Over a lifetime, you have formed a point of view about your work. That point of view becomes a kind of lens that you view your experiences through. Is your lens optimistic, pessimistic, fearful, hopeful, loving, calculating, mind-centered or emotion-centered?
Best to be aware of the nature of your lens and any biases it has. What kind of lens do you look though? What contributed to it? When you gain awareness of the lens you look through, you can then decide how well it’s working and if any adjustments are called for.
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It’s inevitable; your energy levels go up and down. Have you noticed how low energy levels affect your work? Low energy levels have lots of causes, among them: being tired or sick, being in a situation that is draining your energy, boredom and strong emotions.
Awareness is the first step in dealing with a low energy level. When this occurs, change your expectations of what you can and can’t do. It may be that you have no choice but to raise your energy level for an immediate task that must get done. In that case, develop dependable ways to raise your energy level – perhaps a short nap, a change of scene, getting help or another means. When you can afford to, give yourself the time you need to restore your energy to a high level.
When your energy level is low, you are not at your best. It is in your interest to understand and know how to deal with your changing energy levels.
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At times, you may find yourself neither here nor there. You are not where you were a year ago and not quite settled into something new. Perhaps you have undergone a tangible change or nothing has changed, except that you are different in your own perceptions of your life and work.
Nothing wrong with that! You are on a journey. You change over time and not instantaneously. When you feel you are in-between, maybe even a bit lost, get present to it. Try to understand where you are and make the most of it. It can be a time of new insights, growth and creating new dreams, before you reach the next step on your journey.
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Sometimes things are hiding in plain sight; however, you fail to see them. There can be many reasons: an expectation or strong emotion like anger clouds your view, what is there creates fear for you, you have not experienced anything like it before and therefore fail to recognize it, you are not fully present to what is going on, you are avoiding seeing it or a need to please prevents you from acknowledging what is there.
Being asleep to something is human. It’s not hard to find yourself there. Key is to will yourself “awake” to what is happening around you in your workplace. The benefits are obvious. By seeing the truth of a situation you can assess it appropriately and decide how to respond in a manner that is best for you and your career.
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Your emotions and what is happening in the environment you work in are not constant. They are frequently changing. It makes sense that they affect your experience of work and managing.
When you or your environment become strained what do you attribute it to? Are you even aware of the strain or do you react to it without identifying the factors that are causing it? Here is another place where it behooves you to pause and assess. By being aware of your emotions and environment and their effects on what you are feeling, you can deal with the strain head-on, instead of being victim to it.
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A recent NY Times article, So You’ve Made a Huge Mistake. What Now? by Tim Herrera looks at recovering from a mistake or blunder.
Mistakes can stop you in your tracks and even send you backwards, if you let them. Staying present to a mistake you have made brings all your skill and talent to rectifying any damage done. Next time you make “a big one”, accept it and move on towards a better place than you were before. Mistakes help you grow and learn. They are not worthless or unfixable.
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Life is calm when it is steady. However, sometimes you have to flip – when circumstances change, you rethink a situation or you see something that was previously hidden. While it may be hard to flip, sometimes it is necessary to avoid worse outcomes.
Can you think of a time when you had to “flip”? What was the cause? How did it work out? The ability to discern when to change serves you well.
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Life is seldom a straight line. It goes up and down and up and down again. Sometimes the down times can unsettle you. They are not permanent, just part of the movement and rhythm of life. Try looking at them as temporary “dips” with various purposes and outcomes. Trust that you will find your way out eventually and move to higher ground.
Dips can be a setback, a lull, a course correction or a disappointment. Dips can occur so that you can slow down, look carefully, take a new perspective, gather momentum or find a new direction. Dips aren’t a failure or a problem. They are something to be aware of and to deal with in a productive and meaningful way.
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How do you respond to surprises? By their nature, surprises unsettle you. Some surprises are pleasant, some are not. What’s one surprise that you experienced at work? How did you respond? How will you respond to the next surprise that comes along?
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1. Undefined personal boundaries
2. Tendencies to create “dramas” with co-workers
4. Grudges or biases rooted in past experiences
8. Lack of focus
10. Too little fun
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