Recently I started working with a new client, an executive who hated her job.
She came to me because she had come to realize that being miserable at her new job felt familiar. She’d felt this way at her two previous jobs as well. This time, rather than quitting again and looking for new work, she decided that it may not be the job that is the issue. She recognized that she was the common denominator. And so, she decided to do some internal work.
I love working with people who hate their job and they think it is the job.
Sometimes it is the actual job. It isn’t a good fit. Like wearing a pair of shoes that are too tight. Other times the job is great but the parameters don’t work, i.e. the hours or (back when we had such things) the commute.
Most of the time I have found that people hate their job not because their job isn't a good fit, but rather because people don’t understand where the experience they are having of their job comes from.
Until recently, I thought my experience came from what I was doing or my circumstances.
If I hated something, it was the fault of the thing I was doing, i.e. the job, task, or circumstance. Then I came across the most beautiful, simple, and powerful understanding.
Once upon a time, Sydney Banks, a Scottish Welder, had a profound insight. He realized that human beings are not experiencing their circumstances; they are experiencing their thinking about their circumstances. He realized that people feel their thinking of the circumstances.
Our feeling comes from our thinking! This is the best information ever!
So as my client was telling me about her work and how stressed she was, and how overwhelmed she was, I gently pointed to the truth of her experience. I helped her see the volume of thoughts she was having about her work and the kind of thinking she was doing.
In our session, I described this awareness to her, the one that Sydney Banks discovered, and which I now know in my bones to be true, that we humans don’t have to always follow our thinking. We don’t have to keep fueling stressful and worried thoughts.
We have a choice.
We can’t control what thoughts drop into our minds, but we don’t have to add to the volume of these thoughts or believe them. We can let thoughts go.
Imagine that your thoughts are like a bouquet of helium balloons that suddenly appear, each one tied to its string, the strings which you are holding in your hand.
You cannot, from that position of holding the strings, control the size, shape, or color of the balloons. You can look at them and hold onto them. And you can let them go.
You open up your fist and release the balloons; watch them as they gently float away…
We can do this with our thoughts.
Once my client felt the truth of this, she began to notice her thinking, and then she found she could also let go, and watch it float away.
She has noticed that as she continues to let her thinking go, she has come to enjoy her job more.
This awareness is so simple, and yet the effects are profound.