Do you feel the world is passing you by? Perhaps there are people who interrupt you and take over your conversations. There may be others who dictate what will happen and you feel you don’t have a say. You want to contribute but there is no opportunity.

At work, you don’t get to express your opinions and if you do, they are not listened to or acknowledged. You feel excluded from important decisions, meetings or projects. You feel resentful because of the long hours you put in and the extra work you take in to help out.

You start doubting yourself and your abilities. You withdraw and slowly disengage in life or work. You unwillingly accept the circumstances and feel powerless to change them. You secretly wish you could get another job or have a new set of friends or even wish you didn’t have to attend those overbearing family events. Monday mornings are met with dread as you drag yourself out of bed and get ready to go into a job you do not enjoy anymore.

Do you really want to live with this level of unhappiness?

Do you want to continue in a career unfulfilled?

It’s time for a change!

What stories are you telling yourself?  What is it that you believe? An effective way to find out is to pay attention every time something happens that makes you feel uncomfortable. Write down the situation, how it made you feel and what you say to yourself in that moment.

For example:

Situation: I was in a meeting at work and XXX interrupted me and completely dismissed what I had to say.  I didn’t get to finish my sentence!

How I felt: Invisible, unimportant, that I didn’t matter, hurt

What I say to myself: I am not smart enough to be at that meeting, I don’t have anything important to say, I should just be quiet and listen to everyone else

Try not to judge yourself – just write  – at least 2-3 per day, every day for a week.  At the end of the week, go through them and highlight what was common in each of the three groups.

You will start to see patterns – such as people always interrupt me at work, I consistently feel unimportant, I don’t feel I deserve to be there.

I encourage you to do that exercise over the next 7 days. It can be at work or in your personal life.

In my next blog, I will share what’s next. I will leave you with these thoughts:

Although you may not believe this at the moment, here are some important truths about you:

  • You have skills and abilities that are valuable
  • You have something meaningful to contribute
  • You have opinions that matter
  • You are not defined by others’ behaviour