Workplace blues and career anxiety #2

The workplace is a microcosm of society in regards to how it reflects certain parameters used to define acceptable behaviour. This is both a good and a bad thing; no one would want to live in a society where setting fire to things and abusive behaviour were tolerated, but there are also parameters which dictate our behaviour on a much more subtle level. In the workplace for instance, it’s unacceptable to tell the company CEO that his or her jokes are not funny and that you don’t believe they are fit for the job, despite the fact this is how you honestly feel!

Personality repression

Because of the need for economic survival, we are pressured into moderating our behaviour when in the presence of our co-workers (particularly managers); not doing so would carry the risk of our employment (and livelihood) being terminated. This misalignment between how we feel and how we outwardly act is the source of much psychological turmoil. While hypnotherapy doesn’t have the ability to turn your workplace into the kind of environment where you can express yourself freely (although it might prompt you to find a job which is more compatible to your personality), it can enable you to treat the status games, politics and disingenuous showings of deference as something lighthearted and humorous, rather than stressful and infuriating.

Facing rationalisations and overcoming fears

Perhaps you’ve found yourself in this common predicament: your career is going well, you receive plenty of praise for your abilities, and your income is more than adequate to provide for the kind of lifestyle you want – yet these positive trinkets are not enough to completely smother the feeling that there is a disconnect between what your heart desires and the kind of life you are living from day to day. Many people continue to smother this feeling of disconnect by throwing themselves into their work and resisting to acknowledge that there is something wrong.

Perhaps you know your true purpose but have allowed society’s expectations to dictate the course of your life, or perhaps you have no idea what your purpose is, but you know that it certainly doesn’t involve sitting in a cubicle every day feigning interest in mundane discussions while soullessly inputting data into a spreadsheet. Either way, it’s undoubtedly a human tendency to rationalise away the worry of purposelessness in order to take the path of least resistance that society has carved out for us. The easy option (staying in a job that has its benefits but that you ultimately dislike) is usually more appealing than the alternative. Avoiding leaving a job you dislike also makes a lot of sense in the context of survival – there are normally some very visceral fears which prevent us from embarking on a dramatic change of career. You might find yourself asking questions such as these:

– What will my wife/parents/kids/friends say?
– How will I pay the mortgage?
– What if it doesn’t work out?
– How will I prosper without any previous experience or qualifications?

Unfortunately, you won’t know the answer to these questions unless you take a leap of faith. You have to step out of the previous world before you enter the new one. As an adult with responsibilities, it makes sense that you should take such decisions seriously, particularly if the decision affects people other than yourself. However, there is usually a lot of irrational fear that clouds this decision-making progress, or causes you to not acknowledge the problem even exists! Hypnotherapy can help remove these irrational fears and give you a greater sense of objectivity when weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of making a dramatic career change. Whether this leads you to remain in your job for the time being and explore your other interests in your free time, or make a wild leap into the unknown, you will be making a decision based on your conscious intuition, and not socially conditioned irrational fears.

(Photo by wagg66)