Do you blame your boss or your workplace for feeling stressed? Well here is a common misconception most of us make: we believe that our problems are outside of us. But it’s simply not the case, otherwise, we would all have the same reaction to the same activating event, but clearly, someone else could take with a smile whatever is weighing on you at the moment.
Because in fact, we all move through two worlds. The external world of people, and all that is material and circumstantial, and your inner world, that includes all of your thought processes and your emotions. Now here’s something that you may need to hear: you can escape an environment you don’t like, that is, you can quit a job you don’t appreciate, you can leave a relationship that doesn’t do it for you, you can go on a vacation next month to escape your routine, but you can’t escape a mind that has turned against you. And regardless of how successful you are, how good you’re at your job, how big your house is or whatever, you’ll never achieve the kind of satisfaction you’re looking for if you don’t conquer what’s inside of yourself. Otherwise, you’ll frequently revert back to a to a kind of a default state whereby you feel dissatisfied with what you have or with what you do.
So if you admit that your circumstances are not the problem in and of themselves, you understand that your feelings are the cause of your discomfort. Because it’s not so much your work per se that is a problem, it’s the stress it triggers inside of you that is. It’s not so much anyone else’s behaviors that are a problem, it’s the frustration you feel towards those behaviors. And if you’re not one to check in with yourself, you’ll end up nurturing a lot of emotional junk that will hinder your well-being and your health in the long run, while believing that what happens to you is to blame for your discomfort.
Now your external reality or circumstances are facts, and facts don’t hurt you by themselves, you need to assign meaning to what you experience in order to feel a certain way about it, that’s why, for instance, when they announced the first lockdown, some people were completely depressed about having to stay at home, and some others saw an opportunity to start a new routine, work on their diet, launch an online business and so on and so forth.
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So new goals by themselves won’t ever deliver the results you hope to achieve. New lifestyles do. Yet every change process is not all that easy and that’s the reason why we can work it through together.
And so as we take this reasoning a bit further, you may realize that in fact, your negative emotions act like messengers. They’re saying that something is wrong either in your perception of a situation, or in your reaction to it. You may complain that you’re stressed out at work, but in reality you can’t bring yourself to negotiate with your boss for better deadlines because you’re scared and lack assertiveness. You may be dissatisfied in your relationships, but most of the time you close yourself off to healthy communication because you don’t know how to properly express your anger. And instead of taking a new initiative that would produce better results, you end up complaining. Because it’s much easier to play the victim rather than admitting that the outcome you’re experiencing at the moment is the result of an internal problem you can actually work on, that can be broken down into how you think, how you feel and how you behave.
And of course, you don’t always get to choose your circumstances. But you always choose how you react to them. Which means you’ve always, ALWAYS done whatever you wanted. So sure, what you’ve obtained so far may not be completely aligned with what you wish for, which is why you’re currently experiencing an emotional discomfort at this point. But you’re the one responsible for keeping things the way they are if you’re miserable in your workplace or engaging in toxic relationships. It may be gruesome to understand that if all you’ve done about it so far is to blame your boss or your work environment for your predicament. But if you’re complaining without looking for any solutions, in reality you’re whining. So your decisions will either perpetuate your victim narrative, or you’ll be able to see that there’s something better waiting for your initiative to materialize, for every choice you make at this moment could take you in a different direction. But to that end, you’ll need to let go of a number of behaviors that are problematic by your own estimation that keep you from achieving your best self, and that’s not so self-evident.
So new goals by themselves won’t ever deliver the results you hope to achieve. New lifestyles do. Yet every change process is not all that easy and that’s the reason why we can work it through together. Let’s have a chat in my classes to figure it out.