Gossiping…don’t get sucked into the vortex

woman-gossip-18967767I’m feeling a bit down this week,  dragged down by office gossip and politics.   It all started innocently enough,  sharing a few frustrations with colleagues… there is something reassuring about knowing that others are feeling the same way you do,  struggling to interact with another colleague or getting annoyed with dealing with bureaucracy.   But it’s a slippery slope my friends, and once I was on the hill I started sliding down.   Venting frustrations became bitching and moaning.  Next thing I know, there’s an all mighty sling fest going on and everyone is spiraling down together.  Gosh, do I even want to work here anymore?!

Wait a minute, I totally love my job,  what happened here?  I’ve been sucked into the vortex and I don’t want to be here.   Time for some re-framing action.

Firstly, STOP sharing frustrations.   Venting time is over and OUT.    Secondly,  focus on MY problems only.  Whilst it is reassuring to know others are also struggling, I can’t let myself get frustrated by everyone elses issues.  What are the issues really impacting me?  How can I use my strengths (VIA Strengths…I love them) here?  Maybe if I come up with a solution for me,  I can share it with this others and start a positive spiral of hope and….my favourite….pragmatic optimism.

And maybe,  when the time is right,  a few funny Cat videos from YouTube might give everyone some well needed perspective!?

What’s on your power playlist?

P1020845As per usual, I trotted out for my morning walk with the dog and although the birds chirping and breeze blowing were lovely and calming…my legs weren’t really pumping and my mind was wandering elsewhere.   So I decided to put on some tunes, digging around on the smartphone for some suitably energising beats, soon I found myself picking up the pace to keep up with the music. Next thing I’m pumping up the hill like nobody’s business and when I reach the top (after a quick recky to ensure no one was watching), I actually started to dance around the top of the mountain. It was fabulous, I felt strong and energised and READY!!! As I made the descent down the hill, my mind was buzzing, ideas flowing and I returned back home invigorated and in a completely different mindset than when I left.

And it reminded me the power music has to impact my mood, and it is a little trick that I had forgotten about. Sure, a bit of calming background music can help set the scene when you need to concentrate. But on those days when you are feeling less than motivated, perhaps when things don’t seem to be going your way and quite frankly you feel like job #1 Is pushing S&%T up a hill…yet again.

Now is the time to pull out your POWER PLAYLIST, pump up the volume and start dancing around like no one is watching (except, of course, if you are in the office and clearly people ARE watching. Then you might need headphones and some subtle chair dancing to complete this task).

Some days I imagine my life as a scene in a movie because crap stuff happens in movies all the time, but a few well placed songs and we are back on track. Cue the montage, the snippets of scenes where the person starts the healing process, working out, getting jobs done..whatever the solution requires. And over the top is a fist pumping, “hell yeah” tune which makes it all look so easy (think “Rocky” training scenes, running up stairs never looked so much fun!).   So I try to put this perspective on my life, pump up my power playlist and imagine the montage…Claire working on her blog, Claire exercising, Claire kicking butt at work and Claire the super mum…and all of a sudden, I feel like that person, the person in my movie who has got it all under control. (yes…folks…she really has gone mad this time)

Here’s a few tracks that often make it onto my movie soundrack (clearly it is going to be a Disney style 80’s flashback movie)…what’s on yours?

I get knocked down, but I get up again – Tubthumping

This is who I am – Vanessa Amarosi

Stronger – Kelly Clarkson

Fighter – Christina Aguilera

Brave – Sara Bareilles

Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

I’m so impatient…

So yesterday  it happened,  that down turn of spirits I have been expecting ever since I hit “post” on my first update.  I knew at some point I would come crashing down from my high.  What was exciting me is now stressing me, what was inspiring me now seems daunting and frustrating…and today, I’m not sure it was such a good idea.  I can’t do this.

Lucky today I had the luxury of a bit of time walking to clear that fuzzy head of mine.   And I realised that I am really just VERY impatient.  All the great things that I was so inspired and excited about earlier…I want them NOW,  I want all the knowledge NOW, I don’t want to wait, I want to learn today, I want to know it all already.  I ‘m panicking that I’m not doing a great job in something I am so passionate and interested in.  I want to be great from day one.   And that nasty little inner critic voice is out,  in Task Master mode (thanks Rachel Macdonald for that analogy), and she keeps telling me it is because I am not working hard enough, I need to do more, push harder and I will get there quicker.

But today,  as I reframe the situation with a calmer mind,  I realise that pushing myself is indeed not getting me there quicker,  infact, it is just making the road slower and harder because I am not enjoying it and I feel like I should be somewhere that I am not.   I don’t need to speed up,  I need to slow down.   I need to remind myself that sometimes at work,  you need to make space for listening and absorbing, rather than solutioning.   Allowing myself not to have all the answers, and be ok with that, because I am learning and that is how I will grow.   Others will know more than me.  Maybe this year,  I won’t be the leader, I will be the follower, the observer, the experimenter.  And I need to be content in this position,  secure in the knowledge that this is exactly where I am supposed to be right now.

So when my alarm goes off at 5.45am tomorrow for another 6am international telecon, hopefully followed by some inspiring thoughts for my new blog…I’m going to put my calming oils on, make a cup of tea…and get ready to simply absorb…and see where that takes me…