In the movie, Forrest Gump, there’s a war scene, and one of the characters loses a limb. The victim is saved, despite losing his limb. What does this have to do with negative thoughts in the work place? The limb in this case represents the impact of negative thoughts in the workplace.
Negative thoughts can’t be removed by positive affirmations or thinking, alone. Doing this covers up the issue and leads to a sense of lying to yourself. Especially, if you work in corporate America, if you love your job, but are dealing with negative thoughts, there may be some underlying issues.
But, what can be done to conquer the negative thoughts? I hope to share some of my solutions and maybe they’ll resonate with you. The following ways can help conquer the negative thoughts; find the source, bring it to life, remove it, and replace them.
Find The Source:
After a tough day at the day-job, I sped home, blasting my latest Panic at the Disco CD. While sitting in traffic, I felt myself simmering, ready to explode. Ironically, traffic gave me enough time to sit back and think about my anger. It went something like this: okay, I have a new job. I’m already considering quitting, moving to Alaska, and becoming a nomad. What happened back at the office that made me flip on this job I love? I’ll get back to this.
Once home, I dumped my problem on a family member. I complained about the day-job, the client that was unreasonable, and the prices for plane tickets in Alaska. After listening, she asked me a simple question: “Did you speak to your manager about this?”
Bring it to Life:
After sobbing, kickboxing, a shot of ZzzQuil, and eating a late dinner, I contemplated my next steps on dealing with the throbbing pain of these negative thoughts. I looked deeper into the problem, by reflecting on similar past situations in my life. I realized from the time I left high school until getting my second day-job, I’ve been doing the same thing, over and over. That’s the definition of insanity.
What was I doing wrong? I internalized my contempt for something and didn’t tell anyone. I may have had a slacker as a team member, an irate customer, or a difficult task I didn’t understand. And instead of asking for help. I took the grin and bear it approach. And, exploded.
Before, allowing insanity to push me into quitting my day-job. I needed to take action. The negative thoughts weren’t budging. How am I going to fix it?
Back Forrest Gump, if the limb hadn’t blown off and remained attached, someone had to remove it. It might take a bone-saw, or a twist and pull method. The method of removal and treatment would need to be determined by a surgeon. Someone who could see the problem from a different angle and actually fix it. When it came to my issue at work, I’m not able to fix it, but my manager could guide me.
In my past life as a student, only reason why I went to someone’s office was for discipline or an award. I had that same mentality as an adult in the corporate world. I only sought out the manager’s office for a promotion or some sort of discipline. I’ve never pursued my manager to solve the problems, and now that I’ve seen the folly of my ways, I confronted the person who had solutions. The slacking employee could be demoted. The irate customer could be given a pacifier. The task could be explained, thoroughly. All this and more, if I just asked for help.
Now, you might ask. What if the manager seems indifferent? Hopefully, if they respect you, their job, and/or the customers, they’ll work with you. The point is, if I didn’t seek out help from the right avenues, there’d be no resolution. I didn’t have to move sideways across the chain of command, but that’s an option. Maybe, speaking to the HR, too. But, be wary of going above the manager, apparently they don’t like that. But, that’s a post for another day.
So, the problem with the negative thoughts are solved. Everything’s superb now. I’m back in love with my day job. The world’s a better place. We all love our new president…, whoa, getting off track. There’s still this one little thing about negative thoughts. They tend to linger, anyway. What needs to happen now?
The limb’s removed. The problem isn’t solved. What if the limb was a very useful leg or legs? Then, prosthesis are necessary. The same is true for negative thoughts. You might need to substitute it with a positive affirmation and glass half-full thoughts. But, this process is useless if there’s no resolution. The negative thoughts will return. The same way the phantom pain of a missing limb may return. What should you do?
Cope. Reflect on the problem, solution, and actions taken. The situation at my day-job is different day-to-day. There’s no such thing as a problem-free day. Especially, not in insurance claims. So, there’s some additional things that are necessary to cope with the after effects of negative thinking.
- Take Breaks – Fifteen minutes, leave the cubicle, walk. It’s not only healthy, but your brain gets to reboot.
- Cry – This isn’t necessary, but tears remove toxins, if you’re an overly emotional person, it feels great. If you need to cry, just don’t do it at your desk. Your life isn’t falling apart, you just need a good cry.
- Talk to Someone – A co-worker who’s going through the same junk as you may be a good help, but steer clear of the complainers, and gossips.
- Music – I prefer the Zen channel on Pandora Radio or if I’m on edge and annoyed, I listen to scream-o. Do what’s best for you.
Negative thoughts can pop up regardless of how much love you have for a job. That’s life, you can’t love something all the time. The take away? Give yourself time to find out what the source is. Have a “controlled meltdown”. Afterwards, regroup, go to someone who can solve the problem. If they can’t help, seek out someone else. Follow through and replenish your mental strength by avoiding the negative, seeking the positive, and taking care of yourself.