Carrying the weight of resentment, frustration or anger in your current job? Find yourself stuck on challenges at work or with your career rather than solutions? Here’s a short story and some quick actions you should take.
I bumped into an old colleague and our quick catch-up chat reminded me of how I was feeling for several months when we had worked together.
I was carrying a lot of resentment and frustration and at times, even anger in my leadership role based on what I perceived as sneaky moves, broken promises, and abandoned initiatives from a couple of executives.
Of course, I tried to problem solve. I tried to protect my team. And I think I was professional.
But internally … I wasn’t a happy camper. Living with those negative feelings was like carrying and pulling on a heavy rope. Everyday. For months. That rope impacted my sleep and health. It definitely impacted how I showed up with my family. And carrying that rope around probably changed the energy I brought to the job.
This is important … There’s a tipping point between when your colleagues and manager will understand how you’re feeling and when they’ve had enough. There’s a point where you need to accept that which you cannot change, or make a plan to move. You need to be in or out.
Anything beyond this, no matter how right you are, damages your reputation, your relationships, and your career. And it will change who you become.
The turning point was when I focused on my agency, solutions, and decisions.
So, if you’re experiencing something similar, here’s my hard won advice for you:
1: Drop the rope. Just let it go. The sooner the better. All it takes is a decision and a daily reminder to yourself until you’ve moved past it.
2: Flip the experience from a negative to a positive by seeking solutions, a way forward. Find the lessons and be grateful for the learning and how this experience made you stronger.
First, I carry a physical reminder in the form of a coin that reads “The Obstacle is the Way” to remind me to seek solutions rather than focus on the problem. (Hat tip to Ryan Holiday’s brilliant book of the same name.).
The other side of the coin reads:
“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”
Get your own physical token to remind yourself in the moment.
Second, every morning as part of my start-up rituals, I say to myself “Bring it on!” to lean into and welcome the difficult challenges in front of me.
These two practices have done wonders.
3: Make a plan and decide.
Either, you are going to find a way to turn around your job situation and rise above.
Or, you make a decision that this is the catalyst you need to make your next career move.
Note: You might want to do both. If your career move is going to take some time, you want to protect your reputation, create wins and nurture your references.
In my case, I used that negative energy as a catalyst to make a decision, a burn the ships commitment to get back to my mission, building the Bold Career Project.
Painful as it was, to this day, I’m grateful for that experience. For what it taught me and for creating the energy I needed to pursue my own bold career project. I have never looked back.
Drop the rope. Move forward!
Here’s a link to the PDF tool How to Get Unstuck in Your Current Role in case it could be helpful to you.
With gratitude for joining me on this bold professional journey,