How many times do you get frustrated at the thought of doing something that you “have to do?” You can feel the weight and tension just picturing it.

Things we have to do are rarely fun or enjoyable. They get us as excited as the thought of a root canal.

What if you were able to shift your thinking about that thing? What if it wasn’t an annoyance, but an opportunity?

What if?

Shift Your Thinking
A group of mom’s and I recently started reading a women’s devotional together. One of the lessons was about how we react to things we “have to do.” It asked us to change the way we think and approach even the most distasteful tasks as “get to.”

Basically, count our blessings and look for the silver lining in our clouds.

For example, I got to stand at the DMV for half an hour to turn in plates. I didn’t have to. I was blessed with the strength to stand in line; the flexibility on my schedule; and we were blessed not need the additional resource of a car.

As we discussed the things we usually complain about, a pattern showed up. We realized that while there was frustration at having to clean up behind others or putting up with traffic or some other inconvenience, they were still blessings.

A friend of mine calls them “first world problems.”

This thought comes to mind anytime my child complains about the lack of WiFi somewhere!

Reframe Your Thoughts

Remember how excited you were when you first started your job? You were eager for the opportunity, grateful for the pay and looking forward to working with your new team.

Somewhere along the line, you’ve lost the joy for your environment. Your mindset about the work changed and familiarity has led to contempt. Your thinking shifted. Maybe it happened over time, or there was a specific circumstance that put you over the top. Whatever it is, you allowed the environment and others to impact how you view your once “awesome” job.

Reframing your thoughts can help you fall in love with work again. Reframing is about consciously looking at your experience or ideas through a different perspective.

Some New Thought Starters

I’ll admit it takes a little work. Sometimes you just want to wallow in the unfairness of it all, but at some point, you have to shake off the negative energy. Reframing your thoughts and moving away from things you have to do and being grateful for things you get to do can make all the difference.

There are a few ways you can approach reframing your thoughts:

  • Look at the situation differently. Instead of being frustrated about a repetitive task, consider how much easier it is for you now that you’ve learned new skills.
  • Imagine the possibilities if there were no consequences. What could you do to change your situation if you weren’t worried about getting in trouble? Chances are you won’t really follow through, but imagine a sequence where you acted differently and take note of opportunities.
  • Look for the silver lining in your cloud. Look for something good that can come out of your circumstance. Can you help someone learn? Can you gain a new skill? Is this a new feather in your cap? Look for the upside.
  • What would {           } do? How would someone you respect or admire approach this challenge? If you can’t imagine it, ask them. Get a new perspective by sharing your scenario with someone whose judgement you trust and get their insights.

Just like my experience at the DMV, changing your approach can give you new appreciation of your experience.

Need help shifting your thoughts from have to? Connect with Nicole and learn how coaching can help.

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