How often do you, or someone you know, show up to work and feel like you don't fit in or belong? In fact, with all of the gossip, blame-game tactics, micromanaging leaders and other dysfunctions in your workplace, you feel like wearing armor to protect yourself or hide your sensitive, tender self, your Soul. And, when you leave, you can't wait to go home and take a shower or have a good stiff drink.
Here is the real problem. You feel like you can't be fully successful at work, but you are still working hard, putting forward effort and feeling empty with no solution or way to change the environment that you conclude is the problem. But the real problem isn't the negativity at work. It's the inner work that you must do to stay connected to your Soul regardless of external circumstances.
What does it mean to be connected to your Soul, especially since you are never really disconnected from your Soul? There are five ways to stay connected to your Soul regardless of what is happening in your world at work or in life:
1. Remember who you are -- the unique gifts, capabilities, talents, core values and disposition you were born with that makes you the individual you are. No one can take that away from you. If you are willing to give up your attachment to how you will apply those gifts, you can find ways to apply your unique self in most situations -- paid or unpaid. When the economy went soft a few years ago, my business struggled significantly and sometimes I ended up taking on clients that didn't see the full value for my services, resulting in reduced fees. But, I decided the only way to keep my sense of confidence was to freely apply my unique skills in as little or much as the situation allowed with no regrets, disappointments or expectation of appreciation from others.
2. Be of service to others -- which is linked to remembering who you are, allowing yourself to offer your unique talents and gifts with no expectation from others. Even in the worst of situations at work, maybe it is reaching out to help a teammate, supporting someone in another department or becoming a volunteer for supporting others that are worse off than you. A friend of mine who hated her job completely changed her attitude when she decided to be of service at work to others who didn't know how to deal with the negativity of the workplace. She didn't go into commiserating or blaming, but lifted people with her positive attitude, and helped people discover their unique gifts.
3. Be grateful -- no matter how bad your situation is, there are people in worse situations than yours. Be grateful you are not them. Be grateful you have your unique talents and gifts that you can share with others. Be grateful you have a job, even if it isn't your ideal job. Be grateful that you are alive and learning, even though the learning process isn't always comfortable and can even be a painful experience at times.
4. Be loving to yourself and others -- Regardless of how negative the workplace may be, stay kind and nurturing to yourself. Take care of your body by eating well and moving your body. Take care of your emotions by staying clear of negative conversations and gossiping. Take care of your mind by focusing on those activities and projects that will serve your customers and the organization's success. Take care of your Soul by remembering to take time-outs for expressing gratitude to yourself, getting in touch with your breath and sharing appreciation for someone at work that you find supportive or helpful. And, when you have a "bad" day, remember that tomorrow is another day and that you can always make new choices that can change your circumstances.
5. Laugh a little more -- Tired of taking life too seriously? Stop it! That's right, have a little more fun, show up a little "lighter" on the inside of you, and remember that whatever you will laugh at five years from now, you can laugh at today. Many times, the worse things are at work, when viewed from another perspective, can be the funniest thing ever. In fact, that is how the creator of "Dilbert" became so successful. He wrote about the craziness of the workplace.
Ultimately, staying connected to your Soul through these five steps also contributes to your indispensability at work. You demonstrate your value to others, even when your value may be limited within the organization. You are showing up stronger, more positive, more focused on that which you can do something about and, therefore, can be of greater service to others. And yes, you will be happier knowing you are honoring your Soul, which -- interestingly enough -- will contribute to your being more successful and fulfilled at work.
Your Soul is concerned with your inner quality of life and you have a choice about that. Today, while reading this blog, you have the choice to reach out to others, spread your joy, laugh a little and help out a friend or a stranger. Then notice how you feel inside and what it feels like to be connected to your Soul, as well as other. Have fun and share this with others!
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Mark Samuel is a Thought Leader and CEO of IMPAQ, an international consulting firm that guides organizations in achieving measurable breakthrough results within six months through a unique system that links Execution, Culture and Deliverables. Mark is the best selling author of the acclaimed Creating the Accountable Organization and just released his newest book, Making Yourself Indispensable: the Power of Personal Accountability.
Mark is considered a "practical visionary" by top executives in many Fortune 500 companies. CNBC, Bloomberg and Fortune Magazine have recognized him as a top authority on how companies can end blame in the ranks and create a place where people want to work because they can produce results. Mark's unique systems breakdown functional silos and creates cross-functional accountability to successfully implement global changes that increase profitability, build trust and increase efficiency.
You can learn more about Mark's work by visiting www.MarkSamuel.com. You can contact him by e-mail at MarkS (at) impaqcorp.com.
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