Hi guys, I’m back after my short summer break and today I want to talk about resilience, happiness and comfort zone. But before we dive into that topic I want to say that even though I didn’t have any “official” vacation from work I decided to stay away from writing and slowed down my social media presence for a bit just to get some time to relax. It was probably one of my best decisions ever since now I’m back and full of new ideas and new energy. So, if you have a chance to take some time off from your computer, I highly recommend you do so. Anyway, during my break I didn’t stop learning new things and this one webinar from Career Contessa really made me think things from a new perspective. If you have an extra hour, I suggest you watch it since it’s full of interesting facts.
And the topic of that webinar is actually what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about resilience. That doesn’t sound that exciting I admit that and I understand most of us never want to hear anything about it. I guess it’s on the same category as self-discipline and commitment. All those things sound like a hard work and they are way out of our comfort zones.
It’s so much nicer to read blog posts about how you should do more of what makes you happy and ignore the rest. Or about how you should quit the job you hate and do something you love instead. That’s what we want to hear but let me tell you something. Those things won’t make you happy. What makes you happy is, well you already know what I’m going to say but I say it anyway. Resilience, commitment and self-discipline make us happy.
Getting out of your comfort zone – what does that really mean?
This has been one of the hardest life lessons for me. I’ve always got bored very easily and it has been hard for me to stick into things. Sometimes it still is but I’m working with that. I’ve given up a lot of things, jobs and people way too easily. I’ve done it so I could focus on things “that make me happy”. But I haven’t got happy. I’ve only got lost. Almost every time I’ve quit something without a really good reason my situation has got worse.
I guess this is a millenial thing. We are so used to people telling us that we can be anything. And yes, of course we can, but that doesn’t mean we can be anything we want to be immediately without working hard for it.
Sometimes getting out of your comfort zone means doing nothing
We have also been told to never settle and to step out of our comfort zone. Isn’t it weird that when we think about stepping out of our comfort zone we usually talk about doing big things that scares us a little bit but also help us to step up? Achieving big things doesn’t make me feel uncomfortable at all. Sticking into something for a long time makes me uncomfortable. And that’s the way I grow. Forcing myself to be patient and self-disciplined. That’s also called resilience.
Against a popular opinion, quitting your job or breaking up with your partner may mean that you are actually staying in your comfort zone and not really getting out of it. Just think about it before making any major chances in your life.
Of course, there are times when you need to give up. If your relationship is somehow harmful or if you are bullied by your boss, then you should definitely leave. What I’m saying is that you shouldn’t quit anything just because you are bored.
“But I am anxious and bored and it makes me unhappy, what should I do?”
Congratulations, now you have a great chance to grow. This is how it really feels to be out of your comfort zone. It feels uncomfortable. It sucks. I know that and I understand your need for a change. But usually boredom or anxiety or impatience or a lack of self-discipline is your own problem. It’s not your boss’ problem, it’s not anyone else’s problem but yours. And you should be able to overcome it. Quitting your job isn’t going to solve the problem because it will follow you wherever you go. It’s up to you.
But how do you cope with that boredom and anxiety at work/in a relationship/in any situation? Here are some concrete advice I’ve found useful
1. Find your dream attitude
Like amazing Nicole Smartt has taught us, it’s so much easier to find your dream attitude than to find your dream job. I’ve even written a blog post about how dream jobs don’t exist. So, what you need to change your own attitude. You need to find a purpose out of your job and own it. Decide that you’re going to be the best *add title here* ever and then work hard for it as it was the only reason you exist. This sounds stupid but it has worked for me every time.
2. Practice resilience and start seeing the opportunities
When we talk about resilience you need to understand that every cloud has a silver lining. it’s kind of a cliche but it’s true. Every situation has its pros and you just need to focus on them. So you’re bored at work? This could be your opportunity to improve your skills or to brainstorm some ideas for a new project. Or you could do some research for your boss. There’s always something you can do to improve things. You just need to notice the opportunities around you.
3. Identify a problem and then figure out a solution
Surprisingly often we feel bored or anxious but can’t really identify why. Identifying the real problem is a crucial step if you want to feel happier again. Without knowing the problem it’s impossible to figure out a solution. And without solving your problem you can’t really grow or improve.
4. Just make a decision to stick to it until *add time here*
Sometimes we just can’t get over the thought that the grass would be greener somewhere else. That’s when you need to give yourself some tough love. Make a decision and decide to stick into your job/relationship/project/hobby until next September/two years/six months. During that time period focus on that project as passionately as you can and give it 100%. And whenever you feel anxious or bored, remind yourself that you’re committed into this until the “deadline”.
Things aren’t getting any better – when can I give up?
My rule for giving things up is this. I never quit without considering it at least one month. This is because I need to be sure I’m not giving things up because I feel so today. Never trust your feelings. They are lying quite often. And if you didn’t know, feelings aren’t the same as intuition. Anyway, if you still want to give up after one month, it’s okay.
But it’s okay only if you’ve identified the problem. If you haven’t done it you’re only treating the symptoms and not curing the real “disease”. Before solving the problem, you need to know what it is. And when you know what it is you need to figure out what you really want to do with it. It’s much easier to make big decisions when you know what you want.
If giving things up is the best solution for the real problem, then do it. But never do it just because it’s the easiest option. Be resilient, practice some self-discipline and you’ll see some amazing results that will make you happier than giving up things just because you feel like doing it.