, but especially for women, it is difficult to proudly advertise your skills and yourself. It is one thing to be humble, but another to hide your light under the bushel. I can certainly attest to the difficulty to stand out and promote yourself. I don’t like to do it, but I know that without it, nobody would know about my offerings. The same applies to job interviews, where you only have a very short timeframe to convince an employer that you are the one who can do what they’re looking for. Find out about specific job interview training courses that are offered in your community or online. I think, it’s worthwhile doing these trainings along with hiring someone to professionally write your resume.
Let’s say you’ve landed the job or started the business and things are moving along smoothly. But then you start to realise that no matter how passionate you are about your job or business, there are still some pitfalls. These pitfalls usually include the relationships you encounter. It could be co-workers, employees, bosses, business partners, suppliers or clients. Where people come together there is the potential of miscommunication and conflict.
The main piece of advice, I can give you, having lived through many variations of miscommunication, conflict right down to bullying at the workplace, is not to take anything personal. I know that this is extremely challenging, especially in the case of being bullied, and I struggled when it happened to me, shedding many tears. However, despite the pain that I felt, I also knew that in my core I was not touched by the tirades and false accusations. Try to keep conversations to a minimum and at a professional level and always attempt to have witnesses. Hopefully, you will never be bullied at work, but even less dramatic experiences can make your dream job feel a lot less desirable.
Again, upskill – learn everything you can about effective communication. Seek help, if you find yourself struggling. Don’t put up with something that doesn’t make you feel good about going to work.
Self-Care at work
It’s a good idea to look after yourself, no matter where you are. Self-care is an expression of self-love. Apart from the self-care you can do outside of work, there are some specific things that will help with feeling better at work. Before we get into those, I just wanted to mention that work-life-balance is important. As much as what you do is exciting and may not even feel like work, you still need to allocate adequate time for other things such as rest, exercise, family and friends and hobbies.
So, what are the things we can do at work that will care for our souls? I would like to start with intention setting. This is one of my favourite tools to set the day up for success. Each morning, set an intention specifically for your day at work. It could be something simple such as ‘My intention is to feel happy throughout the day’ or ‘My intention is to work easily through my tasks today’.
You can also use affirmations for your perceived weaknesses. Meditate in the morning on one of your affirmations, for example ‘Success comes to me easily and effortlessly’. Then write it on a index card and take it to work. Read it once every hour you are at work.
Giving compliments to others doesn’t immediately come across as self-care. However, giving compliments can lift up the overall mood, which in turn can make ourselves feel good too. Give it a try by leaving anonymous cards at colleagues’ desks or performing some other acts of kindness without expecting thanks or reciprocity.
As always, let me know what you think and share your successes and challenges. I’m only a message away.