Paying Attention to the Signals for Positive Change

First, happy 2022!

For our first 2022 Mach10 Works Quick Tip, I want to start out with something positive. Feel free to watch this 3-minute video or just keep reading below.

I know, If you’re like me, you’re fed up with Covid. You are fed up with images of civil conflict in the US. Talk about pushing our adaptive nature to the limit. As we say in French, j’en ai ral bol.   

But if you’re like me, you’re seeing that opportunities are emerging from the “ashes of disaster.” Whether we like it or not, changes in our environment have stirred up a cascade of thoughts, emotions, and new perceptions. If we allow it, this “stirring up” can surface new ideas about how we want to lead our lives and expand our awareness of all of the possibilities.

It’s an opportunity to challenge our assumptions about the life we lead and our work and find more meaningful ways to live, whether it’s spending more time with family, redirecting our careers, enhancing our material well being or improving our physical and mental health.

How we choose to engage with this awareness will make all the difference in our lives. Some of us will pay attention, be curious, and even consider making adjustments to our lives. Others will push away uncomfortable emotions and thoughts and ignore the signals. Those who do this, unfortunately, we’ll pay a big price.

During my 25+ year career, I frequently became aware of disagreeable feelings and thoughts about my work. When I sensed these feelings and thoughts—indifference, anger, frustration and fear— I too often  pushed them away and resisted change. Particularly early in my career.

It took me years to understand that “pushing them away” was counterproductive. If I had just engaged attentively with these signals, my work would have been more productive, sustainable  and I would have felt more at ease. Not only did the stress this caused made my work life more punishing, I sometimes wonder if it even made me more vulnerable to injuries during physical activities.

This is why I became a career and leadership coach in 2019: to help people pay more attention to their signals, illuminate their blind spots and create plans for behavior change. Some of my clients no longer find meaning in their work, others are struggling to lead people through change and others feel they are not maximizing their potential.

For those who want to feel better about their work and grow, coaching is an excellent development tool you should consider.


Let’s Try an Exercise

Take a look at the “How’s Work Going?” below. For each phrase, indicate the degree to which it resonates with how you feel about your work today. If it matches how you really feel and triggers energy, circle “6.” If it does not ring true for you at all, circle “1.” Otherwise, circle some middle ground

How’s Work Going?

Nobody listens to me at work

Nope 1     2     3     4     5    6 Yep

My job is under-utilizing my talents—I’m bored

Nope 1     2     3     4     5    6 Yep

My job feels meaningless

Nope 1     2     3     4     5    6 Yep

I hate my job

Nope 1     2     3     4     5    6 Yep

I see no path for professional growth

Nope 1     2     3     4     5    6 Yep

I worry about losing my job

Nope 1     2     3     4     5    6 Yep

My boss takes me for granted

Nope 1     2     3     4     5    6 Yep


When A Coach Could Make A Big Difference

If you circled “5” or a “6” on any of these and you’re motivated to improve your life, an exploratory conversation with a career or executive coach is definitely worth it. A coach will help you discover any “blind spots” that prevent you from seeing better possibilities. By doing so, you’ll be more empowered to discover more fulfilling and rewarding work. This should always begin with deep personal exploration and result in real action, all supported by your coach.

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