I remember sitting in a meditation with the great teacher Hector Marcel from Three Jewels in NYC. He said that the world around us is an illusion that is mirroring what's inside. So you can change your job to get rid of that horrible boss or leave your relationship to find a better mate, but they’ll often show up in another form at the next job or in the next relationship.
That hit me hard because I had found myself fixated on all the external things in my life at the time that needed to change. Somehow missing that I was the common denominator in all those situation. I had been repeating a pattern and ending up in the same place – overworked, fully depleted and disconnected from myself, wishing to make a change.
As I examined some of the gripes I’d had about previous employers, it usually came in the form of a boss with unrealistic expectations, a company that didn’t value my contribution, a colleague that overstepped my personal boundaries when I was with my family.
But guess what all of those have in common? They all are different flavors of beliefs I carried. I had unrealistic expectations for myself and was never happy with the work I produced. I didn’t value what I could contribute and trust that I had the knowledge and experience to make critical decisions. I had weak boundaries that I constantly overstepped, sacrificing all my personal time for work pursuits. So were these situations really just mirrors reflecting to me what wasn’t serving me anymore inside?
I began to look within and try a different way forward. I stopped focusing on my boss and my difficult work situations and started focusing on unearthing where those beliefs came from and questioning them. I began planting new beliefs and created daily reminders that rooted me in my value and worth, not just as an employee, but as a whole person.
And the opportunities that came my way once I made that shift were far better aligned with what I wanted from my career and what I knew I could offer.
So why not give it a try? If you’ve been repeating the same patterns, ruminating on the way your boss treats you or begrudging the sacrifices you’re making for your career, try taking a look inside and see what can shift there before you hop to the next best thing.
And if you’re looking for some help working through this, don’t hesitate to reach out. This is the work I love doing!