The alarm blares. You wake up and are groaning knowing that in a few hours you'll be spending your day in a dead-end job that you hate. You may even have a boss who makes your life impossible. Your blood pressure is through the roof. Your cholesterol is out of whack. You wrestled with sleep last night and remember your spouse nudging you awake after yet another bad dream. Essentially, your body has already started to tell you what you already know: if things don't change, you have even bigger troubles and worries ahead.
You drag yourself into the bathroom and look at yourself in the mirror as you brush your teeth. Where did your life go, you wonder? How did you get to this miserable point? And, is there anything you can do to get out of it?
I'm going to tell you something even if you don't necessarily believe it: YOU matter! If there's something inside of you that can connect with those words, then let me give you some tips for what you have to do to take the first step in a journey of a thousand miles.
- Draw a line in the sand: What makes today different than yesterday? Today is the day you tell yourself that you've had enough. It's the day where you finally draw a line in the sand and make a decision that enough is enough. You're done with the job that is slowly killing you instead of making you shine.
- But I can't quit my job today: I get it. You need to pay your bills and you need that paycheck. No one's saying to quit your job today. What I am saying is that you make the mental shift in your mind that will tell you that beginning today you will take a step each and every day toward your exit strategy from that job.
- Determine the goal: Is your goal simply to get out of your current job to another one? Or, is it that you want to develop a new business? Do you want to do what you've always loved? It doesn't matter what your circumstance is. You have to have a tough conversation with yourself and determine your goal. It may be something that will take several days or weeks to determine, but make it a point each day to research, talk to people and be clear with yourself as to what you want. You already know what you don't want - you don't want your current situation.
- Get to work: Once you've made the decision that you want to develop a new business, change careers or simply change jobs, it's time to get to work on getting it done. You don't get from A to Z without going through all of the letters in between. In other words, you have to put in the time and effort. The absolute best thing you can do is to plan at the beginning of each week what you're going to do toward your effort. Perhaps you plan to spend two hours per night working on your goal. Or, maybe you will develop a list of 10 people you will call and reach out to each of them to schedule coffees and exploratory meetings. Whatever you decide, you need to chip away at the problem.
- Making decisions will boost your mental well-being: The fact that you made the decision to move on and that you're choosing to prioritize yourself and your well-being is important. It's a big step. The more decisions and choices you make, the more in control you will feel about the situation. That is key. When you feel that you are in the drivers' seat, it will go a long way to helping you.
- Be like a duck: Finally, make another mental shift with regard to your attitude at work. If your boss is making your life miserable, remember this - your boss does not define your life. You don't live and breathe for your boss. You exist because you are alive and what matters is not your boss but your family, your friends and whatever drives you in life. Be like a duck and let whatever happens roll over you at work. Don't allow anything to affect your life ever again to the point that you feel trapped. You might not be able to control the outside forces of your life, but you certainly control how you react and think about it all.