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The dreaded Dread

April 18, 2011

How many of you dread going into work every Monday?   Maybe even every day? I’m not talking about a general tiredness but more of a specific lack of motivation based on a strong avoidance of any and everything work related.  If that is you then maybe you need to take a look at this to-do-list and see if there is something different you need to do.

 

confront

 This is maybe the most scary option for most folks.  This action is in the hopes of changing your environment.  Sometimes this is not possible but other times we just assume it is and never pursue honest conversations with our bosses or collegues.  If your dread comes from being underappreciated or neglected this might be something to consider.  They are creating the work environment and they might want to know if that environment isn’t working.  If you confront in a controlled and gentle manner most likely a productive dialogue will take place and at ther very least, you know where you stand with the big man. 

 reframe

If changing your environment is not possible then reevaluating your own mindset and attitude is a must.  Reframing is the art of placing an undesired thought/situation into a different context and seeing it from a different angle. We can get so caught up in our own junk that we don’t see the deeper realities.  And it’s not until we are forced to look at our situation differently that we actually will.

 The most difficult situations are also the most fertile ground for change.  Frederick Douglass famously stated, “if there is no struggle, there is no progress.”  It was Jesus that came to serve, not be served.  Use whateverquote floats your boat.  At some point it is beneficial to understand where we are pushed out of our comfort zone and how that can lead to progression interpersonally and within our work. 

 reshape

 Sometimes confronting our bosses or reframing do little to quell our intense and ever present dread.  Reshaping is the act of listening to what we really want and starting the process of going after that passion.  Reshaping is the (sometimes long) process of conforming our unwanted present into our desired future. If we can’t do anything about our present then the next best scenario is to change our trajectory for the future.  Resurrection takes place in the context of death.  A comeback takes place in the context of a downfall.  And something new and good mostly takes place in the context of turning from the frustrating negative.  Start a list of what you don’t want and what you do want in life.  Start looking at your experiences, passions, and potential obstacles to see what direction best suits you.  Who knows, maybe you will find yourself in a business or writing class next fall.

“for a season”

 I don’t know how many times I heard this statement in seminary, “It’s just for a season”.  There is some wisdom in this phrase but it can also be an excuse from the top to work those beneath them to death.  If you are reaching burnout and your “season” has a couple years left, that phrase might just be making you dig deeper into your dreaded hole.  Life does call for us to sacrifice and forego the present for the greater good of the future (med school, internships, start up business, etc.) at times.  We just need to make sure if we tout this phrase we understand what relationships and sense of health is truly on the chopping block. 

“Be happy you got a job”

This is the last ditch effort to help you out.  Think about starving children and the long lines at the unemployment office.  You can’t be joyful without being thankful so maybe gratitude is where we need to start.  We might not be thriving but our jobs allow us to survive, at least that’s what Maslow would say.

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