Career Coach

Disruption Through Distraction: Adventures in Fighting Boredom

When Disruption Takes the Form of Self-Sabotage

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Tara Bradford had everything going for her business, and the majority of her clients came directly from the video marketing she had been doing for a year. Suddenly, she decided to stop doing the videos. She was bored. And instead of finding ways to change her videos, and exploring other options in addition to the successful video activity, she. Just. Stopped.

This is just one example we spoke about in terms of the choices we’ve made out of boredom and being too comfortable, that ended up taking us in completely different directions - and not always in a good way.

Some of us just don’t recognize when we’re bored early enough to change direction with intention, rather than as impulse. Eventually, though, with enough self-reflection, we can start to see the symptoms before they become overwhelming. That’s the first step. The next step must be to consider our own roles in the scenario. And then? We must make the decision to take small steps toward digging us out of the situation, rather than rushing off into something we’re not really sure will take us where we want to go. Tara’s brilliant strategy was to put herself into situations that a) made her uncomfortable, and b) had her interacting with people and industries she would never have otherwise experienced.

How many times have you made a rash decision because you were dissatisfied, bored, or simply in maintenance mode in your life and/or business? What lessons did you learn from those experiences, and how do you choose to tell the stories so you’re learning from them, rather than being a victim of circumstances?


Tara Bradford helps individuals gain clarity on their goals and objectives, communicate confidently about themselves and their businesses, feel more understood in their professional relationships, and reach a global audience with their message so they can become Best Selling Authors, TEDx Speakers and, if we dream even bigger, Nobel Peace Price recipients.

Visit her website to learn more about what she can do to help you move forward - without those lateral distractions! And connect with her on LinkedIn to keep up with her extraordinary contributions to our global community.

Choose Your Location, and the Job Will Follow

JeanAnn never really thought about what she wanted to do in terms of everyday work to make an income, instead, she decided where she wanted to live, and picked a career that would take her to that place.

An Unlikely Foundation for Optimism

Some Stories Teach Us the Wrong Lessons - At First

When she was a teenager, Jennifer Heflin overheard a conversation between her parents that gave her the impression the only way to succeed in business is to be aggressive, unkind, and ruthless.

That was the story she told herself as she completed her MBA at Wharton, and started her career on Wall Street. It stuck with her so deeply that she left Wall Street because she simply didn't have that cutthroat attitude and the environment didn't work for her.

As she started to process her career, and focused on mindfulness and self-reflection, she realized that the culture she experienced was just one perspective of the business world. Her awakening moment came to her in the early morning on a beautiful spring day: It doesn't have to be that way.


Jennifer Heflin is a personal development coach with a focus on meditation, mindfulness, emotional mastery and empowerment. She is also the founder of Angels Evolution, a company on a mission to bring personal growth to the business world. You can find Jennifer’s podcast, Embracing Mastery, on iTunes, Spreaker, SoundCloud and YouTube.

Your #Why Doesn't Matter

Your #Why Doesn't Matter

…seeking your "why" is overrated, and not particularly helpful in finding happiness and fulfillment. Distilling what you believe down to a basic, clear concept is important, but when you think about it, your "why" is likely pretty similar to the people you admire and spend time with.

Struggle Stories Help Define Patterns

Code: Opportunity for Personal Growth

After two years in the position, I found myself standing in the bathroom with a tear-stained face... again. What was wrong with me? Why couldn't I make this work? I'm not a particularly emotional person and yet, here I was with swollen eyes and runny nose... again. Why was I letting my boss get to me like this?

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This wasn't the first time I found myself struggling with an abusive boss in a bad environment. Just two positions before this one I had another abusive boss. As I stood looking in the mirror, my reflection said it all: You've been in this position before that, too.

I started to look back at all of my jobs, all the way back to being a food server at an IHOP in college. There were some exceptions; I did experience jobs where I was valued, where I thrived and became the professional person I am today. Looking back though, there were far too many similar situations in my past. This was a pattern.

It took some deep self-reflection to come to this conclusion, the most humbling and difficult moment in my career.

I had some complicity here.

What an awful realization. Who wants that kind of answer to a question? No one I know wants to admit they did something wrong or that they played a part in what was wrong with a relationship or job.

I'm not for a second suggesting that bullying and abuse is the fault of the victim.

I'm not for a second suggesting that it is ever okay to treat people badly or that a victim as somehow earned abuse.

there are circumstances and patterns, though, that when we see them in our lives can awaken us to our role in our own success, if we take responsibility as adults and choose to make changes.

I learned a lot of lessons in those 2+ years; I continue to face similar challenges, now I'm more aware of my actions that might be contributing to the problems.

Here are some of the lessons I continue to practice:

  1. Your contribution may not be necessary or may not add value to the discussion. Stop. Think. Listen. Then decide how or if to weigh in with your thoughts or suggestions.
  2. Trust is good, but take the time to know a person before you share. Trust your instincts! If you observe characteristics about a person, incorporate those observations into your overall level of trust and figure out with what you can trust each person in the environment. If someone is sharing gossip with you, they're likely sharing gossip about you.
  3. Related to #2, be careful where you dump (especially if you live in a small town), and DO NOT DUMP at work. The person you want to vent about may be right around the corner and that is simply disrespectful - and you will not like yourself afterward. As bad as it is, it can be worse when you know you've earned some of the scorn. Sometimes you need to share frustrations at work, be careful not to become the person who is constantly griping and complaining.
  4. Sometimes you have to play the game. Don’t antagonize, especially if it won’t bring you closer to your goal. Always think of your ultimate goal for the relationship and your job. I once hit "send" on an email I knew I shouldn't have sent. It took me about five minutes to feel the consequences and to know how sophomoric I was for sabotaging my own day. That's where I developed the 24 Hour Rule.
  5. Be aware that your position in the project may not be what you want it to be, find out what's expected for your role and focus! Do your job with all of your skills and energy, and learn what you must to do your job well. My mom once told me that every trial you face will keep coming back until you learn your lesson from it. Remember that it's not forever and that you must "find the nugget" before you can leave.
  6. Find people you trust and who know you well, but are separate enough from the situation to provide an outside perspective, and ask them for specific ideas about where you should be looking for your next adventure.
  7. When faced with a difficult situation, reflect on how you would want to perceive it from 20 years in the future. Did you handle it well, with grace, dignity and compassion?
  8. Sometimes people are just mean. It may be time to call them on it and stand up for yourself and others, or get out.
  9. My most unpleasant lesson: Figure out how you might be complicit in your own patterns of frustration in jobs and relationships. Until you identify your patterns, you will continue to face similar situations. If every boss, or every romantic partner in your life was the same... the common piece of the puzzle is you.

 

There are no easy answers.

 

Be kind to yourself while you work through this. And know that you are a work in progress; what makes you happy and content today will probably change in the future.