The Thrill is Gone – Re-igniting Passion at Work

overwhelmed young man with piles of work

Everyone is beyond busy. There is more work to do than time to do it. It’s one of the primary reasons employee engagement is at an all time low. We are not the only ones under constant time pressure. Our co-workers feel it and so do the bosses. If you’re a boss or the boss, your tension is coming from many angles.

It’s no wonder we become disengaged; it’s an ages-old defense mechanism called fight or flight. Disengagement is a form of detaching or running away. Unfortunately, it never feels as good as we hope it will and it often robs us of enjoying our work.

Action cancels fear – every time.

Disengagement at work is a response to fear. “What if I can’t keep up?” “What if this job really IS impossible to do?” “What if the boss finds out I have no idea what I’m supposed to be doing?” These questions are all based on deep-seated anxiety and can paralyze us.

Work Night Insomnia

Beginning in the sixth grade, I suffered from school night insomnia. Does this sound familiar? Maybe you’ve traded it for work night insomnia. Once homework assignments became part of my education, I would lie awake at night staring at the ceiling, obsessing about what would happen the next day when the teacher discovered I hadn’t done my homework.

I remember sneaking into the bathroom at 3am to read books (another form of disengaging). I would examine my face in the mirror for hours, count the tiles on the floor in every direction, finding any distraction to avoid facing my fear. One time I even rearranged my Dad’s medicine cabinet alphabetically. He was not as grateful as you might think.

In all the years I suffered from school night insomnia, it never once occurred to me to sneak into the bathroom and (fill in the blank) ______________. That’s right! DO MY HOMEWORK! (Apparently, my teachers were all correct: not doing one’s homework DOES atrophy the brain.)

Later, as an adult my habits of procrastination began to have some very negative repercussions. I was fired from one job for being consistently late. At other jobs I lived in constant fear that my boss would ask for something I hadn’t yet gotten to or didn’t understand and had been afraid to ask. It was a miserable existence. What would you do? That’s right! You’d look for a solution. I became determined to stop this self-defeating behavior.

A body in motion tends to stay in motion..Newton's Cradle

A body in motion….Newton’s Cradle

What I eventually learned is that action cancels fear—every time! If you are frozen in fear about a task or a project, identify the easiest part of it, tackle that and you will be in action. You will have taken the first step to displacing the fear and what may be hindering any progress. Remember what you learned in physics? A body in motion tends to stay in motion; a body at rest tends to stay at rest. Once you’ve tackled an easy task, you’re already working—just keep going!

The more you’re in motion the less fear can dominate your mind.

The Law of Attraction dictates, “You get more of what you focus on.” When you focus on, “I can’t do this,” guess what? You’ll be right! When you are constantly fearful, you attract more circumstances that only substantiate the fear.

If instead you are focused on action, and another word for action is solution, your fear subsides and you begin to attract more solutions.

Solving problems is why we enjoy work in the first place. Don’t you love solving problems? At the very core of our being we are problem-solvers.

Jump into action, solve what’s in front of you and one morning or afternoon, you may just realize that the fear has been replaced with renewed passion for your work.

The thrill is back and so are you.

Let me know how you have overcome your fears and put yourself back into motion!

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Victoria Grant - October 15, 2015


Silver - October 16, 2015

Thanks, Victoria! I had some great help from you!

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