Choose to be optimisitic

I want to talk today about, how to be optimistic when the world around you isn't.

It's something I struggle with. I'm energetically sensitive, so if I am close by to someone who is complaining and being pessimistic all day long, then it can leave me feeling absolutely drained!

I found myself in this situation a lot when I worked in an office. After a while, I found that I pushed my optimistic approach aside and joined in the complaining.

A few things that helped me to get out of this was realising that optimism is a choice, I can actually decide to be optimistic. I started to recognise my negatives thoughts and chose to stop them in their tracks, turning them into thoughts of gratitude and positivity, whilst imagining a more ideal future.

It was around this time I stopped actively watching/reading the news. This is not out of ignorance, I still keep myself informed of world news and I am engaged, but not in an everyday sense; first thing in the morning or last thing at night - I am now conscious of the way I consume news/media and it has made me a much happier person.

I often work on mindset with my clients and it amazes me how choosing to be optimistic can be life-changing.

Today, can you challenge one thought-pattern that doesn’t serve you? Then again tomorrow? Then for the whole week? I welcome you to change your mind, your outlook, your approach to better serve you.

Why you don't need to quit your job today

If you know about what I do as a Career Change Coach, then you’ll know at some point I may support my clients to quit the job they hate! However, I want to discuss why you shouldn’t quit the job you hate - today. 

The internet is filled with quick fix solutions, quick loans and quick successes, however genuine coaching and the type of coaching I deliver involves a journey to create lasting change and definitely doesn’t give the false promise of ‘overnight success’. Do you know anyone who has had overnight success, in real life? People tend to be in a job they hate because of financial obligations and let’s face it, they are somewhat real. I would never encourage anyone to quit their job without a plan.

The steps below outline what you can do when you hate your job, but you’re not in a financial position to quit today.

Step 1: Get objective

Ever heard of a downwards spiral? Sometimes when you are stuck in a situation and are feeling all the emotions it is difficult to be objective. Experiencing these emotions can stop us from seeing the other options available to us. Have a conversation with yourself (either in your head, out loud or on paper) as if you are your own best friend giving yourself advice. Ask yourself important questions to get clear, such as why you want to quit your job; why you are still in your job and why you are not doing anything about it. With your objective mindset, ask yourself any other questions you need clarity on.

Step 2: Make the most of a bad situation

Some people might say you have to tolerate or quit a job you hate. Well I say you can make it more bearable - for now. I suggest writing down a list of the things you like or love about your job, whether it’s your lunch break or engaging with clients and apply more of your attention and appreciation there.

Write a list down of the things you dislike or hate. With your objective mind, question what you could do to make it more bearable in the short-term. These are a few examples: 

  • Hate your commute? Talk to your manager about changing your hours to avoid peak times and working from home one day a week. Can your commute time be more enjoyable by listening to your favourite podcast or inspirational book? 

  • Don’t get on with your manager? Talk to HR about reporting to someone else. 

  • Always working late? Set yourself boundaries and stick to your contracted working hours. A recent study of 65,000 U.S. employees found out exactly how unproductive overtime work is, proving that the more people work, the less productive they become. In other words, staying after work hours is practically useless!

  • Is there an office bully? Take control of the situation, ask to move away from them, inform your manager and HR. Start to document incidents and only use email to communicate where possible.

  • Are you really bored? Apply mindfulness in your work, so you are focussing on the task at hand rather than focussing on the boredom. Use your current work to get clear on what you don’t like and focus on how you spend your time outside of work, you could sign up for evening classes or events.

Lastly, buy a desk plant! Always a winner to cheering up a workspace in my opinion.

Step 3: Work on your mindset

The next step will be shifting your mindset to one geared up for success! For example, if you are constantly thinking how awful your dead end job is, maybe you can shift this thinking to: my job provides me financial stability whilst I look for another job, or my job pays for my passion project until I make a living from it.  Shifting your mindset is a great way to lift your energy and attract more opportunities your way. Examine your thoughts, what are you telling yourself?  

Step 4: Take your next best step

Imagine you are feeling more objective, have made your work life much more bearable and have a positive mindset; now you are ready to start taking steps towards your dream career. 

Want to do something different? Start your research, enrol on to a course or start applying for new roles. 

Got a business idea? Start researching the problem you want to solve for others and the ways you can serve. 

Struggling with your next best step?

A great way to figure this out is by defining your personal career values. Take a look at my Career Change Workbook on my resources page to help you on your way. 

Are you a people pleaser?

I often support my clients with their people pleasing tendencies… Why? Because I used to be one and it almost drained the life out of me!

People pleasers might be the nicest and most helpful people you know. They never say no, you can count on them when you need a favour and they spend a lot of time doing things for other people.

They get things done, whilst helping others, they make all the plans within their friendship groups and they always have a shoulder for you to cry on.

Which all sounds great right? Out of balance, it can be very unhealthy behaviour, as I discovered!

Why people please? There is often a deep rooted fear of rejection or a fear of failure. I used to give myself such a hard time if I made a mistake and would hate to upset anyone! I also consider myself a caring person, but that’s no good if you stop caring for yourself first!

Overtime people pleasers neglect themselves, they start to feel resentment, they stop enjoying occasions because they are too concerned with everyone being happy - especially if you are the organiser! I found that this lead to stress and anxiety.

Lastly, you can feel taken advantage of. I found overtime some friends pushed boundaries, asking for more than what was reasonable. Even people who don’t mean to, they just might not realise the stress you are under because you look like you have it all together. This was especially true for me in my job too, I found myself with by far the largest workload - I never said no, ever.

I taught myself to release my fears of rejection and failure. I started to say no more and set boundaries for myself. In the process some friends left my life (but new aligned souls came in). I realised we are responsible for teaching people how to treat us, we accept or reject their behaviour. You need to set boundaries of what you can and cannot do and what you will and will not accept. Then you need to stick to it. You cannot place the blame on others. The right people in your life will understand.

I found I had to work through feelings of guilt, however everyone deserves to take care of themselves and so you cannot feel guilty if you think of it this way!

6 morning habits that can transform your life

I really believe the way you start your day, creates the tone and vibration for your whole day. I like my sleep and have often started my day in a frenzy (snoozed my alarm, skipped breakfast and ran to the station - is this you too?). For some time I was stuck in bad habitual morning behaviours and my day would continue that way, until I had a moment to stop and reset.

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod is a really great book and was my inspiration for my routine.

  1. Drink water. I love my morning cup of tea, however I used to skip drinking water until my caffeine fix was over. Try drinking some water first, your body will thank you. If you add some cleansing lemon, it will thank you even more.

  2. Gratitude practice. It only takes a few minutes, however gratitude can assist in giving you your first smile of the day (which releases dopamine, endorphins and serotonin), which lifts your mood, lowers your heart rate and relaxes your body. Studies have proven that a gratitude practice can reduce stress. So, earlier the better - you can do it whilst still in bed!

  3. Gentle exercise. I’m not really a believer of an intense workout (not my thing), but gentle stretches/ yoga/ walking can really energise my body and mind for the day ahead.

  4. Meditate. This can be anywhere and for as little as 5- 20 minutes. It helps to ground myself and makes me emotionally stronger for the day. I personally like the app Insight Timer .

  5. Intention. I follow my meditation practice with setting some intentions for the day. I often set myself 3 things to accomplish. I write these down too, very important for clearing my mental chatter.

  6. Eat a healthy breakfast. I have been really bad at prioritising breakfast in the past (partly because I can’t eat gluten and my options sometimes feel very limited), however I now know it helps my energy levels, my concentration and focus ability.

I try and do the above before checking my phone (I may have a quick glance at notifications). By reading emails or messages first thing, your mind has began to be reactive, rather than proactive which can be hard to come back from. Find your inner peace first, and this way you will feel more in control of your day.

A new routine is never easy, but if you can find some determination through the first week, once you start noticing the benefits, along with noticing how you feel on the days you don’t, will be very reassuring just how good a great morning routine can be for you, your day and your life. It can really set you up for daily success!

Follow these 4 rules to follow through on your goals

Number 1: Seek pleasure

The way we phrase our goals is so important. If they are not positive then all they do is instil dread in us and so no wonder we don’t achieve them. For example, think about the goal ‘to lose weight’ and then think about the goal ‘to feel great in my body’. Which one is likely to help make the better choices when it come to diet and exercise?

It’s important not to set goals based on what you don’t want in your career. Setting a goal based on doing the job of your dreams, compared to setting a goal to quit the job you hate, will be so much more productive in taking you on the journey to get there. This way you are seeking your pleasure and future, not focussing on the very thing you don’t want. When you set a goal, ask yourself - am I seeking pleasure? 

Number 2: Tell your friends

For a long time I had all these ideas in my head of what I wanted to do, however I never told anyone! Eventually, I made a commitment to be open and tell friends and family, and once I did, it was out there and the accountability hit me - I actually had to try and make my ideas a reality now! So simple, but it worked so well in moving me forwards! The best thing was when I started to self-sabotage myself, I had friends to talk to, whereas before it was just me and my inner critic. 

Number 3: Keep it in view, literally 

I love writing things down, which is the first thing you could do when setting your goal. Writing it down gives your goal a physical presence, something you can hold and see. However, that’s no good if it’s in a note book in your bottom draw. So stick it somewhere visible where you can see it everyday, this is a great reminder of what you are working towards and there is no way it can get forgotten about.

Number 4: Take one step at a time

We live in a world of false promises and stories about overnight success; how to gain 1 million followers and how you can make 100k in one day. My point is, there is a tendency to want to achieve what we want straight away because we think everyone else has, however taking small steps and consistent action is the key to achieving big! Overwhelm is something a lot of us suffer from, including myself. By trying to do everything at once or too much, overwhelm will strike and you’ll likely end up achieving nothing. So avoid this by taking your next best step that will lead to the bigger picture!

Do you check in with your mindset?

I’m going to share some of the positive mindsets I work on everyday...

  • I give up perfectionism! It was never going to happen, or feel good. I am okay with my flaws and imperfections.

  • I give up caring about what others think of me. Once you realise it’s not something you can control, and you stop people pleasing, you start to please yourself! Literally.

  • I nourish myself in self-care practices and no I am not selfish, nor feel guilty.

  • I am grounded in reality, not stories my ego might tell me (although sometimes they are just sooo gripping!)

  • I am not afraid of my thoughts, yes even the negative ones!

  • I am not afraid of wanting more.

  • I listen to my body, which is often so much wiser than my thoughts.

  • I only surround myself with people who love, support and accept me as I am! … Let the others go (with love).

  • I will always strive to be in beautiful and positive action, even when I am working through fears.

  • I read inspiring books, listen to thought provoking podcasts, follow real, raw, inspirational, uplifting people on social media.

  • I remember life is a journey. I live in the present moment which is so on trend right now, but really, you should, life is better here.

  • I take time to be still. This helps me connect to my intuition through the space created through stillness. If you don’t meditate or do this, you’ll just have to accept it takes practice. Don’t give up! And don’t feel weird about it.

  • I strive always to be clear when my ego is talking and when my soul is talking. Your ego will rarely feel good, where as your soul is just … dreamy.

  • I am my own best friend, love my own company and I have self compassion and trust myself … this creates the best version of myself to serve others - my friends, family, my love and my future clients.

What mindsets do you need to work on?