The Trouble with Negativity

Show of hands – how many of you have that friend, that family member, that co-worker who’s just plain old negative? No matter what’s going on, they’ll find some way to complain and criticize something. I’m guessing that most of you have your hands in the air. (You can put your hand down.) Now, take a step back and wonder if maybe you’re that person in someone else’s life.

Continue reading “The Trouble with Negativity”

Catastrophic Thinking

“What’s the worst that could happen?”

How often have you asked yourself that question?  It seems that it’s human nature to always go to a worst-case scenario when we’re looking at possible outcomes. Some of us do it because we’re mimicking the thought process our parents followed, others do it because of a bad experience that occurred that you just can’t shake. Or maybe it’s related to anxiety, chronic depression or other mental health issues.

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Silencing the Critic

Everyone has their own moments of doubt and self-criticism.  For some people, the voice is hard to tune out, or to turn off.  Even the most successful and well-grounded people have that little voice that creeps up from time to time and makes them question themselves and their abilities. 

Over recent months, that little voice of mine has been resurfacing more regularly, more insistently.  It’s definitely caused me more than a few moments of mental downward spiraling.  I get caught up in the negative self-talk, which causes even more negative self-talk, which leads to moments of crushing panic and despair. 

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The Gift of a Burnout

*As a disclaimer, I need to emphasize that I am not a mental health expert. I am not trained to identify, treat, or support mental health challenges.  If you feel that you are in, or heading into a burnout, please see a professional for help.

Over the past 12-18 months (maybe more, it’s really hard for me to know), I’ve been in a slump.  I’m not motivated.  I’m not overly engaged.  I have no drive or ambition.  I’ve come to recognize that I’d essentially hit a burnout. Continue reading “The Gift of a Burnout”

Borderline

This is me today.

Borderline

Once a month, I have a “Talent Development” working group meeting that I run with a few people on my team (there were 5) who want to move into leadership or specialist roles within our company.  It’s the one day a month that I love coming into work, and this for a 1-hour discussion.  A month ago today, 2 members of that group gave me their notice as they were leaving the company.  (And then there were 3)

Our next meeting was booked for today.  Earlier this week, one member decided to take a vacation day. On Thursday – the day of our meeting. (And then there were 2).

I came in to the office this morning to a voicemail from one of the group saying she would be out sick today. (And then there was 1)  Given that this is a discussion group, it was pointless to carry on with just 1 individual, so I cancelled the meeting.

This has been one of the few pieces keeping me motivated and engaged over the last while.  It’s fueled me, and I love finding topics, articles, discussion points for us to tackle.  Sadly, I do not see the same passion and commitment from the folks in the group.  As a point of example, I assigned a task for them to complete at our last meeting a month ago.  Two of them were working on this task yesterday afternoon.  An afterthought.

It becomes rather demotivating to pour yourself into your work and the people you work with, but to see so little reciprocity.

Knowing that I have one of my three remaining members looking externally for work, it begs me to ask “do I continue?”  I recognize that I am in a period of contraction right now.  This contraction will lead to an expansion and things will become unbelievably amazing.  It’s the not knowing how long the contraction will take that is the most challenging.

What advice do you have for me?  What can I do to re-energize myself?  What are your strategies?

How are things? (The real version. Not the ‘Instagram version’)

Earlier today, I was chatting with one of my oldest friends when she asked me a profound question – “How are things? (The real version. Not the ‘Instagram version’)

This was a very interesting question. Afterwards, the question lingered in my mind and I started to think about our social media lifestyle. It’s true – 90-95% of what people post on social media about themselves is the good stuff, the positive stuff.

Where’s the reality? Why are we so afraid to be truthful and honest with our friends and family? Are we worried that others will judge us? Are we delusional to the point of thinking that everyone else’s life is absolutely perfect and we’re the only ones who have bad days? Continue reading “How are things? (The real version. Not the ‘Instagram version’)”

Swimming Upstream

Some time ago while I was on a silent meditation retreat, I had the opportunity to observe something that I found intriguing. As I sat by the edge of a cliff overlooking the river below me, I spotted something in the distance moving upstream in the river. At first I thought it might be a otter, ferret or something similar; but as it got closer I was stunned to see that it was a tree branch. Continue reading “Swimming Upstream”