Man with coffee at the computer

The real reason you feel crappy at work

Self Responsibility

You wouldn’t mind going to work so much…IF you could just feel good about it while you’re there.

But every morning when that alarm goes off, you want to cry. Because it feels like you die a bit inside each time you leave home to walk through those office doors. So you long for the weekends – live for them. And when Sunday evening comes you slump into a dark hole of sadness for the end of the weekend, and then feel the weariness for the long, exhaustive week to come.

This is no way to live life. And, it doesn’t have to be how you live yours. You could get up – and feel good about going to work. You could enjoy walking through those office doors each morning. You could feel a sense of purpose, belonging, and direction when Monday comes. So why don’t you?

The reason you don’t is because you’ve misdiagnosed the problem. You see, work is not the problem. It’s how you’re thinking about work that’s the problem.

Here’s what’s likely happened. You know you feel bad, and you know it happens at work. So it’s natural then to make the connection that work is the reason you feel like crap. And if you didn’t have work, things would be fixed. But you’re missing a crucial step in between.

Feelings don’t come from the situation we experience.

They come from our thoughts about the situation we’re experiencing. Which means its not work – but how we are thinking about work, that is causing us to feel bad.

If it’s our thoughts that cause the problem, then it means that to fix how we are feeling, we can’t just switch jobs our go on vacation to solve things. Sure, those may help in the sense that the change of situation brings new thoughts – but if we aren’t building the discipline to be aware of our thoughts, then it’s only a matter of time before we slump into that familiar sorrow again.

Thoughts are our problem. So they are also our solution. This doesn’t mean you can flip a switch in your brain that allows you to instantly think great things about work and then bam, you’re feeling good. At least I haven’t found that switch yet.

The first step to feeling better at work:

You need to realize what it is exactly that you are thinking that is causing you to feel bad in the first place. Because if you can identify that thought – then you can start to unravel it, and thus, let go of it.

The second step:

Drop that judgment about what work “should” or “shouldn’t” be. When you add judgment to your situations, all that does is layer on more pain because we think we’re missing out on something, or that something’s wrong because of how things are. There is nothing wrong here – the only problem going on is how you’re thinking about work. Let work just be – work. And instead of making it responsible for how you feel, start taking responsibility for your feelings yourself. Because they don’t come from work – they come from your thoughts.

The third step:

Question the thoughts that are leading you to feel crappy. Play devil’s advocate to yourself, asking things like, could the exact opposite thought be true? How is this thought wrong? What evidence to have to the contrary? The more you can build your case against the thought, the less your brain will hold onto the thought moving forward.

Applying these steps will help you to realize the true source of your pain, accept where it’s coming from, and finally move beyond it.