Help – I love my job, I worked hard to get here but the people I have to work with are so negative they are making my life a misery. I just wish it would stop. I cannot be happy until all this changes.
What can I do?
Well - it is up to you to choose happiness now.
Other people cannot make your life a misery unless you choose to let them. You cannot change them. We can never change another person by demanding or reasoning or asking or being angry or hurt or anything negative. The only way we can change another is by first changing ourselves. So, before you start looking through the job vacancies (especially since you love this job) why not give the following ideas a go? It takes around 21 days to form a new habit so just for good measure try them for a full 30 days (properly and fully!) and then ask yourself what’s changed? I firmly and absolutely believe that if you make the happiness choice now and act accordingly you will notice a difference.
You are currently buying into the myth of “I’ll be happy when…..” In your case I’ll be happy when I have a better set of working companions. For other people it’s “I will be happy when …I have a new car…..win the lottery…..get a new partner ….lose a stone.....get a new hairstyle.......oh the list is endless!
This way of being is putting your happiness out in the future and making it dependent on an external set of circumstances. How would it be if you just decided to be happy NOW? Happiness is yours to have just as much as the air we breathe. You do not have to wait until the perfect moment to breathe and nor do you have to wait to be happy. Remember Happiness is an inside job. If you could just decide to be happy first then everything else would fall into place. Oh yes I know – you are going to say that is easy to say and less than easy to do! But what have you to lose?
So first – make the choice.
Next – remember that what you focus upon increases. If you have spent hours and hours worrying about work and the negative mood of your colleagues then you are giving attention to the negative and this particular problem will grow. Whatever we focus on with thoughts and feelings expands. I am not suggesting that you ignore important issues but I am suggesting that you choose to stop worrying about them. The statement: “you get what you focus on whether you want it or not” is one which I often use in therapy. Think about it. How many people do you know for example, who talk about ill health all the time? Guess what? The more they talk about it the more they experience it!
Put your focus on the good things about your job (and the rest of your life!) and watch them expand. Put your focus on how you would like your relationships at work to be. Imagine what it could be like (positively) – remember the mind cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is creatively imagined. If you imagine it to be great then your mind will do all it can to find evidence to support this. Whenever you catch yourself focussing on the negative colleagues, or that which you no longer want, just switch your thoughts to the new ones. This takes practice but once again by the end of 30 days you will be doing this on auto pilot.
My next suggestion is that you act with an attitude of gratitude. Start to notice everything about your life and work which is good and which you can be grateful for. Let’s face it – you do have a job. You are able to work. You live in a country which is not war torn or in the middle of a drought or any other serious problem. You are able to get to work so you have transport of some kind. You have the ability to write this letter so be grateful for those skills. Etc etc. Now, if you put this idea with the previous idea i.e. what you focus on expands then what do you think will happen? Yes! You are right. The things which you have to be grateful for will expand.
These are just a few suggestions for you to start with. Since as human beings we like what is familiar you may find yourself getting on with these strategies and being happy but then suddenly find that you cannot be bothered any more. When you get this feeling rejoice! It means that what you are doing is working and your nervous system is trying to pull you back to the old way of being (you may have noticed this if you have ever tried to diet or exercise – that just when you get to notice a change for the better you start to slip back and not have any motivation). This is the point when you must keep going until your mind accepts the new behaviours as familiar behaviours.