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15 Signs That You Genuinely Love What You’re Doing

15 Signs That You Genuinely Love What You’re Doing

You either like your job, or you hate it – right? It’s not really that simple, because you need to genuinely love what you’re doing! Loving your job means you feel like your life has a greater purpose, and you’re not working just for the paycheck – you want to make a difference in the world. Check out these signs and see if you should stay with your current job, or search for something that will be more fulfilling for your life.

1. You don’t struggle to stay focused on the task at hand.

If your mind wanders while you’re at work, you often have to shake yourself out of the daydream and stay disciplined so you don’t forget the task at hand. When you genuinely love your job, this isn’t a problem. In fact, it’s the opposite – you don’t struggle to stay on task, you struggle to decide which task to tackle first! You come in every day, look at your To Do list, and prioritize all the things you have to do, because otherwise you’d jump from task to task trying to eagerly tackle them all at once!

2. You talk about the good things other people do, instead of talking about other people.

Work gossip can be a fun way to pass the time, but it can also turn vicious quickly, and rumors can start to spread, whether or not they are true. Instead of talking about coworkers behind their backs, if you genuinely love what you do, you’re more likely to talk about the good things others are doing. You’re not jealous that a coworker got a promotion and you don’t start spreading rumors about how he got it. Instead, you’re genuinely proud of him for working hard and getting what he deserves. It’s not hard to stop listening to gossip and start spreading praise and good deeds around the office.

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3. You enjoy your time at work.

Sure, if we had a choice sometimes we’d all rather be someplace else than sitting at our desk: at home, on the beach, climbing a mountain. But if you really love what you’re doing, you’re glad you’re at work when you have to be. You don’t spend time hating your surroundings and wishing you were elsewhere – you know you’re at work because you have tasks to do, and you gladly do them.

4. You think about winning instead of surviving.

I know I’ve had days where I think “If I can just make it through this day and go home…” But the better way to phrase that thought is to think “I need to win today.” Feeling like you have to survive through something automatically puts a pessimistic spin on it. It’s better to think that you can win the day — that you can conquer all your obstacles and come out on top.

5. You’re excited about what you’re doing.

If you love what you’re doing, you’re excited about it! You know you’re doing good and making a difference, and you get excited to go in to work and spend your time doing your job. You love telling others all about what you do, and you like getting them just as passionate about it. True excitement is infectious, so if you feel this way about your job, everyone is going to know it!

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6. You hardly ever watch the clock.

There are days when you start watching the clock at 4:00pm, and every minute ticks by so slowly it feels like five. Then there are days when you lose track of time, and they’re turning off the lights while you’re still working! Which days go faster? Which make you feel better? The ones where you lose track of time, right? Right! Because you’re so swept up in what you’re doing that you forget everything around you. Now that’s loving what you do!

7. You view success in terms of fulfillment and gratification.

If you’re happy with your job, you don’t see success as how much you’re making or how many promotions you’ve racked up. You see success as how fulfilled you are with your job, how it makes you feel to be doing something you love, something that will make a difference. You love your job even if it doesn’t pay much, because you want to be doing something that makes you happy as opposed to something that makes you rich.

8. You help others without thinking.

Instead of sabotaging others to try and get ahead and make yourself look better, when you love your job, you just want to do good things. You help others because you’re all working towards the same goal. You feel confident with your position at work because you know you’re good and love what you do, so you don’t feel threatened by helping others, even if you get little or no credit in return.

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9. You have friends at work.

Friends make everything better! When you have friends at work, you have a support system. You have people rooting for you, and people you can brainstorm with you make the work environment a better place for everyone. You have people you can vent to if necessary, and know they’ll understand where you’re coming from. Having friends at work also proves that you’re happy at work, because no one wants to spend eight hours a day with a grump!

10. Your weekends are time to recharge for Monday.

Everybody loves the weekend, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But when you truly love what you do, those two days off are just time to recharge for the next work week. Sure you can have fun, go out of town, spend time with friends, but you’re still getting ready for upcoming work.

11. You hate calling in sick.

This might not be true when you’re sweating out a fever or hunched over the toilet bowl, but overall, you hate calling in sick to work. You want to be there to keep making progress on your projects. You don’t want to miss anything. The day you come back, you’re hounding your coworkers about what happened while you were gone, what meetings, or even new inside jokes you missed! No one wants to be sick, but it’s extra hard for you because you love your job so much.

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12. You find solutions instead of griping about problems.

Encountering a problem is a speed bump for anyone – it might stall you momentarily, but then you decide: do I complain until it gets worse, or someone else takes it away, or do I solve it myself right now? When you’re a proactive worker, problems are nothing to you. You’re excited by the challenge of having an issue to solve, and you jump on it to make sure it doesn’t throw off  the flow of work any more than it already has.

13. You hope to get more work instead of dread it.

Going along with proactively finding solutions to workplace problems, people who truly love what they do always hope for more work. When your boss is assigning new projects at a meeting, you don’t sink down in your seat and hope she overlooks you. You don’t want to keep floating by doing nothing, you want work to keep you busy and give you chances to prove your worth!

14. You’re not bothered by petty things at work.

Gossip is petty, but it can get under your skin whether you like it or not. When you love your job, it’s easy to focus only on your work duties, and let petty office politics and gossip roll right off your back. You don’t acknowledge the rumors and you don’t keep them going – you just stay on your own path and do the best job you can.

15. You’re working for the big picture.

If you love your job, you know it’s a group effort. You know everyone is working together for a major cause. You know the big picture is more important than you getting credit for one step on the ladder. You love this aspect of the job, because you know everyone is looking out for – not each other – but for the purpose. The big picture is more important than any person within in.

Featured photo credit: Closeup of a young man painting on canvas on studio floor via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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