Thoughts are options. And all thoughts are optional.
However, options are what seem to be missing from a dissatisfying career.
And an unfulfilling, dissatisfying, exhausting career is the result of rigid thoughts. And let me tell you (because I’ve been there x 100) – nothing, absolutely nothing hurts more than a rigid thought trying to be adhered to at any and all cost.
You know the ones I’m talking about too … they go something like:
“I worked hard to get here, so now I have to stay here.”
“There’s nothing I can do about work. It’s just how it is.”
“I have to work.”
“Work is suffering. Get over it. It’s called ‘work’ for a reason.”
“I’m expected to work like this.”
“I’m better off staying in work that I don’t like because there’s no guarantee that I’ll like what I do next any better.”
“I don’t know what I want to do, so I’ll just stay here.”
And I know that the more you try to tolerate the intolerable, the more likely you are to one day make a drastic, unplanned for (read: scary) change that might make life feel more precarious than it already does. I’m not a fan of using clichés, but that one about being in a frying pan and then jumping into the fire is pretty much what ends up happening.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Change doesn’t have to be painful.
Change doesn’t have to ‘sacrifice’ your standard of living.
Change doesn’t have be at the expense of all that you’ve achieved and accomplished.
It can be cumulative and peaceful.
It doesn’t have to scare or terrify you.
If it does, that’s just the product of more rigid thinking.
Change can certainly be a product of mindful, gentle reflection and compassion based on the deliciousness of your soulful desires. This is another way of saying that I know that you know that deep down it’s not crazy (like at all) to want (secretly even) a career fairy tale come true.
What change really and truly is, is allowing yourself to be changed by what you really, truly want for yourself and the life you were given.
But I’m not asking you to take my word for it. That never works. It’s better to honor your own journey. You’re not here to live anyone else’s life but your own after all.
Change begins with making other thoughts options. Right now in the trenches of where you’re at (that’s what it feels like, I’m not actually trying to be dramatic).
You can have a little more calm, a little more peace, and a little more space within. For some better quality or quantity of zzz’s at least because without sleep don’t expect to feel much better at all.
Once you begin the practice of allowing yourself to choose what and how you think, the more you do it, the more you’ll have of peace + sleep + other good stuff.
Now, for success with this, be the thing you don’t think you are. But that you actually are, but can’t see because you use this trait against yourself. Be consistently stubborn.
Voilà (“ta da” in French?) 23 optional thoughts (+ a few questions and sentences for you to complete) to what you’re thinking now that’s really rigid. Fluid thoughts create life flow and serve life trying to work it’s way through you. Try ‘em all out and see what resonates for you + notice the difference (as in pay attention) to how you feel as you sip and savour each one in turn:
1:: This is my situation now. It’s not my forever.
2:: I am making it safe for myself to acknowledge that this isn’t what I want.
3:: It hurts to be here right now. And it’s okay to admit that to myself. I allow the feeling of dislike peacefully.
4:: I care about myself as best I can given that this is my situation right now.
5:: I am here because I need something from this experience and I trust that when I have it that I will move on effortlessly.
6:: It’s okay to not be okay with the work I’m doing.
7:: What can I think in this moment to feel more present? ________________________________.
8:: I embrace and love the parts of me that don’t want to be here right now.
9:: What permission am I withholding from myself? ___________________________________.
10:: What would make this moment feel easier? _____________________________________.
11:: There is a deeper perfection in this moment that I am unaware of.
12:: I initially wanted to be here because (name 3 reasons) …
13:: I accept “what is” because it’s more peaceful to do so than to continue resisting.
14:: I am friends with the present moment.
15:: I may not like or be enjoying this moment, but I accept that it is what it is.
16:: My purpose for being is not my work. Work is a venue for my purpose. I feed my sense of purpose when/by __________________________________________.
17:: What can I focus on in this moment that will bring me more peace [purpose/love/kindness]?
18:: The part of myself that I miss seeing the most these days is ________________________.
19:: I may not be able to change what I’m doing, but I have total control over how I do what I do.
20:: I accept that I don’t like it here. I am at peace with this knowledge.
21:: What kindness can I show myself today? _______________________________.
22:: I apologize to myself for the unkind words I speak to myself for being here.
23:: I am grateful for (name 3 things) ….
What stuck out for you from these option? And what other choices can you create for yourself in this moment?
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