6 Ways to Get Back in The Groove After Your Holiday Haze

Feeling sad that the holidays are over?  I usually feel a bit deflated as I pack away our holiday decor and start the gift exchanging and bill sorting process – but not this year!

 

This year I am excited about keeping the spirit of miracles (like the ones you might experience during the holidays), in my life!  It’s possible (and simple) when you are clear about what matters most to you and you give up trying to make things happen in exchange for letting them happen for you (this is the best gift exchange you will ever give to yourself)!  Let me give you a few examples of opportunities and miracles that happened over my holiday break…

 

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Do dark times at work turn you into a zombie? Wake up, restore, and heal! Here’s how…

Every damp, cold, dark morning, starting around 5AM – sometimes even earlier – millions of people turn into zombies and terrorize corporations and businesses everywhere!

 

You know!  You’ve been among them – they’re everywhere!

 

But…

 

…can you be sure you’re not one of them?  Dun, dun, dun….

 

We all go through dark times – especially with our jobs.  Whether you are tortured by the stress that comes with….

 

  • demands that you stay long into the night – alone in the office building – working to meet a deadline and sacrificing much needed sleep and down time to get it done
  • your brain getting zapped and melted down by aliens with lasers that come from their eyes and mouths – they try to reprogram your brain into doing your job exactly they way they think it should be done – your brain, talents, experience, and skills are no longer required-  just your blind compliance
  • the axe dropping down – yet another under-performing quarter that requires downsizings – it feels like death by a thousand cuts and you feel powerless to do anything about it
  • picking up the slack from under-performing co-workers who suck the life from you like a vampire – leaving you transformed into a crabby, cynical monster yourself

 

Here’s what’s even more scary than facing dark times like these at work…

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What a lazy river taught me about getting what I want in life – here’s how you can get what you want in your life too – maybe even for free!

Last week my husband took some vacation time and we treated our kids to a bunch of different day trips.  One day at the beach, another day with friends, another at the pool, another bowling, mini-golfing and just some goofin’ off.  And on one day we went to a water park in Pennsylvania – this was a magical day for many reasons…

 

A few things were ideal – the weather was perfect (everything depends on the weather – doesn’t it?), the park wasn’t crowded (turns out some kids in Pennsylvania went back to school a bit earlier than we did in New Jersey – no lines!), and everyone was into it and in a good mood (not easy to get your kids to agree on activities when they are 5.5 years apart and opposite genders).

 

The look on their faces when we went down the slides together in 1 giant family-sized tube left an indelible imprint on my mind and my heart.  My daughter’s expression of pure joy and excitement with an imaginary bubble over her head that read “again!” before the ride was even over, and my teenage son’s smile that fully exposed his braces practically back to his molars coupled with a high pitched scream over the anticipation of the drops, twists and turns of the slide was priceless!  I’m sure it was priceless for them to see me and my husband go down a massive water slide on our bellies that made my husband go airborne and a major splash of water to my face that left mascara tracks running down my face.

 

Of course, we didn’t start out the day this adventurous or uninhibited – we started out on the lazy river.  No kid was initially convinced the place wasn’t too baby-ish for them, I had no initial plan to get my hair or face wet (silly me!), and my husband was up for a “lazy river nap session” after the long drive – so the lazy river it was.

 

On that initial float around the park, I had a breakthrough… (yes, even at the water park on a vacation day in August my mind does not stop observing ways to gain clarity, confidence and conviction to experience a sustainable sense of fulfillment in life).

 

The lazy river taught me how to get what I wanted in life – here’s what happened…

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I love that this was said…

“Work is love made visible.  

And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.

For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.

And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distills a poison in the wine.

And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.”

from The Prophet (on work) by Kahlil Gibran

 

Translation – L.O.V.E. your work - Look Out Vigilantly for Everyone/Everything affected by your contributions.  Doing so also takes great care of you in return.  It introduces you every day to how you make a difference for others.  It also enlightens you to what brings you joy and makes you feel happy and fulfilled.  Happy contributors are those who are valued and enjoy all the materials rewards and markers of success.

 

If you just can’t find it within yourself to do that then you’re better off accepting charity from others who earn a living while practicing L.O.V.E. for their work.  I, however, don’t agree with this part – I don’t believe anyone should just throw in the towel and start accepting charity because they can’t perform their job with L.O.V.E.  Instead, I believe

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Feel like everyone else’s agenda runs your day and you can’t get anything done at work? You can break this cycle – here’s how…

Do you feel incompetent, insufficient, discouraged or powerless to get done what you need to or want to accomplish?  Welcome to inefficacy.

 

How much would you agree with these statements:

 

  • I accomplish the things that really matter every day at work.
  • I have the resources I need to get my job done.
  • I feel supported and encouraged at work by my colleagues.
  • I value my contributions at work.
  • Others value my contributions at work.
  • I feel qualified to do my job.
  • I feel I can handle anything that may come up in my job.
  • It’s ok to contribute to others in my unique way.
  • My job matters.
  • I play an active role in addressing issues that come up related to my work or workplace.

 

If your degree of agreement with many of the statements above is low, you may be at risk for experiencing a feeling of powerlessness at your job which can lead to disengagement and eventually burnout.

 

Feeling powerless at work is especially concerning because it can directly affect the quality of your work.  We all know when the quality of your work falls, we stand out – and not in a good way.  In my experience, management tends to tolerate a degree of cynicism from workers who are still producing strong results – and everyone can easily empathize with exhaustion because we all experience it from time to time.  But when you don’t produce – your boss isn’t producing – so it’s a problem that quickly gets noticed.

 

Although there is a lot an organization can do to improve an employee’s ability to recover more quickly from inefficacy – but often it’s left to the individual to “shape up or ship out.”  It usually goes down something like this “It might be a tough time/situation, but your _____________________ (fill in the blank with some negatively perceived quality you may have – i.e. anger, complaining, lack of confidence, unwillingness to participate, etc.), isn’t helping.”

 

The organization often sees feelings of powerlessness as the employee’s problem to fix – not theirs.  Organizations tend to do their part by starting performance counseling – a “talking to”, poor reviews,  written documentation, demotion, etc. or threats of those things come your way to put you on notice that you need to improve.

 

So, do you feel like everyone else’s agenda runs your day and you can’t get anything done at work?  You can break this cycle – here’s how…

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Feeling tired, crabby, powerless – pretty much every day? You can recover – here’s how…

Do you experience any of the following pretty much every day?…

 

1.  exhaustion (mental, emotional and/or physical)

 

Do you experience depleted energy due to helplessness, futility or tiredness due to overwork?

 

2.  crabby 

 

Do you frequently have a negative or cynical attitude or loss of concern for something you have a responsibility for – this can include people you interact with fairly regularly?  Do you seek to remove yourself from these situations or people whenever you can?

 

3.  feeling powerless 

 

Do you feel incompetent, insufficient, discouraged or powerless to get done what you need to or want to accomplish?

 

Chronic exposure to any of these 3 experiences can unleash a case of burnout.

 

Burnout typically starts as a form of disengagement which may be triggered by perceived threatening situations, diminished returns on personally invested resources, enhanced demands, or lack of resources.  It can begin as mildly as developing a “wait-and-see attitude” towards aspects of your life – meaning you might hold back from investing too much time, effort or energy in something because you prefer to see how things “play out”.  But here’s what happens when we allow solutions outside of ourself to develop…

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May the force not be with you

Have you ever felt forced to do something at work you knew was downright wrong?  Of course you have – we all have!  “Wrong” holds no degrees of “wrongness”.  We think it does – but the truth is if something doesn’t feel right – no matter how minor it might seem (i.e. assuring someone a deadline can be met when you’re just not quite sure that’s true or telling someone you read something you didn’t read – not yet anyway!), it leaves us feeling uneasy and it drains our sense of personal power.  

 

You might think it’s easier to cope with “wrong” doing when the decision to engage in a minor level of corporate cloak and dagger is in your control – and better yet – when it’s a secret you can keep to yourself – no one will ever know!  You might justify these little white lies as necessary to keep the peace (in corporate speak this really means – to preserve your reputation with people you believe have power to harm you in some way).  

 

But, when it’s out of your control…

 

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10 Secret Skills that Build Confidence and Engagement for Your Work…

Continuing on in our countdown of 10 Secret Skills that build confidence and engagement for your work…

 

Remember, they are a countdown because these are a progressive set of skills that can be developed and practiced in your daily work to connect you to a more vivid sense of personal power – of confidence that what you do makes a difference for others.

 

As we practice these skills we not only build our confidence, we simultaneously quiet the noise (the self-sabotaging comments) that produces naturally from our brain/ego in response to anything that is expressed from our spirit – our higher self.

 

So let’s get on with the countdown of  “Secret Skills” – and practice, practice, practice away at them!  Here’s #2 and #1…

 

Drum roll please….

 

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Secret Skills that Build Confidence and Engagement for Your Work…

Continuing on in our countdown of 10 Secret Skills that build confidence and engagement for your work…

 

Remember, they are a countdown because these are a progressive set of skills that can be developed and practiced in your daily work to connect you to a more vivid sense of personal power – of confidence that what you do makes a difference for others.

 

As we practice these skills we not only build our confidence, we simultaneously quiet the noise (the self-sabotaging comments) that produces naturally from our brains/ego in response to anything that is expressed from our spirit – our higher self.

 

So let’s get on with the countdown of  “Secret Skills” – and practice, practice, practice away at them!  Here’s #4 and #3…

 

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10 Secret Skills that Build Confidence and Engagement for Your Work…

Here is #6 and #5…

 

Continuing on in our countdown of 10 Secret Skills that build confidence and engagement for your work…

 

Remember, they are a countdown because these are a progressive set of skills that can be developed and practiced in your daily work to connect you to a more vivid sense of personal power – confidence that what you can do makes a difference for others.

 

As we practice these skills we not only build our confidence, we simultaneously quiet the noise (the self-sabotaging comments) that produces naturally from our brains/ego in response to anything that is expressed from our spirit – our higher self.

 

Operating from ego is a state of being that requires effort in order to get something you want for yourself.  Operating from spirit a state of being that requires seemingly no effort in order to enable a benefit for another.  Quieting your will/ego enables your spirit to be the filter through which you perform your daily tasks – that is doing “your work”.  Doing “your work” enables you to easily experience fulfillment.  When ego is the filter through which you perform your daily tasks you are (at best) doing “your job”.  Doing “your job” is often not enough to sustain an experience of fulfillment – or happiness.

 

So let’s get on with the countdown of  “Secret Skills” – and practice, practice, practice away at them!  Here’s #6 and #5…

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