Before I get started, get your mind out of the gutter!
In all seriousness, why do we make things seem as if they are so difficult? Well, because they are! Duh!!
Actually, no, they aren’t. They can be anything you want them to be. In my case for this episode, I’m going to talk about work and life in general. Now, I know that there are genuinely some problematic aspects to life; I’m not denying that. What I am referring to are the things that we can control and how we react to everything in life.
Let’s talk about work. At the end of last year, I was promoted to a director role, AND the SVP I reported to moved on to another company, AND I posted a position for a new team member to take some work off of my plate and went through the hiring process for the first time, AND we had a couple of significant contracts close that required a lot of hand-holding. With all of that happening at one time, my plate became fuller than ever. We are a very small company transitioning out of the startup phase, and I can help transform not only the project management team but also the operations team as a whole. There is a lot of work that needs to be done to level up both teams, and the opportunity to make the changes is mine for the taking. What that means is there is a lot of fucking work to get done, and if I don’t do it, the company will end up hiring someone else, and that would block me from proving that I earned the next promotion.
With everything on my plate and the pressure to level up the performance and accountability of the teams I’m overseeing, yeah, it feels really fucking hard. Notice I said it feels. That’s the thing, how hard or how difficult something is, is merely our interpretation of the situation. Leon Brown said, “It all begins and ends in your mind. What you give power to, has power over you, if you allow it.”
I’ve spent weeks, no, months, feeling like it is so fucking hard to level up with all of these challenges and how much I see needs to get done to improve these teams. I’ve spent this time being in my head and feeling sorry for myself because it is overwhelming and demanding. I’ve allowed my feelings to drain me at the end of every day and to dread the next day, even though I genuinely love the challenge and the opportunity. I’ve second-guessed myself on whether or not I truly want to level up.
I have been in my mind and it hasn’t served me.
Now let’s talk about life in general.
We are three months into 2021 and not a lot has changed in terms of getting back to life as we knew it prior to the pandemic. I mean, my husband and I still don’t hang out with our friends unless it is on a trail where we can be in the open air when we get out of our vehicles. It’s been months since I’ve felt comfortable hugging anybody other than my husband. We don’t go out to restaurants. We don’t go anywhere where large groups of people might be. We time our grocery shopping for specific times of the day when Costco and our local grocery store are least likely to be packed. We are going to be attending our second virtual wedding this month and we haven’t seen family since the summer or even since Christmas 2019. We are both working from home and constantly around each other.
For some people, they would say all of that is hard. Yes it sucks not to be able to see family or do things, but what would be more difficult is one of us getting so sick that we have lasting side effects for the rest of our lives or not making it past the virus. We choose to continue to be stricter than local guidelines because we value our lives. Instead of looking at the situation as a “poor us, this fucking sucks, I hate life, why must the government take away our freedoms” we look at it with gratefulness that our government is trying to reduce the impact to the masses and that we have jobs that allow us to work from the comfort of our home AND that we have time to spend with each other, just the two of us.
Not only is this pandemic dragging on so much longer than anybody expected it to, but there is just normal life to be lived. Friendships and family structures that are experiencing the normal ebbs and flows of life, children doing their thing, other illnesses affecting people, job changes or losses, weather impacts, and whatever else normally affects each of us. There is still more to life than the pandemic, even though it doesn’t feel like it. And that life may seem difficult.
Right now my life, aside from the pandemic, is pretty damn good, but it hasn’t always been that way. I’ve been in the tendrils of life where I hated everything about life and felt like life was happening to me and there was not a damn thing I could do about it. You know how I got through those periods? The same way we are getting through this pandemic, one day at a time. And as I look back, I realize that I faced that difficult situation that seemed harder than hell and I pushed on. I might not have realized then what I know now, but I pushed and I pushed and I overcame.
No matter whether I am in a difficult work situation or a difficult life situation that seems like everything is so hard, the only way through is to keep going. And as I’m working on right now, mindset is key. If I focus on the “this is fucking hard, life sucks” feeling, then my mind is focusing on the hard and that hard has all of the power over me. But if I work to focus on the opportunity or the positive or the things I can immediately control, that hard situation no longer has the power over me.
I’ve been working on refocusing my mind with the challenges I am encountering with work. I no longer want them to have the power over me and I no longer want them to dictate how happy I am every day. I am taking my power back and I am focusing my mind on the opportunity in front of me. I have the opportunity to kick ass, overcome these challenges by getting our teams into a better place, and then level up in my career while also allowing my employees to do the same.
I am working to give the power to the positive rather than allowing my power to be controlled by all of the negative in my life. I am focusing my mind where I want to go and on being the confident woman I want to be. I am directing my mind to focus on what I want it to rather than letting it run completely wild.
Why is it so hard? Because your mind is focusing only on the difficult and that is what has the power over you. Change your focus, change your mind, and you’ll change your life.