The above quote is one of my favorites from Gabrielle Bernstein. Gabby uses the phrase as a call to get rid of all the crap in your life that is blocking you from your true self. I think this is a great mantra for your career path and day-to-day work life as well, but my version comes with a little tough love.
It’s not uncommon to feel like a victim of what is happening to you in work or the job search. When your pitch goes unanswered, your boss is too busy to meet, or your resume has gotten no responses, it can feel like the universe is working against you. Here’s a little harsh reality – if you turn the problem inward and see what you can do about it personally, often you can find an answer and shake up the pattern. The victim mentality (“This is just busy work”/”Everyone is ignoring my cover letter”/”I’m just not good enough to get the job I love”) does you no favors.
Here are a few ways you can “check yourself before you wreck yourself” at work:
Get in front of the mirror and be honest - Time to get real. What lies are you telling yourself about your work? Are you pretending to be dedicated to the job search but doing little more than a quick indeed.com hunt once a day? Do you get negative about a task you hate doing, so you rush it and make mistakes only to make you hate it more? Give yourself the good, hard truth. Are you really doing your best work, or are nasty little negative thoughts and intentions messing it up?
Start from scratch - Whenever I want a new start, I write out all of my negative thoughts and worries until I can’t write anymore. Through all the rants, I pull out what REALLY needs to be addressed (my resume needs to be reworked, I need to get out of office politics), and I trash the rest. You can start with a new, clean slate and a fresh impression. That’s the beauty of having a career – if you think you’re stuck in a rut, there is almost always a way out if you look with a fresh pair of eyes.
Surround yourself with people who want to work hard too – In my experience, workplace Negative Nancies either a)want to slack off and not do any work for a number of reasons or b) Like to complain about work so it seems like they’re working hard or c)work far too hard, don’t help themselves, and are generally unhappy. Do you really want to be any of these three? Find people in your school, community or office who you admire for their work ethic. Take them to lunch or notice their note-taking habits in a meeting. Pick up some good habits for yourself – these are free gifts!
See yourself succeeding - If you picture yourself happy at your job on a daily basis, down to what you do each morning at your desk and the lunch break you take midday, I guarantee you will get there. It might not be tomorrow, but if you start thinking about what would make you happy at work and strive towards that in every way you can, I promise you’ll find you are inherently working harder and opportunities will open for you. Just the way karma likes to pay the positive people back.
Do you find yourself in a personal wreck and not sure how to get out? How do you check yourself?