You’re feeling bored, burnt out. Every day is pretty much the same. You’re frustrated, anxious on a regular basis, and ready to snap at that annoying co-worker with the buck teeth that sits across from you. You’ve had it. Every day you freak out a little bit more inside, and you’re pretty sure this is it.
Well, there is good news.
This frustration is a gift.
You can be thankful for that right now. I know it’s hard to believe, but the frustration and feelings of anxiety are trying to tell you something. They’re saying, “Hey I need you to move your cute little butt out of this situation because you’re meant for better than this (and you know it)!”
In this post we are going to talk about the 3 tangible things you can do right away to start moving away from this situation and into a better one.
Where do you start?
Take decisive action. When I was in this situation, I kept going back and forth. This is what it sounded like:
“It’s OK. I can handle it today; it doesn’t seem so bad.”
“It’s OK. Today will be an easy day since we’re having that birthday party after lunch.”
“It’s OK. My boss isn’t in today.”
I would put off doing anything about it because doing something about it seems freaking scary, uncomfortable and hellish.
But look at it this way… Do you want to live with a toothache for the rest of your life, or do you want to just pull the tooth out? It may not feel good in the moment to pull out a tooth, but it does afterwards.
Sometimes your fear is a great indicator of the exact where you need to go. You don’t want to look for another job, reach out to that person you know can help, or go to that interview because what if you fail?
Do it afraid. You don’t get rid of the fear. When you do it afraid, you build that confidence every single time you do it. The reward on the other side is amazing. Change is scary, and change is hell. To change is hell, to not change is also hell. However, to not change is slow death and starvation, but to change is the hero’s journey.
So, you’ve decided you want to take the hero’s journey? Good. It’s like when I was stuck in my bad marriage. To stay was hell, but to leave was also hell. Slow death or hero’s journey?
Definitely Hero’s journey.
Figure out this one thing first…
Have you identified some needs or some pain points that you want to alleviate, that you can do something about? All businesses, all roles and all successful people are meeting a need or solving a pain point or problem in some way. It’s a universal truth.
For example, here are some clear pain points that professionals solve:
Payroll Clerk – (I make sure everyone gets paid properly and on time.) Huge pain point if that doesn’t happen right. Imagine having a terribly inefficient payroll clerk in an office.
Mechanical Engineer – Ensures the building is structurally and mechanically sound. Imagine if this person was bad at their job?
Administrative Assistant – Prepares the executive for important meetings. Imagine if that executive is left looking down at a blank piece of paper because the person he counted on failed him in an important meeting?
Each pain point, if not solved well, efficiently, with love, has a very real consequence. Some pain points will appeal to you. For some, you’ll be thinking, “Why can’t they just do it themselves?” Or “Why can’t someone else do that?” For others, you’ll think, “Yeah! I can do that!” Or “That’s what I do, and I’m proud of it.”
If you have trouble thinking about what pain or problems you want to solve. Then make the list of what you don’t want to solve. So you can think of it as…
“I NEVER want to do bookkeeping spreadsheets again in my next job.”
“I NEVER want to be customer service-focused again.”
“Who cares if there’s no food in the fridge? They can get that themselves,” or…
“Who cares if the computer mouse breaks? They should fix that themselves.”
Some questions to help:
What were you doing when you felt most successful?
What were you doing when you led your greatest successful projects or tasks?
What role did you play?
One thing I want you to remember is that everyone is afraid. The most successful CEO you can think of is terrified that the next decision they make isn’t going to be the right one. Or the most successful boss you’ve ever had is scared because when you’re in those positions, you never know what the right decision is. Bill Gates is afraid, Obama is afraid, and my dad is afraid. Everyone is afraid. No one knows that their decisions are 100% correct.
The thing is that the possibility for greatness and embarrassment both exist in the same place. You can’t do anything great if you’re not willing to be embarrassed or uncomfortable in the process.
Most people don’t care if you fail.
The Facebook profile that everyone looks at the most is their own. People don’t have time to care that much about if you succeed or not; they’re too busy focusing on their own lives.
The person who failed is not the person who went to the interview and bombed it.
The real person who failed is the person who never tried, the person who didn’t show up to the interview in the first place because they were afraid they’d bomb!
You have to fail, you have to go through that process, and as Seth Godin says “Failure counts as done.” There is always something to be said about finishing something. Most people don’t finish what they start!
How to take it literally one step at a time
Let’s say you’ve decided you want to take the leap from plumber to programmer. This is an incredibly overwhelming goal. Just thinking about it probably makes you want to lie down in the road, especially if you have no programming background or experience, and you’re starting from scratch.
So, the way to tackle these types of goals is to break them down into small steps. The first step, in this case, might look like this:
What is one thing you can do to see a) if that’s what you really want, and b) if it is, move towards it?
My first goal to is to reach out to someone. I have scripts in my free download here: That you can use to reach out to anyone. What has moved me forward the most is to have a chat and connect with someone in the field I want to move into.
From there, you can start to put the pieces together of the steps you want to take (or not take). And the more people you can talk to, the better.
There is a really inspiring article on a guy who did just that. You can check it out here.
If you’re in this position right now, know that it is a gift. You are someone who knows in your gut you’re meant for more, and you’re not letting yourself settle for less. So, own it, embrace it, and start taking decisive action. You’re one of the people who is meant to live a truly extraordinary life.
In Work & Life