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What Everyone Could Learn From Suddenly Quitting A Job

What Everyone Could Learn From Suddenly Quitting A Job

Quitting a job you’ve held for so long can be intimidating and liberating at the same time. Yes, there’s a feeling of excitement because you’ve just broken free of something you didn’t really like participating in. But at the same point in time, there’s also a feeling of anxiety because the moments after quitting a job can seem unknown and vague to you. At the end of the day, though, quitting a job, like any other life event, can reward you with life lessons you might not have known if you hadn’t quit your job:

1. Whatever you do, there’ll always be someone who’ll judge you.

If you’re still staying at your job, notice your family, your acquaintances and your work colleagues will have comments on the way you live your job. If you’re already quitting a job, the same scenario applies. People close to you will have something to say.

So, instead of thinking of what other people would say about you, choose to ignore their hurtful remarks and live the life you’ve always wanted. People will still judge you whether you’re happy or not. If worse comes to worst, wouldn’t you rather be happy and judged, than unhappy and judged?

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2. Time spent on something you value is never wasted.

Contrary to popular belief, time, not money, is the most precious commodity around. Don’t stay in a job that makes you stressed and unfulfilled for the sake of earning money. You can always earn the money you’ve spent, but you can never earn the time you’ve wasted.

3. Your personal growth can be found outside your comfort zone.

Being an employee has its double-edged benefit: you have a routine you can follow every day. Yes, it’s predictable and it’s already tested to give you results that are already enough. But it’s also a bad thing in a way that it won’t make you reach for more, when you clearly have the potential to be greater than what you already are. Don’t settle for just “enough” when a little “extra” could bring you more and enable you to help other people more.

4. Your purpose in life should define your actions.

You were sent here in this world to accomplish a purpose in life. You owe it to yourself to find out exactly what that purpose is. Your purpose isn’t to get stuck in traffic, go to your job, get back home and repeat the same cycle all over again. You were made for much greater things – all of us are! After quitting your job, try and explore your passion in life. More often than not, that passion can link you to your life purpose.

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5. If you want something bad enough, don’t just wish for it. Really make it happen.

Don’t depend on other people to reach your dream for you. That wishful thinking won’t get you anywhere! Put a deadline on your dream. Think of small action plans you need to accomplish. And then do them one step at a time. Think: if you can’t do something now, there’s a big chance you can’t do something tomorrow. Do it now before you regret it.

6. Everyone has to start at something.

If the only thing holding you back from quitting a job is your idea you have to start from zero yet again, then don’t let this stop you. All the highly successful people you see now were a nobody in their starting years. Hard work, perseverance and a never-die attitude made them into who they are today. Don’t look at those lotto millionaires or “celebrities” who became famous overnight. Instant success does not start very long. It doesn’t mean very much either.

7. Maturity starts when you’re willing to be responsible for your own actions.

Only think about quitting a job if you, not because your parents, your siblings, your partner or your neighbors, say so. Be accountable for the decisions you make, because every action always has a succeeding circumstance. Playing the blame game with people doesn’t make you seem immature – it makes you seem weak-minded, too.

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8. In life, you only learn the lessons after you’ve taken the test.

The thing we should take note about in life is we need to experience something first before we learn its lesson. This way, the emotions are raw and the urge to not let something happen again is so strong we do everything in our power to not commit the same mistake again.

9. Your plan is not necessarily going to become a reality every time.

No one can tell you for sure what will happen to you, should you push through with quitting your job. Also, as much as you’ve prepared for it, something you haven’t prepared for will always happen eventually. Your plan that looks amazing on paper may not look the same in real life. Sure, planning for quitting a job is recommended. But, don’t be afraid to stray off your plans once in a while.

10. Flexibility is always a handy trait.

Since we’ve mentioned your plan doesn’t come true all the time, being flexible ensures you can easily stand on your toes again after getting through a setback. You know what they say:

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“The bamboo that bends with the wind is stronger than the oak that resists it.” Japanese Proverb

11. Don’t find time for something. Instead, make time for it.

Prioritize the things that matter to you by making time for them. With today’s world being more occupied with being busy rather than being productive, finding time for your priorities is paramount. Should you drop the job, or should you keep it? Ultimately, the decision lies with you.

Featured photo credit: dave_stressed_001.jpg/click via mrg.bz

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Lianne Martha Maiquez Laroya

Lianne is a licensed financial advisor, Registered Financial Planner, entrepreneur and book author.

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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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