Hello and welcome everyone to another episode of Optimize Your Life. And today, what I want to share with you is what it is like to go from a negative mindset to not necessarily a positive one, but somewhere in between — and that is neutral.
Too often we think in very black and white terms. We think that if I am positive then I can’t be negative and if I’m negative I can’t be positive or it’s really hard to get from one end of the spectrum to the other. But I want to offer that there is that happy medium and sometimes just getting to that place of neutrality can feel a lot more achievable, a lot more attainable, and maybe it’ll help you get out of a negative place and not feel so cynical about whether it’s even possible.
One of the things that I always teach is that our thoughts create our emotions and so if you’re feeling really negative, if you are maybe cynical as we said, or you have some other kind of attitude that is making you not very happy — and I see this a lot with people who are burned out, then this is definitely for you. It’s something to think about. And the reason why this is so important is because — sure you can probably be successful with a negative mindset. I know a lot of people who are very successful but they’re not necessarily happy.
So what we’re talking about is not an either-or but the fact that you can be successful but you can also feel something other than negative or dissatisfied or burned out in the process. And this is how.
So what we want to do is if you are currently in state of burnout let’s say and you are feeling cynical, which is one of the symptoms that we experience, I want you to reflect on what are the thoughts that you have.
If you are burned out, one of the main things that come to your mind might be that it’s not possible to even be happy in your job. I recently worked with a client who was experiencing burnout and as often happens, she was asking whether the career that she’s in is even a fit for her. She was actually resentful about having to do any sort of work on her mindset because she had all kinds of ideas about how the industry should be different, how her job should be different, how other people should be different. When we have that mentality when we are thinking about all the things that are wrong and we know all the answers and if only everybody was to do what they’re supposed to do then we wouldn’t feel the way that we do, then what happens in that process is that we are actually giving up our power.
Let me explain what I mean by this. When you put all of the control aspect of how you feel on external forces such as your industry, your job, other people, then you really don’t have control over those things and what that does is it leaves you in a very vulnerable place where the only thing to do is to be resentful, to say that everything should be different, but it isn’t, to feel frustrated. Can you see how there’s no really good solution to that? If you’re not in charge of those things, if you can’t actually alter those things, then it leaves you stuck in a frustrated state. That’s why so many times people burn out and kind of stay stuck in that burn out state and they’re not really sure what got them there and how to get out of it. So it’s natural for us to think, “If something outside of me were to change then might be happy” but that’s not how it works.
So when we talk about taking the power back, what we’re really talking about is focusing on the things that you have control over. And the only thing you really have control over is your mind. It’s about the thoughts that you think. And when you’re thinking really negative thoughts, you’re going to feel negatively.
This is a good opportunity for you to sit down and write out some of the things that go through your mind that make you feel stuck, that maybe lead to that sense of frustration or surround that cynicism that you feel. Maybe up until now you didn’t realize that there is something that you’re doing that’s contributing to how you feel. And what I want to invite you to do is to really take a look at your thoughts because that’s where all of your emotions become are created.
Going back to my client that I just mentioned I asked her to think about aspects of her job that she’s grateful for. Now even you when you’re feeling like everything about your job actually sucks, I bet that if you took a moment to really think about it, you’d find some things that aren’t so bad. Maybe something that you even like. And so what this does is it focuses your mind not just on all the things that you’re unhappy about and that you want to be different, but on the aspects that maybe you’re glossing over.
What my client was able to do is mention, “You know what? I like the people that I work with. I like that I get to work in this kind of setting. I like the difference that I’m making people’s lives.” She had a hold variety of different things that you was able to list out without really much effort. And I think it really surprised her because she hadn’t been focused on those things.
Then I asked her, “What would it be like if from now on when you went to work, instead of focusing on all the things that you don’t like, you’d focus in on all the things that you’re grateful for? What would be different?”
And you know what she said? She said it just felt so much lighter.
Now notice — nothing actually changed in her job, in her industry, with the people around her. There was nothing different about any of those. She hadn’t made any changes to her external world. The only thing that changed was her thinking.
Now I know that for some people it might be even hard to access positive things to be grateful for, and for you and I want to offer is that maybe you don’t go from that really negative place to a positive place but you go somewhere in between. You go for neutral and what’s that may look like is just shifting a little bit of your language around. Maybe instead of saying how much you hate your job you can say that you tolerate your job. And instead of saying, “I have to go to work” maybe saying “I choose to go to work.”
Now that may not feel good because you still don’t like your job, but it is so much more empowering to tell yourself that it’s a choice and really that’s a good reminder because nobody is forcing you to be there. And we sometimes lose sight of this. We sometimes feel like we have to do things only because we’ve always done on that way or because we’re not considering other options that are open to us.
So again this is a wonderful opportunity for you to really examine the truth. And if you need help with this I’m happy to talk with you directly. So just go to www.BookAChatWithSharon.com and let’s do some strategy sessions together to really figure out how you can turn your negative mindset into neutral.
Until next time have a wonderful, wonderful rest of your week.