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The Real Reason Why You Hate Working (And How to Turn It Around)

The Real Reason Why You Hate Working (And How to Turn It Around)

Have you ever asked yourself, why do I hate working? Is it the people, what I do, or is it something else entirely? Studies show that people are becoming less happy with their jobs and personal life. According to the General Social Survey,[1]

On a scale of 1 to 3, where 1 represents “not too happy” and 3 means “very happy,” Americans on average give themselves a 2.18 — just a hair above “pretty happy.”

While that may not sound bad to some, it is considered a significant decline from the happiness levels of the early 1990’s. When you dive into the numbers further, spending time on the internet, listening to music alone, and using social media are all activities correlated with unhappiness.

Interesting enough, these are all activities found on your computer or cell phone. Another interesting point is the fact that these activities are all things that most people perform while working.

Here’re 3 questions to help you reflect why you hate your job and what you can do to turn things around:

1. Are You Focusing on the Negative Only?

I can say for me personally, the podcasts I listened to would cause me to hate working. As I listened to other entrepreneurs talking about their journey and the success they found, I started to question my own commitment. Was I interested in living my dream life or did I just want to talk about it?

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The same can hold true for someone surfing social media or listening to music to pass the time. As you experience the successes and emotions of others, you immediately start comparing that to the life you are living. When you see someone taking a vacation, purchasing a new vehicle or growing their family, you start to feel inadequate.

What you may have noticed is these activities usually cause you to focus on what you do not like about your job. In my case, I did not like the fact that it was keeping me from starting my own business. For you, it may be the same, or it could be something completely different.

However, if you want to start loving your work again, you are going to need to focus on the things you love.

By focusing on the positive, you allow yourself to remember why you took the job in the first place. If the pay was 10% higher than the pay at your previous job, then that is something you should remind yourself when you face difficult situations. If you took the job because of the proximity to your home or the work-life balance, then focus on that aspect of your career.

By continually reminding yourself about what you dislike about your job, you are only going to further hate working.

When you focus on the negative, you may ask yourself:

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  • why do I stay in this job
  • why is my career stagnant
  • why do the worst people keep getting promoted
  • do I really need to deal with this nonsense

The answer is usually because you feel stuck in some way. As much as you hate working, you hate the idea of not working even more.

Fear of failure is something each of us encounter. However, avoiding failure is almost always going to lead to regret.

2. Are You Staying with an Indifferent Employer?

Who you work for and the culture they help create plays a decisive role into whether you enjoy or hate working. Studies show that 92% of employees are more likely to stay with an empathetic employer.[2] Now think about this for a moment, 92% of people do not enjoy their jobs. 92% of people are not satisfied with their career advancement or salary, but they are more willing to stay at their job anyways.

Empathy is nothing more than someone’s ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. Nevertheless, the reason that empathy is so vital to whether you hate working is because everyone wants to feel accepted and appreciated.

When you tell your supervisor your dreams and ambitions, it is nice to have someone who wants to help you achieve them. Even if they are not always successful in their endeavors, it is nice to know they care. A recent Gallup survey said that 37% of employees would consider quitting their current job if their new job allowed them to work remotely part-time.[3]

There are plenty of reasons working from home is enticing to so many professionals. If you have a family, then working from home could allow the flexibility to attend to families matters in a more effective way.

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If you live in a city with a lot of traffic, then working from home could help you to avoid sitting in rush-hour every morning and evening. Wouldn’t you hate work less if you weren’t stuck in rush-hour traffic everyday?

Empathy helps employees feel valued. When you express concerns or difficulties and someone is interested in helping you to alleviate that pain, it feels good. Once more, the end result is not always as important as just knowing that someone cared enough to ask you how you are doing. Feeling valued in your work is a sure way you can ensure someone enjoys their work, even though they may be dealing with the same office politics in other aspects.

If you find yourself in a work situation where empathy is lacking, then I encourage you to start volunteering and helping others. Helping others is a great way to prevent you from hating work because it forces you to focus on the needs of others. And if you volunteer through initiatives that take place in your office, then you will be able to connect with coworkers. These relationships could add a dimension to your work life that helps you to enjoy your working.

If your company does not have any volunteer opportunities, then this could be a great occasion for you to start one. In addition to you getting to spearhead a project that you are passionate about, this is a great chance for you to showcase your leadership abilities to the company. As you build relationship through these opportunities, you will be able to position yourself for new openings within the organization.

3. Are You Not Doing What You Truly Love?

The equation to go from, “I hate working” to “I love working” is based on doing more things you love and less things you hate.

Finding what you love is not an easy task. You have likely left your first love back in your adolescent days. Once you became an adult, you figured all your decisions should be based on being a responsible adult. While this sounds good for a lot of people, this is ultimately what causes so many people to hate working. They are doing what they think everyone else is doing, and in a way they are. The problem is they are getting the results that everyone else is getting.

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If you want to change your results, then take a moment and think about your dream job. Write down as many things as you can about what makes this your dream job. This can be anything from the location, salary, responsibilities or industry.

Next, take a few moments and list anything your current role has in common with your dream job. While it may not seem possible, you are going to find that your current job does have some things in common with your dream job. Once you list the commonalities, see if there are any opportunities to do more things you love in your current position.

This can include anything from shadowing other groups, changing departments, or just shifting your focus in your current role. If your job is 60% client interactions and 40% administrative work, but you do not enjoy interacting with clients – see if you can adjust your schedule so that is 60% administrative work and 40% client facing.

It is important to speak with your supervisor about your dream job and see if they can assist you in making your dream a reality. If you discover you are not qualified for some of the responsibilities you want to take on, then work with your supervisor to create a plan that closes the gap.

If you feel your supervisor is not necessarily the best person to help you grow your skill-sets, then reach out to someone in your network. This could be a coworker or a friend from a previous employer.

Final Thoughts

The goal is to grow your current job into your dream job so you can enjoy working again. While this may not be accomplished overnight, by committing to making these small changes in your mindset and action, you will find yourself turning hate back into love and contentment.

More About Fulfillments in Career

Featured photo credit: Muhammad Raufan Yusup via unsplash.com

Reference

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Last Updated on July 10, 2020

How to Live Your Best Life Starting Today

How to Live Your Best Life Starting Today

As human beings, one of our deepest-rooted desires is to have a meaningful and happy existence. You’ve probably heard of the saying, “Live your best life.” It’s good advice.

We all want to feel connected to both ourselves and others. We want to feel that we’re part of something important and that we’re making a difference in the world.

We want to look back at our lives and our achievements and be proud. In short, we want what the saying says: to live our best lives.

But what does it really mean to live your best life?

You are a unique individual, so living your best life is exclusive to you. Your best life will reflect your true values. It will be made up of what makes you happy and will be colored by what making a difference means to you.

What Stops You From Living Your Best Life?

While living your best life is all about you, what other people think can have an impact on your quest to live your best life.

Social media, for example, puts us under a lot of pressure. There are specific expectations of what “happy” looks like, and we’re under pressure to conform to what society expects.

For example, we are pressured to look a certain way, wear the “right” clothes, have exciting adventures with eye-catching friends, eat ethical and healthy food, and do charity work.

These are only a few of society’s expectations. It’s a long list.

Social media claims to connect us, but often it can do the opposite.

We can spend so much time worrying about what other people are doing, trying to live the life that society expects of us, that it can be easy to lose track of what makes us happy and what our best life actually looks like.

Start the Journey

What does it look like to live your best life? The following are some practical tips and tools to move from living your current life to living your best life.

1. Be the Best Version of Yourself

To live your best life, you must be the best version of yourself. Don’t try to be something or someone else. Don’t try to be what other people want you to be.

Focus on who you want to be. Play to your strengths and be proud of what makes you different. You are brilliant.

Gretchen Rubin, in her book Happiness Project, created her own commandments. The first one was “Be Gretchen.” This gave her permission to follow her gut feeling and make up her own rules.

For example, she stopped forcing herself to enjoy parties, cocktails, and fashion just because that’s what she thought society expected.

So, inspired by Gretchen, create your own commandment: “Be more YOU,” and remind yourself of this every day, unapologetically.

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2. Observe Yourself

To work out what the best you looks like, you must get to know yourself better. It’s your best life after all – not anyone else’s.

Start to notice how you respond to various situations. What are your habits? What makes you happy? What frustrates you? How do you behave under pressure? What gives you energy? What drains you?

Spend a week simply noticing. Write your observations down so you remember.

3. Identify Your Bad Habits

As part of your observations, start to notice your bad habits. Consider the things that don’t ultimately make you feel good.

Does scrolling mindlessly through Instagram make you happy? For 5 minutes, perhaps, but for longer?

That last glass of wine was delicious, but do you pay the price later?

That chocolate was enjoyable at the moment, but now that the sugar high is over, are you feeling regretful?

Observe yourself first. Then, start to deliberately do more of the things that make you happy and give you energy.

At the same time, work on reducing then eliminating the habits that squander your time, drain your energy, and ultimately don’t make you happy.

Need help conquering your bad habits? Read How to Break Bad Habits Once and For All.

4. Set Intentions

After having thought about what makes you happy and what drains your energy, focus on what living the best life looks like for you.

One of the keys to this is being intentional about it. When you deliberately set intentions, you are more likely to act with purpose and drive.

Setting intentions is different from setting goals. Goals are your list of things you want to achieve. You can set them daily, monthly, yearly, or a combination.

A common practice is to define goals and write them down. This makes them more tangible and makes you more accountable, therefore, making the goals more likely to happen.

The subtle yet important difference between goals and intentions is that when setting intentions, you decide what kind of positive feelings and emotions you are seeking.

For example, “This week, my intention is to approach my admin tasks with gusto in order to complete them more quickly.”

Intentions can be more motivating than goals because if you don’t achieve your goal, it can feel like a failure and can ultimately hold you back.

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If you don’t achieve your intention to approach something in a specific way, you can more easily regroup and have another try.

Write down your intentions every month, week, or day, using whichever time frame works best for you.

For example, “I intend to enjoy going swimming three times this week” or “I intend to assertively build my network in my local area this month.”

Setting intentions gives you something to focus on, and it also helps to manage the feeling of being overwhelmed that often happens when we set ourselves goals.

5. Visualize Living Your Best Life

Visualization can help you to cement your intentions. It involves visualizing how it would feel to live your best life once you achieve it.

It can help you to further establish what you want and allow you to settle into a positive mindset.

To visualize, first choose your focus. Choose a specific intention and how you will feel once it is accomplished. Then, take the time to daydream and allow your imagination to wander.

For example, if your intention is going swimming three times a week, imagine what you will look and feel like:

  • What will you wear?
  • How do you get there?
  • What time of day do you go?
  • How do you feel when you’re in the water?
  • How do you feel afterward?

Ask yourself these little questions and allow yourself to feel the same feelings you would feel if you were currently fulfilling your intention.

10 Ways to Live Your Best Life

Now that you’ve decided and visualized what your best life looks like, let’s look at some more practical steps you can take to achieve it.

1. Focus

Whatever you do, focus. If you swim, swim. If you study, study. Multitasking is a myth. It’s not possible to do more than one thing at a time well. Focused work is the least tiresome and the most productive type of work.

Michael LeBouf, the author of The Millionaire in You, said,

“Winners focus, losers spray.”

2. Take Responsibility for Taking Action

Taking action can feel scary. We fear failure, but we can also fear success. It can be easy to feel too busy to achieve your intentions.

However, you have the choice to take action and live your best life or stay the same. It’s up to you, so take responsibility to take action.

3. Live in the Present

Every day is a new opportunity to live your best life. We so often get stuck because we put things off.

We can think, “When I’ve lost 10 lbs I’ll go swimming,” or “When I feel more confident I’ll look for a new job,” or “When I get my new running shoes I’ll start running.”

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How about starting from where you are? How about using what you already have?

We often put off taking action until we have the newest phone/camera/game/course/book/shoes as if they are the keys to happiness. In the process, we forget about what we already have.

Grab the camera that you have, put on your old running shoes. Go and do something interesting today with what you’ve got. Fancier gadgets, better clothes, or a slimmer body won’t make you better.

Action will.

4. Declutter

This applies to the environment you live in as well as the people you spend time with. Use Marie Kondo’s decluttering method of asking, “Does it bring you joy?”[1]

If your answer is yes, you keep the item. If you hesitate or say no, you donate it or throw it out. Simple.

This also applies to people. If there are people in your life that make you feel bad, drain your energy, and don’t bring you joy, let go of them.

Instead, spend time with the people and activities that give you energy and make you feel good.

5. Relish the Simple Things

When we’re busy, we can forget to appreciate what we have. Take time to focus on the simple things. Even when you’re feeling low, there’s always something to be grateful for.

In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.[2] Be deliberate in being grateful for what you do have, rather than resentful of what you don’t.

6. Journaling

Journaling

is simply writing your thoughts down.

According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, writing your thoughts and feelings down on paper not only helps you get your thoughts in order, but it can also help ease symptoms of depression and manage stress and anxiety.[3]

In the chaos of life, it is easy to overthink, feel anxious, or not appreciate what you do have. Journaling can help you manage your thoughts and feelings and productively cope with life.

Be curious and keep learning. Ask more questions and keep pushing yourself to step outside of your comfort zone and learn.

What are you interested in or curious about? Perhaps it’s learning more about where you live, or reading up on a particular topic? Maybe it’s traveling to a new town or country?

According to Dan Pink’s research, learning is a key motivator.[4] Whether you feel like you’ve gotten stuck in a boring routine or you’re stressed by the tasks of daily life, learning something new is a way to step outside yourself and your comfort zone.

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Create a bucket list of all the things you’d like to do and learn and the places you’d like to go to, and start ticking them off.

7. Make Someone’s Day

Being kind to others makes them feel good, and it also releases chemicals in your body that make you feel good. Think about a time you gave someone a gift that they loved. How did you feel?

You don’t have to start giving people gifts to make someone’s day. Think about small, thoughtful gestures: a genuine compliment, opening the door, offering to help someone.

All these things can make a big difference in someone’s day.

8. Look After Your Body

Eat what nourishes you, including plenty of vegetables and fruit and food that’s natural and unprocessed. Drink plenty of water.

Exercise because you like it, not because you’re supposed to go to the gym.

Reject the idea that you have to push yourself really hard at exercise, and instead try out a variety of things – for example, walking the dog, gardening, yoga, swimming, or dancing.

Find what you enjoy. When you enjoy something, you’ll be motivated to do it more.

Get good rest! We’re all different in terms of the amount of sleep that we need. However, most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep.

If you’re not getting that much, then check out healthy sleep tips from the Sleep Foundation.[5]

More tips for staying healthy: Powerful Daily Routine Examples for a Healthy and High-Achieving You.

9. Manage Your Inner Critic

Most people have an inner critic that tells them they are not good enough, that they’re a fraud, and that they are going to be found out.

This happens especially when we step out of our comfort zone and change things. If you are living your best life, your inner critic likes to jeopardize that.

The next time it appears, acknowledge what’s happening and call it out. Whatever it is telling you, list all the reasons it’s wrong.

10. Be Prepared to Change the Plan

You may have set intentions to live your best life. However, life is not linear, nor does it work in lists. You must expect to be flexible and change the plan as life throws things at you.

The end game remains the same: to live your best life. It’s just the route to get there that will inevitably change.

Conclusion

Live each day like it counts, and remember, it’s your choice. Your best life is unique to you. Don’t compare yourself to others – focus on living your best life, and enjoy the learning, exploration, and experiences along the way.

More Tips on How You Can Live Your Best Life

Featured photo credit: Juliana Malta via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Kon Mari: Tidy your space, transform your life
[2] Harvard Health Publishing: In Praise of Gratitude
[3] University of Rochester Medical Center: Journaling for Mental Health
[4] Daniel H. Pink: Dan Pink on Motivation
[5] Sleep Foundation: Healthy Sleep Tips

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