We’re such creatures of comfort, that a recent global poll by gallup found that an astronomical 85% of full-time workers are unhappy in their jobs. Although there are a number of reasons that so many choose to stay in jobs we hate - we need the money, the job market is weak, we don’t have time to interview for a new job, we don’t have the education or training to do what we really want to do - bear in mind that it is a choice. Courage is such an important element when looking at changing your life. It takes courage to step outside of what you know, what’s stable and predictable. Even if that stability is a situation that you’re positive about leaving.
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore” - Lord Chesterfield
This is an experience that I, Founder of the Work Life Revolution, know only too well. I founded an award winning wellbeing centre, which for years was the centre of my passion.
The business was designed around my purpose and my strengths, so the work I was doing felt so good to me. One day while I was driving to work, I realised that I had a sense of apprehension about arriving, and it suddenly dawned on me that I had felt like that for a while. More and more of my work started to feel mundane, and soon enough, even the parts of my work that I enjoyed most felt like a chore.
Going to a job that drains you can put you in a state of negativity, which can cause unhealthy levels of stress. The negative effects of stress on people are widely documented: it damages your psychological wellbeing, leads to fatigue and irritability, and causes the release of chemicals and hormones that result in physical symptoms too.
The two things that I was really struggling with were my energy, and my ability to engage. I tried everything from supplements and nutrition to energising therapies but nothing could perk me up. And I’m normally such a people person, but I just didn’t want to be around people at all. I felt really introverted and like I needed space to recover at the weekends. It was taking so much of my energy to go through the motions, that I felt empty, and I couldn’t cope with anything extra.
Numerous studies have linked unhappiness at work with unhappiness at home. When most of your waking hours are spent in an environment that weighs you down, it’s really difficult to leave that at the door when you get home. Over time, this can have a detrimental effect on your relationships, as this placed an extra burden on your loved ones as well; and on your sex life.
I just knew that because I didn't have the space to deal with this, weekends were just not long enough, that I needed a holiday. A rest and a retreat. I was also learning the power of a team and working together and if one person was not on their game it impacted the others wellbeing and the success of the business and our abilities to meet our KPIs. I felt I was holding the business back and that’s something I didn’t want to do. The rest and time out made a massive difference.
At around the same time I was offered investment to expand and grow the business which was something I’d always wanted, but when it was happening I just didn’t feel excited about it. A rest had helped but I actually found I had a really guilty feeling that i needed to address too. I was not in optimum wellbeing and considering that I was running a wellbeing centre, it felt totally out of integrity for me.
I started to realise that this was more than just needing to find more work life balance and needing a rest. Something more important for me to notice was emerging: I still totally believed in the business’ purpose, but it no longer fulfilled mine! It started to dawn on me that my vision that I had bought to life and created was not the vision that inspired, and light me up anymore. I knew that I needed a new challenge to further my growth, but I’d put so much into getting there, making the decision to let go of this business was one of my biggest still to date. Should I see it through and follow what my head says and go against my hearts desire? Or should I cut my losses and move onto something new?
I realised a fundamental part of true health was not just body care, health treatments and all the solutions we provided at the centre, it was ultimately having joy and happiness. It was a very uncomfortable feeling knowing I wasn’t going to get that while in the business. It wasn’t enough for me anymore, and staying would be settling. There was more I had to give and I can’t do it here.
This whole experience, while huge for me, has supported me so much when faced with other difficult decisions since - I look back on how I made this huge change and how well it worked for me! It’s definitely given me the constant drive I have now to act for myself with courage and integrity, over and over again.
There are many things that you go through when preparing to make a change in your life, one of the biggest is fear of closing a door. The best way to overcome this is by investing in your plan and support to help you get through it. Taking the time and space to really dig deep and think about your next move is so important, and making sure that your next step is aligned with your purpose. It will be a move that will make your life better. That may or may not mean leaving your job or business - but what I do know is that taking these steps needs courage and faith (amongst other things - which we will share in other blogs!)
Ultimately, you don't have to do it alone like I did.
That's why I have founded The Work Life Revolution.
The first step is deciding for yourself that you want more. Knowing that you deserve to be in a position where your contribution plays to your strengths and you actually enjoy your work. At The Work Life Revolution, we help people to make the shift into a better work life, to help you create a day that you don't need to recover from. Book a discovery call with me here - to work out your next steps.