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The 5 beliefs that keep you stuck at work

unhappy2“The voice in the head tells a story that the body believes in and reacts to. Those reactions are the emotions. The emotions, in turn, feed the energy back to the thoughts that created the emotion in the first place. This is the vicious circle between unexamined thoughts and emotions, giving rise to emotional thinking and emotional story-making.”  ~Eckhart Tolle

While growing up, we all received messages about work from those around us.  We learned what we were supposed to do, what kind of work was best, whether self-employment was an option and how much education was appropriate.  These messages came from loving people who wanted the best for us.

At times, these loving people told us their expectations directly, but often we deduced the rules around work from watching their behavior.  Things such as, “Work has to be hard,”  “Government/Civil jobs are the best,”  “You have to be a professional,”  or perhaps “To be successful, you have to work in a corporate world” were the rulers we were given by which to measure our own work potential.

These messages became the beliefs we impose on ourselves each and every day.  They rule the way we behave and often we are not even conscious of them.  When we have no awareness of the underlying beliefs we hold true, we don’t fully understand the possibilities that exists within us to be so much more. We create self-imposed limitations on how we show up in the world – and, worse still, these rules can block out the voice of our true desires and our true passions.

In order to create a full life, you need to become conscious of the beliefs that you hold about work so that you can start to question them and then choose to adopt beliefs that lead you toward your heart’s desire rather than further away.

Some of these are “core” beliefs are central to how you show up in your live, why you do what you do, and most important – how you feel.  You can think of core beliefs as having many smaller offshoots that enable smaller, intertwined beliefs.   If you want to begin to make change at core beliefs, it is important to examine the smaller branches first.

Here are some of the most common ones.  Read to see if you find yourself here.

  • Time is on my mind – This nearly epidemic belief is unbelievably debilitating.  It creates a time famine mindset where nothing we do can ever be enough. We live our bottomless to-do lists in an ever exhausting spiral of disappointment and frustration.  Often, every thing suffers, especially our own well-being.  We jump from task to task under the illusion that our multi-tasking works.
  • Anything you can do, I can do better.  While some are very upfront about this belief, most of us don’t like to admin to this one.  It is often the belief that lurks behind – micro-managing, blame, judgment, “perfectionism,” criticism and second guessing of others. This belief is toxic to self – if you are the only once capable, then you are going it alone.  It creates a sense of isolation, and worse yet, continues to keep you feeling victimized.
  • When you change, I’ll be happy – Many of my coaching clients believe this to be true.  The “tools” they say they desire the most, they resist most often – mostly because they believe, on an unconscious level, that they are not the ones who would benefit from them.   It is a euphemism for ways to change other people.  This belief keeps you stuck feeling like the problem is “out there” (which is an easier pill to swallow) rather than doing the inner work of acknowledging the part you play in your own sense of work dissatisfaction.  Mama Gena, headmistress of the School of Womanly Arts in NYC, encourages one to find the joy first exactly where you are – and to own our experience full out – rather than sit in misery.  Personally, that bit of advice has worked for me over and over again in my life.
  • It’s everyone else’s fault – Although some things may be the fault of others, you need to recognize and take responsibility for the creation of your own life and for the choices you have made regarding your work up to this point.  You may have challenging co-workers and work in toxic organizations.  The question is where are you willing to draw the line between your own responsibility and that of uncontrollable external situations.  Blame accomplishes little, especially when it freezes us to the action necessary to improve our work circumstances.
  • Let me take care of you – This is a deeply rooted belief that is incredibly self-sabotaging.  Its origins come from the “I’m not worthy, I’m not enough,” early childhood impressions. It can also come from the “I’m the only one capable of doing it,” core belief.  Bottom line is that it places an enormous burden on you, the believer. It keeps you stuck in always doing – always working – always trying to get things done and make things happen. It’s exhausting and endless. When you are stuck here, you forget that in order to be truly productive, you need to care for yourself – first and foremost.

When it comes to our beliefs, it isn’t until you are stretched to the max (or worse) that you create change.  Pain and discomfort are great motivators. Know that, as women, we are hard-wired with a tendency to resist change until the pain of not changing has a higher price tag.

And change isn’t magical. Yes, sometimes experience over time does change us – although it’s not always simple or easy.   When we choose to explore and shift our beliefs, we do exercise the only control we really have – our thinking.

Unearthing old dysfunctional beliefs is powerful.   It can be the key to changing what we perceive, how we behave and most important – how we feel so that we can deliberately ignite our courage to change and live out our purpose out in this lifetime.

“The pain pushes until the vision pulls.”          Michael B. Beckwith

Your turn:  What beliefs keep you stuck in a less than satisfying career?  How have you turned some of them around?  How has your life benefited as a result.  Please share with us.  We all benefit from your wisdom, your experience and guidance.

Stay InSpired,

Joelle Lydon


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