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Category: Self Reflection

How to Fall Back in Love with Your Job

Filed under: Attitude, Happiness, Psychology, Self Reflection

With February upon us, staying immune to some variation of the “winter blues” becomes almost as difficult as avoiding the flu. A general sense of restlessness and discontent may try to worm its way into various facets of your life, including your career. Or, perhaps, after the buzz and excitement of the holiday season, your day-to-day feels less satisfying.

You may look back on your current position and wonder when the passion began to fade. This spurs the question, should you stay, or should you go? As a firm believer in second chances, we suggest taking a step back to look at the bigger picture of your experience in this role before kicking it to the curb.

With that said, how do you reignite the spark?

Review the impact you’ve had on the company
Take a moment to look back on your time with this company. Review the role you’ve played in getting your organization or department to where they are now versus when you first started. While doing this, create a list of your achievements and consider if you could continue building upon them. Is this organization a better place in some sense because of the work you’ve done–are you a more skilled professional because of the work that you’ve had the opportunity to do?

Uncover the root of the problem
Sometimes the cause of your dissatisfaction can be easily pinpointed to an exact incident, but more often than not, your current feelings have been built by layers of varied occasions or relationships. In the case of the latter, it may take some self-reflection to reveal when and why you fell out of love. If you’ve had a bad experience with a coworker, fixating on your understanding of that particular incident is an easy route to take, but have you thought about it from their end or looked at the overarching actions that caused the experience to occur? Opening your mind to process a situation from an emphatic approach frequently generates a different perspective and greater respect for the people on the other end.

Look at your relationships
Consider the relationships you’ve formed during your time in this role. How have your colleagues helped you grow, and do they still have knowledge to impart? For many of us, a large portion of our experience is shaped by the relationships we maintain, and a positive or negative team dynamic could make or break your perception. If you’ve been working with the same individuals for a while, maybe you’ve settled into a predictable routine. Try shaking things up by asking your colleagues about their professional background or past experiences. You may be surprised by what you could learn from their past lessons.

Improve your view
Many of us spend a similar amount of time in our workspace as we do in our home. Decorating your house to make it feel like your home is done without question, but often we don’t put thought into personalizing our workspace. Consider the saying that the home is a reflection of the self. Think about that phrase in terms of your work area–a cluttered, impersonal space won’t help you feel connected to the work you’re doing. Of course, you can’t take the same creative liberties in your office as you could in your home. But consider adding some personal touches through photographs of family and friends, interesting desk accessories, plants, a calendar that reflects a personal interest, or books for inspiration. By introducing these elements you create a space that is familiar and comfortable, thereby naturally uplifting your mood.

Broaden your connections
Often in an office-setting, we become unintentionally socially affixed to members of our department or those that we sit near. Lack of exposure to other business areas may be causing you to miss out on great opportunities to broaden your network. Take control of this by asking a coworker from a different department out for lunch or coffee. By engaging with other sections of your company, you may acquire a fresh perspective and understanding of your organization and gain a lasting professional connection along the way.

Communicate what you’re feeling
As in any relationship, maintaining open communication with your teammates is a critical component to success. What feels obvious to you might go unnoticed by others. If appropriate, schedule time to sit down with your boss or teammates and try to talk through your thoughts. Outside perspectives may shed light on the root of your feelings and serve as a reminder of why you fell in love with your job in the first place.

Goal-setting
Now that you’ve done the work, reflecting on your past achievements and company growth, it’s time to look to the future: what could you accomplish in your role this year? Analyze a high-level perspective of your department’s objectives–are there projects in the pipeline that appeal to you? Do you see an opportunity to learn a new skill or strengthen an existing one? If you answered yes to either of those questions, ask yourself if you’d be comfortable with someone else building on the work you started. Begin with the end goals and break them down into phases, then into actionable items, until you have an overarching project plan for success. Has the flame returned yet?

As with most things, we frequently want what we can’t have and overlook the value of what’s in front of us. If you’re willing to put in the work, you may find your “relationship” (aka your job) is stronger than ever before.

9 Skills that Pay Dividends Forever

Filed under: Good Habits, Personality, Professional Development, Psychology, Self Reflection

Some of the most important skills in life are not taught in school. Here are 9 you won’t want to miss out on.

The further along you are in your career, the easier it is to fall back on the assumption that you’ve made it and have all the skills you need to succeed. The tendency is to focus all your energy on getting the job done, assuming that the rest will take care of itself. Big mistake.

New research from Stanford tells the story. Carol Dweck and her colleagues conducted a study with people who were struggling with their performance. One group was taught to perform better on a task that they had been performing poorly. The other group received a completely different intervention: For a task they performed poorly, they were taught that they weren’t stuck and that improving their performance was a choice. They discovered that learning produces physiological changes in the brain, just like exercise changes muscles. All they had to do was believe in themselves and make it happen.

When the groups’ performance was reassessed a few months later, the group that was taught to perform the task better did even worse. The group that was taught that they had the power to change their brains and improve their performance themselves had improved dramatically.

The primary takeaway from Dweck’s research is that we should never stop learning. The moment we think that we are who we are is the moment we give away our unrealized potential.

The act of learning is every bit as important as what you learn. Believing that you can improve yourself and do things in the future that are beyond your current possibilities is exciting and fulfilling.

Still, your time is finite, and you should dedicate yourself to learning skills that will yield the greatest benefit. There are nine skills that I believe fill the bill because they never stop paying dividends. These are the skills that deliver the biggest payoff, both in terms of what they teach you and their tendency to keep the learning alive.

Continue reading the original article on Inc…

4 Questions Successful People Ask Themselves

Filed under: Self Reflection, Success

Wouldn’t it be fun to be an eccentric billionaire?

Riding your unicorn, the wind in your yacht, giving away tons of money for the powers of good (and maybe spending some of it on yourself?).

It could also be fun to be so successful that you have no major money or house worries, and every day you wake up to a job you love.

Either way, success smells good, doesn’t it? But how do you get there?

You can read the interwebs and find all sorts of interesting information on what successful people do in the morning, or how they structure their day, or even—wink—the questions that they ask themselves.

Why the focus on questions? Well, there are many schools of thought on this but if I can borrow from Appreciative Inquiry, one of the reasons that questions are so important is because “words create worlds.”

What that means is that the questions you choose to ask yourself have a direct impact on the world you create for yourself.

Click here to read the rest on Motto >>

You Can Love What You Do for a Living, but Still Think it Feels Like Work

Filed under: Attitude, Focus, Professional Development, Rational Thought, Self Reflection

Do what you love, and you’ll never work another day in your life.

Yes, we’ve all heard that sentiment countless times. We repeat it to recent graduates like it’s the only career advice they’ll ever need. We print it on motivational posters, bumper stickers, and encouraging note cards. We incorporate it into commencement addresses. Heck, I’m sure it’s even embroidered on the occasional throw pillow.

But, does this treasured piece of advice even ring true? Will finding a career that you’re insanely passionate about make your entire life feel like one big tropical vacation?

No, I don’t think so. In fact, I think it’s perfectly normal to love your job and simultaneously recognize the fact that it’s hard work.

That’s right—just because you sometimes feel stressed, overwhelmed, or even a little tired doesn’t mean that you’re in the wrong line of work. Here are four facts that debunk that infamous (and misleading) proverb.

Click here to read the rest on The Muse >>

4 Ways to Figure Out What You’re Good At (Not Just What You’re Passionate About)

Filed under: ambition, Career Advice, Confidence, Professional Development, Psychology, Self Reflection

It’s a universal dream to do what we’re passionate about. The only problem with this aspiration is that sometimes the thing we most care about isn’t what we do best. As Gloria Steinem famously said, “We teach what we need to learn, and write what we need to know.”

Don’t worry! This doesn’t mean your dream is dead. It just means that you need to figure out how to bring that dream to fruition—using the skills you currently possess. Sure, your dream will be tweaked and altered. But, at the end of the day, you’ll still be able to do what you’re passionate about.

Here are four questions you should ask yourself to help make that happen:

1. What Skills Have Helped You Thrive?

During your childhood and college years, you’ve no doubt developed certain skills out of necessity.

Click here to read the rest on The Muse >>

18 Signs of High Emotional Intelligence

Filed under: Cognitive Ability, Insights, Psychology, Relationships, Self Reflection

When emotional intelligence (EQ) first appeared to the masses, it served as the missing link in a peculiar finding: people with average IQs outperform those with the highest IQs 70 per cent of the time. This anomaly threw a massive wrench into the broadly held assumption that IQ was the sole source of success.

Decades of research now point to emotional intelligence as being the critical factor that sets star performers apart from the rest of the pack. The connection is so strong that 90 per cent of top performers have high emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible. It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions to achieve positive results.

Despite the significance of EQ, its intangible nature makes it very difficult to know how much you have and what you can do to improve if you’re lacking. You can always take a scientifically validated test, such as the one that comes with the Emotional Intelligence 2.0 book.

Click here to read the rest on Core Spirit >>

4 Steps to Get to Success by Destroying Your Inner Critic

Filed under: Good Habits, Self Reflection, Success, Your Career

Have you ever remained silent in a meeting because you were afraid of saying something stupid or have you ever talked a lot in a meeting without really saying anything because you were afraid of being irrelevant? Do you know who made you do that? Well, I have a pretty good guess at who was responsible for this. We all have inside ourselves a little devil called the inner critic. This little demon can be an occasional mild annoyance or a raging lunatic depending on your past experiences.

Self worth and self confidence are two different things. You can be high functioning and successful and still have no love for yourself. When it comes to self esteem its either you or the critic and if you want to be happy you need to blow this little stinker to bits. Below are some tips on how you can come out of this battle on top.

Observe how much of YOU dares to show up around others:

  • When someone offends you, do you tell them? Do you feel guilty if you tell them?
  • Do you ever pretend to be like someone else or agree with them needlessly so that they like you?

Click here to read the rest on LinkedIn >>