Who is your boss? Whom are you working for? What does this job give you, except it won’t love you back? Or maybe it would? If you work for yourself, if you are your own boss and self-driven, if you love yourself enough, it does not matter where and whom you work for.
If you are a self-starter, you do not have to run away from that boring job, that impossible boss and those difficult colleagues. At least not before you have found some better option. Don’t jump from the oil into the frying pan. For the time being, plan a strategy of survival by motivating yourself.
Do not talk to your colleagues about your true feelings if you feel low and demotivated. Keep up a professional front, or you will never get out of it. Get professional coaching and counseling. Professional coaching can see you through many rough patches with a difficult boss, in a seemingly impossible situation, with a rebellious team, indifferent colleagues, in an unloved job. It will cost you some money, but not as much as losing your job, running into trouble with your spouse, disappointing your kids, losing your home. A coach will not solve your problems or tell you what to do, but he can get you to change your attitude towards the situation and find your own answers and solutions.
Take care of your will power, self-discipline and motivation
Your will power and motivation during the day follow roughly your biorhythm, you have your ups and downs.
Your will power can be eroded when you are tired, hungry, by boring routine work, by work you are not used to, by difficult discussions, lingering conflicts, interruptions, noise, health issues or unexpected changes of life. To keep up your will power, drink water regulary, have some healthy snack ready, take a short break, open your windows, walk around the block, reward yourself with some after-work activity, meeting with friends, going to the theater or cinema, buy those nice shoes you fancied for a while.
Admiral William H. McRaven, the commander of the Navy Seals used to say: “ If you want to change the World, make your bed first thing in the morning. That way, you get a success first thing in your day, and if your day turns out to be so-so, at least you come back to a nicely made bed in the evening.”If you feel low, you can train your motivation by doing small and subsequently bigger and bigger chores perfectly.The principles of motivational training are, put very shortly, increasing the quality, the quantity, the frequency, and the speed of your output. If you are in very bad shape, you may have to see a coach specializing in motivational training before you can take on any other endeavors.
Some people seem to be super self-disciplined following the right kind of diet, working long hours without interruption, keeping fit on a regular basis, having wonderfully organized lives, neat desks and perfect apartments. The secret is building habits. If something is a habit, it is easy to follow. It takes about six weeks to form a good new habit. If you want to look as disciplined as some of those you admire, start introducing new habits. Don’t work on more than one or two at the same time. You will be amazed and proud of yourself to see what you can change within a few months.
To keep up or renew your motivation, plan your next day in writing every evening before going home. Plan some rewards and breaks. For every day, plan some activity small or big that you really enjoy. Make the most of each day to live a fulfilled, happy life. Enjoying life is a conscious decision, a choice. Car repairs, tax returns, steep bills, boring meetings, technical problems, unpleasant people are part of life and cannot be avoided. It is your decision, what importance you allow them in your life.
The best executives are very close to their own feelings and have no problems to draw the line between business and personal and taking care of themselves and their own needs.
Sometimes that half-hour commute can help to unwind and get your distance from your work. On the other hand, living closely to your work offers a lot more possibilities for flexibility. Walk or bike to work, meet colleagues after work, enjoy cultural events or nip into your gym quickly after work to put some distance between your work and home.
Taking a break regularly will make you feel more energized. Regular sleep, meeting with friends outside work, a swim or a walk, a jog, a week-end outdoors on a hike or a ski trip will give you the necessary stamina and energy.
Plan part of your day and leave part of it deliberately open for unexpected matters. Take regular breaks during your day, week, month, year to recharge your batteries. If you find this difficult, enter regular meetings with yourself into your calendar which must not be used for work matters.
Meditate, pray to God or to any power you believe in, learn some relaxation technique. Write down your thoughts, problems and personal ideas regularly.
Make time for regular, healthy meals, make sure you drink enough (2-3 liters a day) of nonalcoholic unsweetened beverages. Avoid white flour and sugar. If you still smoke, consider getting help to stop. Enjoy shopping on a farmer’s market to get the best and freshest fruit and veg and enjoy the atmosphere. Slow down regularly. “And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.” the Bible says. It is a good idea to return to that advice when times get tough for you. Having difficulties getting out of the downward spiral? Then you should see a coach who can help you gain new perspectives.
Keep good grooming habits: get the best haircut, the best manicure and pedicure in town, get your teeth professionally cleaned. It will make you feel great. Organize and update your wardrobe and shoes. There is nothing like a new pair of shoes or a new shirt to give you an immediate lift. Wearing a good outfit can see you through the most difficult day. If you like, get the status symbols adequate for your position. If not, practice the fine art of omission. Dare to be different, celebrate your own style.
Read, read, read. This will give you more mileage and depth in any discussion and in your writing. Wouldn’t you like to have more backbone in difficult times in unpleasant environments? Read the ancient Greek, Latin and Chinese philosophers and take in their wisdom for strength and spiritual guidance. They make powerful statements which can back up your own thinking.
The four pillars of success are self consciousness, self responsibility, self confidence and self discipline (Jens Corssen, Der Selbstentwickler).
Selfconsciousness means you know yourself, your likes, your dislikes, you are aware of what you know to do well, you also know your own limits, what is right and wrong for yourself.
Self responsibility means you know what you can deliver, what you are ready to perform and see through, trusting your capacities, being sure of yourself. You are in charge of yourself and your own destiny. You do not blame others for what happens to you.
Self-confidence means you are aware of your qualities, of your performance, of your professional and personal experience, of what you can give your employer, your company, your customers. You are tried and tested by experience and will not lose your grip in times of trouble.
Self discipline is a number of good habits which you have formed yourself. You know how to keep up your performance levels, you do not cave in when the wind of adversity blows, you are unfreakable.
Ask yourself the following questions: What gets you going? What is your motor? What are you burning for?What does recognition mean to you? What kind of recognition do you need to feel happy? Money? Prestige? Personal satisfaction? Admiration from your colleagues?
Control your mind, check your habits, watch your character, shape your destiny, be unfreakable!It is all yours. You have everything you need inside yourself. The French say: Life is like a Spanish inn, you only get what you bring yourself.
Susanne H. Keller has been a coach since 2012, specializing in systemic coaching for individuals and teams, change management and organizational development. She has more than three decades experience in executive management, project management and managing science and technology. As a systemic coach she can help executives and teams to manage change, develop their personalities and their companies, create start-ups, work on their projects, discover new professional perspectives, and reach their goals. You can contact Susanne at www.susanne-keller.ch