What To Do When You Should Love Your Job (Or Your Life)…But You Don’t.
Do you have a great work situation, but something doesn’t feel right? Do you keep trying to tell yourself, “This should make me happy?” Just because you have a great office, great company, great products doesn’t mean that it will make you happy. What can you do about it?
Rest easy, sunshine. I got you.
First, if your head is screaming at you that you “should feel” something, it means you don’t feel that thing. Really. Truly. You don’t feel it. So stop trying.
There is nothing wrong with the way you feel. Trying to push those feelings down won’t make them quieter, or any less valid. In fact, let’s take a moment to be grateful for not feeling happy, because not feeling happy leads you to have awareness toward what is not working for you.
Recognize what is not working for you is the first stop towards identifying what WILL work for you. Yay!
Let’s get started down the Yellow Brick Road to the life you WANT to have, and get away from the life you THINK you should have.
Here is my four-part journaling plan to help you identify why you should feel happy, how you actually feel, and what to do about it.
Step One: Purge the Shoulds.
- Write down everything about this situation that “should” make you happy. Don’t hold back. For example: I should love the coffeemaker. I should love this project. I should love reporting to Ms. XYZ.
Step Two: How Do I Actually Feel?
- For each statement that you wrote how you “should” feel, write down how you do feel. Be as specific as possible. For example: I prefer tea. I do not love that client. Reporting so often to Ms. XYZ makes me feel micro-managed.
Step Three: How Would I Like to Feel?
- Write down how you would like to feel. For example: I would like to feel energized. I want to feel engaged with the client. I want to feel ownership over this project.
Step Four: What Would Make Me Feel How I Want To Feel?
- Write down what circumstances, environments and situations would make you feel the feelings you wrote down in Step Three. What would make you happy? For example: I would be happy bringing my own teabags from home. I would be happy to work more one-on-one with the client. I would be happy sharing my progress with Ms. XYZ on my own schedule.
After you have identified what would make you feel happy, now you can create an action plan. Perhaps you need a change of department, or a shift in your responsibilities. Perhaps what’s needed is a bigger change. Maybe you work for a huge international company, when what you would be happier with an agile, innovative startup. Maybe you work for yourself when you would be happier in a collaborative agency. Let’s dream wide and big. After all, we are talking about your happiness, and that’s important. Which leads me to step five.
Step Five: What Shifts Do I Need To Make?
- Write down three shifts you could make to change your “should be happy” into a “definitely be happy.” Use your creativity and your intuition to guide you. Then make a plan to take action.
Good job! Now how about a worksheet and a bonus exercise to go along with your big helping of “get your life?”
Click here to get a worksheet for these five steps, plus one BONUS exercise to expand your vision and help you revamp your resume.
Do you think you should feel happy in your job but don’t? Did these five steps help you? What else do you feel you “should” be happy about? Let me know in the comments below!