Friday, March 01, 2019

What if it works out?

Have you ever gotten lost in "what if" thinking?

Is your "what if" thinking usually positive?

skating and smiling

Not mine! Mine often sounds/looks like this:

What if it totally fails?

What if it fails and my super successful friends find out?

What if it fails and my kids find out?

What if it fails and I’ve wasted all these days and months of my life working on it and now I have to start over and I don’t even know what to do next?

AHHHH but how might this sound if you were to (at least also) “what if” your way to more positive thoughts – if only to remain somewhat neutral overall lol.

What if it totally succeeds?

What if it succeeds and my super successful friends find out?

What it if succeeds and my kids find out?

What if it succeeds and I’ve invested all these days and months of my life working on it and now I have this wonderful success to build on… and I don’t even know how big to allow myself to dream now?

Thinking of the potential of success clears the way to thinking about how we might make things happen. So, just for today, when you have a negative thought (I can help ya come up with some if you need me to – I’m an expert… and have for sure spent more than 10,000 hours working on this expertise. I’m now working on the 10,000 hours of positive what-iffing lol).

What if you tried this for a week?

Or a lifetime?

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Reconnecting and re-engaging with work IS reconnecting to life

I hear from a lot of people who are disconnected and unengaged with their work. If you're one of them, you have a whole lot of company! According to a 2016 survey of 2500 employers and employees reported in the Canadian HR Reporter, almost half of professionals are unhappy in their jobs.

Finding your path

"one half of working population unhappy in job" -

The study points to "right fit" as a reason for this. Unfortunately, at least in the study, most employers and employees did not really seem able to define "right fit". To me, what is interesting is that the reason people are unhappy, or even leave an organization, seem to have to do with things beyond salary and benefits.

Interestingly, when I speak with people around me who are not engaged in, or downright unhappy about work, they typically have a good number of reasons about why it is so. These reasons are often reasonable and compelling. There are stories about nasty bosses and poorly outlined work expectations, about lack of flexibility in working hours and locations, there are stories about constantly changing deadlines and micromanaging supervisors, there are even stories about truly horrible, mean senior management and work objectives that don’t seem to be rooted in any kind of overall vision.

So yes, I get it. Work can suck and sometimes it seems like the easiest and best solution to keep collecting that pay and keep going into the office (or more likely the cubicle) while doing the bare minimum and certainly emotionally disengaging because otherwise it just would not be sustainable or survivable.

I get it.

I understand.

I’ve been there.

And all of those reasons just do not matter.


They don’t matter unless you can change them and chances are you would have already changed them if you could have, right?

The problem is that by disengaging with your work, by no longer caring, you are actually throwing away large chunks of your life. Your life. Not your boss’s, your co-workers, your executive team’s. And to me, that’s a problem.

When I have been in there, I ended up realizing that I no longer wanted to give the situations and/or people who were making me unhappy the power to continue to do so. Was changing the situation easy? NO! Did I find a solution I could make work quickly? NO!

What I did do, and what a number of clients and friends have done is to recognize, at the very least, that I first needed to take back my power. This led to thinking about how I might do it. First though, came the decision to at least consider doing something. THAT was the major piece. The DECISION to do something about the situation that wasn’t going my way.

What did I do? A number of things. I decided to reconnect with the pieces of work that made sense to me and the overall reason that I had wanted to be in the job in the first place. I also furthered my learning and considered my potential exit strategies. Looking critically at my situation helped me immediately, even though in my case, I ended up deciding to leave.

There is nothing quite like updating a resume to begin feeling like you are taking back some power – even if you never send it out, and if you do, well before you get an offer. I also lined up support – family and friends I could trust with the challenges I was facing and the decisions I was making, acquaintances in other parts of the larger organization and beyond who might have a different view than mine and so provided a solid sounding board without any bias, a fantastic coach who worked with me as I worked through all the things I could do to re-engage with work, whether it be in the current job or future work.

Work won’t always be fun. It should be something you can engage in wholeheartedly at least most of the time. It should align with our most important values. It should allow us to feel that we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, be it in the management of a team, the resolution of a problem, the completion of a project, the service to a client. If that isn’t currently the case, I would invite you consider that you can still engage with at least parts of your work, thereby being engaged in more of your life. Even if you end up leaving your current job for a new challenge.

The question I will leave you with is … what can you start doing today to re-engage in a major part of your life, namely your work, and feel more fulfilled and alive?

Posted by Sigrid S at 3:21 PM
Edited on: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 5:09 PM
Categories: Career, Intentional Living, Pockets of Joy, Success Practices, Work

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Wellness during the holidays

The best of times, the worst of times - which will this year's holidays be for you? Taking the road less travelled may be your best way to start the New Year!

serene painting

I know that I approach the holidays with equal parts excitement - I really, really love it … the music, the people around me and excuses to get together, the gifting and focus on others… and the food… That’s the other part. The holidays fill me partly with trepidation because they can so easily, at least for me, become a time where I take less than stellar care of myself. I let myself go a bit on the eating, I take fewer steps and get outside less, I get to sleep later, I spend more, I meditate… oh, maybe even not at all!

So this year, I am approaching the holidays with a plan. If you know me, you know that my plans have become looser and gentler over the years… thank goodness, because the last thing I really need is to chart it all when I eat some chocolate instead of loading up on salad (yes, I know that in theory I could do both but let’s face it, that’s NOT the way it typically happens for me). This year, I’m working on taking better care of myself and the first part of that is being gentle with me… What does this look like? I am going into the season with the intention of really being kind to myself! Of checking in to see what I need, especially when it get a bit (or a lot) crazy. To do this, I personally do best with a daily practice. So, with my morning coffee (and along with my other morning routine items like daily gratitude), I am adding a moment to reflect on what it is that would make the day healthy and nurturing for me. My usual deal with any practice is that it can’t take more than 5 minutes or I won’t do it. So, as well as this item taking less than 5 minutes, I’m going to make a deal with myself that whatever I choose to do for myself on this day ALSO will take less than 5 minutes (it can take more, of course, but I want to know that I can make things better without letting my brain invent a ton of excuses, which it absolutely will if I give it a chance!).

To make it even easier, I’m setting aside a few minutes today (and invite you to do the same) to brainstorm some easy, simple, cheap things that make me feel good and pampered and cared-for. Here goes:

- Lighting a candle (in the morning with my coffee and/ or in the evening or when I’m working… I LOVE a candle)

- Drinking my coffee in a favorite mug – I admit that I love drinking out of a handmade mug (either one of mine or from another artist)

- Forcing a hug on one of my teens lol

- Taking three deep breaths

- Sitting in the sunshine (on the relatively few sunny days we have lol) or going outside to stand or walk in the sunshine

- Taking a bath

- Patting the dog

- Taking a nap

- Making art

Over to you… I invite you to come up with your own list of quick and healthy ways to treat yourself well… every single day.

Posted by Sigrid S at 1:44 PM
Edited on: Wednesday, January 16, 2019 10:54 AM
Categories: Creative Living, Intentional Living, Mindfullness, Pockets of Joy, Wellness, Whole Life