I had a client who was upset because she hated her job. She was miserable in her job, she hated the people working with her, the project she was working on was bad and so on and so forth… She spent a good 10 minutes telling me all about the why it was bad!
After a while (10 minutes is a long while) I interrupted her and asked the obvious:
“Why don’t you quit?”
There was a stunned silence after this. Like I had asked something absurd. But it was a very serious question. Why do people stay in job when they hate it so much? Why stay in a place that you hate for 40 hours a week? 40 hours is a really long time and no matter how much strength your spirit has, week in, week out, you don’t like anything about your job, then you are going to get depressed. There is no 2 ways about it….
She startled and then said: “But I can’t!”
And she went on a tirade about all the reasons she could not quit. Her mortgage, her life style,… They were all valid reasons, but clearly they were not enough to make her happy.
So I asked her to stop with the spiral and to tell me what she was grateful for right now in her life. She was a little surprise but she went on: “I love my children, and I love my house and I love my friends and …”
It was echoing her hatred for the job and all the reasons she could not quit. Yet, the job was enabling her to maintain a life style she loved. When I pointed that out to her, that this hated job allowed her to have a nice house, in a nice neighbourhood so that her kids could go the right school and it was also near all her friends… She started smiling. And I smiled back.
She loved the life that her job afforded her. I could see her shoulders relax and her body almost saged with relief. After a little moment, she smiled and said:
“So this job is not great but it is just a mean to an end. I like that!”
We did a few rounds of tapping with the negative idea she had about the job. The ambiance at work, the boss that was nagging her, the colleagues who were plain nasty to her… The project so boring… She was smiling so broad when she left, she could not even remember what she was upset with when she came in.
So can we live with passion all the time?
I would have to say yes. My client did not and still does not like her job very much. But when she shifted her perception, when she realised that her job was just a mean to enjoy the rest of her life to the fullest, she realised she could cope with it. The job became the mean to her dream life. And suddenly she had shifted her focus onto her wonderful life, a life filled with family, friends and laughter. She realised that she could really cope.
I was curious to see how she would fend in the “real” world. She called me 10 days after our appointment to tell me that now that she was not focus on all the negative points of her job, she has so much more energy and for some reason, her boss was not so angry at her all the time and her co-workers were focusing else where. Her conclusion was “It is not my dream job, but it’s ok if it continues like that for a little while. But I have so much more energy, that I have started looking for other opportunities inside my company….”
What a change!
You can change too! As easily as that client. When you feel that you are getting in a loop of negative thinking.
- Stop yourself.
- Breath in and out deeply and then
- Ask yourself What do I like about my life right now.
- Then revisit what was making you so upset in the first place and ask yourself: What can I do differently.
Gratitude is stronger than anger or negativity. You can not be angry and grateful at the same time. From that place of gratitude, you can find a different perspective. You can find out why you are doing something.
So take a chance to live with passion! Find it and enjoy!
Joelle @ Joelle’s Practice