You get up in the morning ready to tackle the day, your eyes open and you think...
I’ve got this.
I know what lies in front of me.
I know what tasks need to be done today.
I can do this.
And you proceed with your morning routine, just a you’ve done every other morning before this, and just maybe you have a little more pep in your step on this day. Then it’s time to go, time to leave for work.
Whether you drive, walk, take public transportation or even Uber or Lyft, at some point during your commute, it starts to settle in, the reality of it. Despite your best intentions starting off the day with a positive attitude, with the gumption to get up and go tackle the world, the closer you get to your job, the more that certain feeling settles...maybe in your stomach or maybe in your throat.
Now you’re standing in the parking lot, or at the entryway, or maybe it doesn’t it you until you’ve been there for a short amount of time.
I hate this place
It didn’t used to be this way
What else can I do besides work here
Doesn’t anyone else see what’s happening
Quite possibly there may be some expletives in your thought process, they may be directed at a situation, or maybe at a person or a group of people.
Either way, something has happened recently that lead you to this place. Maybe someone said something to you, or maybe you just realized that the stress of it all is taking its toll and it’s affecting your mental or physical wellbeing, or both.
Maybe it’s affecting your family, they’re the ones who have to deal with you after you’ve had this kind of day.
What bothers you the most is that you don’t WANT to feel this way, you’ve been with the company long enough. Maybe you’ve had a promotion or two along the way, or maybe you know you’re in line for a promotion in the not-to-distant future.
You thought this was a career; you were made to think you were invaluable to the company.
Now you’re being told, either by words or actions, or both, that what you do doesn’t matter.
Now you’re being told that you need to keep quiet and just do your job.
So, what do you do? You can’t go on being miserable at work. Your family doesn’t deserve that version of you. You don’t deserve that version of you. So, what do you do?
You have two options…
Happy...what’s that? It’s been a long time since you’ve felt that, how can you achieve that again? How can you get back there?
These are serious questions that can, and might, literally hurt yourself to ask. You’ve put in all this time with this company and you thought this was your home away from home, and in some cases people here were your extended family.
Now you’re aware that you’re only a number…
Everything you’ve done so far, all the effort, all the early mornings and late nights, all the meetings and suggestions and proposals, they’ve all been for nothing.
What questions do you ask yourself?
Where do you even begin?
How do you know you’re making the right choice?
At the risk of sounding cliche, you must start by making a list. Not a pro/con list, but a LIKE and DISLIKE list, or even go as far as labeling the columns LOVE and HATE.
I can’t take credit for this, I learned it from a mentor, but it made sense for me because, if you haven’t figured it out yet, everything I detailed above was my story.
I bet that once you make this list, it will make sense for you too. Starting here will allow you to think in the right direction of what you need to do to make yourself happy.
It is our own responsibility to make ourselves happy - not anyone else’s.
Here’s where you need to do something. Grab a…
Not a paper person? No worries!
Open the notes app on your phone
Download a new new notes app…
DO NOT give yourself and excuse not to do this. You are worth the time it will take to do this, despite what you may be feeling right now.
No time? Use your break time or part of your lunch. If it means saying “no” to idle chit-chat, or dare I say complaining, with co-workers, you can give that up for a few minutes one day.
If you truly are having this kind of existential crisis, this is a MUST if you want to come out on top at the other side, no matter where the other side ends up being.
Hey, I'm Natalie and I'm an author, a wife, and mom of two kids and two dogs.
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