When I left my position in an organization a few years back to start my own company, it came as a surprise to some. Others expected it and seen it coming. While I loved my work and was good at what I was doing, there was a part of me that just didn't fit there anymore.
The perspective I was in
I remember one conversation with my boss after a performance review. We were talking about future goals and directions for me. He said to me something to the effect of "I can see you in a corner doing techy kind of things". I was livid! I felt diminished, undervalued and unseen. How dare he not see me as someone with value. I came home that night and yelled and ranted to my husband about his comment. Interestingly, this is also the same boss who encouraged me to get my MBA. I didn't, but he was serious about it.
I see it different now
The funny thing is, now, I am in my "corner"; my home office sending out newsletters, making YouTube videos and editing them, building my own website and being quite techy. At the same time, those other things that made my boss suggest I consider getting my MBA were also the things that seen in my that prompted him to support me in getting my management degree, hire me a Coach and grow my skills are the things I use each and every day now,
My boss's perspective
The thing was, during the conversation we had about goals, I had one perspective. I could only see things from the vantage point I chose to be at that moment. My boss knew I wasn't going to stay doing what I was doing forever. He seen some things in me and for that I am now grateful. At the time, maybe not so much.
Seeing things differently helped me see options
It wasn't until I started working with my Coach at the time, and until I started having conversations with friends about what else could I do, as well as when I really started to take some time to reflect on my future that I started to see possibilities.
I had choices
I chose to quite my job and start my own business. I could have also chose to create a different position in the existing company. Now, looking back, I know that had I the same passion I had about building my company I could have done just about anything. I had to see it though.
What perspective are you in now?
I think there comes a point in each one of our careers where we have to evaluate where we are at. If we aren't "happy" or feeling that we are right on track, we need to step back and see things differently. Again, that doesn't necessarily mean we need to quit, yet it might. I have seen too many leaders in positions in companies that should have left 3 or 4 or 5 years ago because they are stagnating things. If they were to move on, it would free the company up to try new things. I've also seen many front line staff and supervisors who are mad. Mad at the world, and mad at where they are at. Their mood infects the whole team quite negatively. You know the saying about one bad apple.
What if you seen it differently?
I'm just asking you today, to consider if perhaps, you, are one of those leaders or apples. Is it time for you to move on?
Wow! I am exhausted!
I had two coaching calls, an hour long Free Webinar that I hosted and a 1.5 hour long "we are preparing to write a book together" call with my two colleagues. That is combined with the rest of the work that I crammed into my four day work week with Monday being Thanksgiving.
What about you? What have you tried to fit into this short work week? Now, Friday afternoon are you feeling exhausted? Tired? Out of steam? Me too!
Shifting our perspective allows us to see what happened and what will happen through a new light.
I had a full, busy week. I can see it as draining and exhausting. Or I can see it as fulfilling and useful.
P.S. I am grateful for all my new newsletter signups and my newest members to my Coffee Break with Kathy club!
Don’t you just hate getting stuck? Can’t go forward. Can’t go back. Can’t see any way out! Doesn’t it even drive you nuts more, when someone else comes along and sees an easy way out?
I remember being stuck with my vehicle many years ago before I learned that a 4x4 is the best way to go. Four kids were packed in the back of the mini-van ready to go to the babysitters, while I fumed, trying to get unstuck. The more jammed I got, the more stressed I became, knowing I was going to be late for work.
I saw a way out
A phone call to my loving husband and he came home to get my freed from the mounds of snow in the driveway. I’d been going back and forth, back and forth, only digging myself deeper. Ernie comes home, hopes in the van and had it out in no time. He knew what to do. He knew how much gas to give it at just the right time to turning the wheel. I couldn’t see it. I couldn’t feel it. I couldn’t get out.
Get out of your rut
It’s that way with life often. We can’t see a way out. We go back and forth in our little rut, getting nowhere. What if it could be different?
Here is the trick
One of the biggest gifts that I received from being trained as a coach was the addition of the word “perspectives” to my every day vocabulary. Sure, I knew the word before. I even used it occasionally. Now however there is rarely a day goes by that I don’t use it to look at my own view of the world, to describe someone else’s or to help someone get out of his or her rut. I ask:
"What is your perspective and how can you shift it slight?"
Your perspective is the way you see things
A perspective is simply the way we see things. It is our view of the world, the person or the challenge in from of us. At the time, I had seen my situation in the mini-van as hopeless. Ernie had seen it as a challenge easily overcome. I now see the world as inherently good. Others see the world as full of people out to get them. I choose to see the changing seasons as opportunities to enjoy different things like puzzles and crisp starry nights. Others dread the coming winter.
Your perspective is based on your experience of life up until this point. It comes from where you grew up and the way you were raised. Your perspective is formed from your culture, the jobs you have had, the people you hang out with, the movies you watch and the book you’ve read. All of these things layer one over the other to create your view.
Some other words to describe perspective might be viewpoint, opinion, lens, belief or story. If you’ve read books like “The Four Agreements”, you may call it your agreement or your story.
You (not the world) choose your perspective
But here is the thing about perspectives. You choose them. It is like a pair of glasses you put on … or take off. It is up to you how you see the world. So if you are stuck, you might want to reach up and see if the glasses you are wearing are the ones that will help you get unstuck.
Here is how my perspective shifted
How will you shift your perspective today?
See what you can shift today. Choose to look at things slightly differently and feel the difference.
I knew something was off by 6:40 am. Usually by that time Ernie pokes his head through my office door, awakening the sleeping dogs. Fending off their pleas for pets, he usually gives me a kiss good-bye. I am finishing up my reading for the morning before I go for breakfast.
Ernie then heads off to his world of trucks, drivers and other “men in workbooks” kind of stuff. But my husband didn’t go to work this morning. At about 6:40 am, he opened my door to say he was not going in right away. Instead, he took an extra hour to go have a bath and relax. He wasn’t feeling quite himself. He said he was taking a “Bosses day” or at least a few hours.
Leaders need to have compassion with themselves
Later he said to me, as he was sipping his coffee, letting his truck warm up “It’s like you say, bosses just need to take a break more often”. Yeah! My preaching is working! Well, at least in my own home.
Productivity versus self-care
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I’ve focused this past month on productivity. Yet there are days we feel less than eager to jump into the ever-growing To Do list. Watch my video link here to get more information on being compassionate with yourself and determining what to do on those days.
I speak about GRIT and the need to be determined, stick to things and persevere. That is true. As leaders we must dig deep and push forward. AND there are times that we need to take a break. But how do you know when it’s time to dig deep and when it’s time to back off?
Here are 3 warning signs you need to back off
Check now. Do you feel that tension in your back and shoulders? If you lean your head to the side do you feel the tightness? The tension from being on the phone, sitting at a computer and carrying around the immense responsibility you carry all sits on your shoulders and neck. If you don’t take the time to relax. It is only going to get worse.
- Take a day off
- Have a bath
- Go for a massage.
- Book an appointment with your chiropractor.
- Attend a yoga class.
Take care of it before it stops you dead in your tracks.
There are times that Ernie talks about his work. Then there are times that he drones on and on. I can see that he’s having trouble letting go of some issue or challenge. I try to listen, pay attention and be supportive. But it's not me that he needs. He needs to let it go. We all do. I have trouble not working on evenings and weekends. I can't stay off social media.
This sign is about noticing when you can't let it go.
- If you are laying in bed thinking about work having trouble falling asleep.
- If you think about it all evening.
- If you are constantly checking your phone.
- If you check your phone before you get out of bed in the morning.
Don’t wait until you break. Burnout is not fun. And it’s hard to bounce back after you’ve fallen hard.
When was the last time you stepped away from work completely for an hour, a day or perhaps a weekend?
- No email.
- Phone forwarded to someone else in charge.
- The computer stays at the office
If you can’t remember the last time, it’s probably time to take a “Bosses Day.”
I lead a full life full of love, adventure and growth. Check out my latest thoughts here.
And if you want to know more about me check out my personal blog at www.kathyarchersblog.com
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Overwhelm / Overload / Burnout
Work Life Balance