Most people are not overjoyed at the prospect of working in a traditional office setting. In addition to the everyday drudgery that they’ve learned to associate with this lifestyle, they also think about a loss of self.
You’re just another number, another desk filler that keeps the wheels turning while putting any hope of personal growth and satisfaction on the back burner. Right?
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Sometimes placing ourselves smack dab in the middle of what we see as a less than ideal situation offers the greatest chance for growth – personally and professionally.
Here are a just a few ways you can incorporate personal growth into an office setting.
Challenge yourself to spot the good around you.
It’s easy to find something to be happy about when you’re lounging on the beach with a cocktail in your hand. The real challenge comes when you’re sitting in an office with a mound of work in front of you.
Find something, anything that you can be grateful for – the fact that you have a comfortable chair, that you have free coffee at your disposal, that you have a few coworkers that you actually enjoy being around.
Challenge yourself to concentrate on those things – and just those things – for a day, then two, then three. See how the good expands as your thoughts do, and find ways to incorporate this practice into other areas of your life.
Learn to eradicate the negative.
Negative people and circumstances exist everywhere – it’s not necessarily a matter of getting away from them, but getting to the root and cutting off the energy that’s feeding them.
If it’s this negativity that’s bringing you down in the workplace, it’s a great opportunity to find its source and understand why it’s making you feel the way it is. Because the truth is, everything is neutral until we decide otherwise — therefore, it’s possible to change the negative energy you believe is surrounding a person or situation.
Also, determine how you are adding to the negativity – even if it’s just by paying too much attention to it.
Keep learning and expanding your skills.
The stagnation we often associate with traditional office settings comes from this idea that once you become comfortable with a job, you stop learning and expanding your skills.
Maybe your company doesn’t offer many opportunities to grow, but chances are, you can keep learning by familiarizing yourself with resources outside of the office.
Take a class, go to a networking event – do anything that creates a buzz of excitement and offers a new way of looking at your normal day to day. Don’t just sit around waiting until someone offers you a chance to do things a little differently, create that chance yourself.
Learn from those around you.
Often times the biggest challenge – and the biggest reward – comes from dealing with coworkers who think and act differently than ourselves.
Instead of getting wrapped up in how they should be different, spot the lesson(s) you might learn from working with them, not against them.
Ask yourself: Why do they bother me so much?
People often act as a mirror for us, reflecting back all the qualities we are fearful of showing or the qualities we wish we had. Why are they triggering you and what can you do to quiet your reaction?
Ask yourself: How can I remedy the situation?
Instead of dwelling over how annoying someone is, find a way to alleviate the situation. It may be switching desks or just making a conscious decision to release the frustration no matter what they do next.
You can’t change the way others act, so focus your attention elsewhere.
Make change when change is necessary.
Sometimes the only answer to handling a difficult work situation is to go elsewhere. Change can be tricky, but it can also be the biggest test to your dedication to personal growth.
If you find yourself in an environment that simply doesn’t serve you, it may be less of a lesson in learning to make it work, and more of a lesson in faith – faith that you can find something better suited to you.
Take stock of what you want and explore what the ideal work situation would be for you. Write it down to the very last detail.
Learn to address the fears that arise from going out on a limb and trying something new – this can be monumental in creating forward movement in all areas of your life.
How have you tended to your own personal growth in the workplace?
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