March 15th

Since coaching session #6 I have to admit that I haven’t gotten much done.

I wonder if this is something that crops up with others through this process? As a business owner in the US I worked far more hours overall than I do here. But the energy was entirely different. As I’ve felt from year one here, and have heard colleagues say; compared to our autonomous private practices we now work twice as many clinical hours but see half as many patients and are far, far more tired afterwards.

I struggle with the fact that I can’t seem to focus on or enjoy work (even much anticipated non “work” like coaching homework) unless I’m really feeling up to it at the time.  I have to want to do it when the opportunity arises, or I just can’t.  I wasn’t always like this. Here, unfortunately, we have such limited “me time”, most of which is sleep.  I can go weeks without having the chance to work on projects.

I recently requested to re-contract with a reduction to a 40 hour work week. I was ignored. Literally.

So with coaching I’ll have great ideas and inspiration out of the blue while I’m working on a patient, but I’ll have already forgotten by the time they’re gone and I can write them down.  Later I’ll have a spare hour after work sitting down to my computer and no matter how much I try to make myself focus, or read through websites doing research, or try to learn how to set up my blog…all I feel is stress, anger, frustration and “I don’t want to do this. I CAN’T THINK!” Even though 2 hours before I was so excited to come and do just this.

I know what I want to do, I just need an environment that cooperates.

This speaks to a personality trait that I want to weave into my career search, in that I want and need to be able to follow my inspiration and personal instincts as they arise. Being shackled thoroughly in a corporation with rigid HR, leadership and anti-logic culture isn’t for me.  I can do it, and do it well, but I loathe every minute.

There’s a debate I get in to occasionally with my colleague. I believe that employee morale is one of the most important aspects of business.  That playing to an employees strengths and reasonable preferences is more important to the production of quality work, than are strict boundaries and rules for the benefit of the company and clients but which force employees to suffer.  I’ve worked in both atmospheres and believe that customers/patients/clients get better results and have a better opinion of the business when they work with contented employees who feel valued.

My colleague, on the other hand, says that even though we’re not working the way that he would like, either, that our comfort, ideas or preferences aren’t important and the only thing that matters is what the corporation wants and making sure the patients get perfect care (even if their providers are mistreated, exhausted, working counterintuitively, are unable to be artists at their work… or are even unpaid).  The frequent refrain here, from all levels of management is “if you don’t like it, you can leave.”

I know exactly where I’m coming from, and why: From observation, experience and reading many articles and books about psychologically better workplaces.    I also understand his position, as well as the psychological basis of why he goes to bat for his position. I go to bat for myself, and for the welfare of everyone I work with, but that’s only 50%.  I know our patients would benefit from contented providers.  Others here go to bat for security, not psychology.

So how do I avoid the negative thinking gremlin that tortures me constantly at work about all the things I cannot change? How do I make myself contented with my lot AND find the energy and time for all this coaching work to get out of that lot?  Stacy said during the last coaching session that there’s something I could get rid of to lighten my load, and do I know what it is?  My first thought, honestly, was coaching. The only thing I’ve taken on in the last few months that has added to my load are coaching and this blog about coaching, so if I wanted to make my life easier without quitting my job…. My second thought was “OMG She’s going to fire me.” I’ve had this in my head since reading the book Stacy recommended where a negative and non-progressing woman gets fired by her coach.

I held my tongue and was a bit surprised when instead of meaning something literal, my coach said what I should let go of to lighten my load is my negativity (about work).

Um… third thought was trying to figure out how letting negativity go is lightening of my load.  It’s another piece of work.  A task I don’t have the first clue how to accomplish and must therefore now be constantly worried about.

The negativity gremlin is holding back my career transition, and the cause of the negativity is (and will continue) literally hindering me from doing what I’d prefer to do.

It’s not nearly the first time I’ve been told I’m negative (in negative situations). I dare say it won’t be the last.  But as always it’s a subtle shock to have to hear it yet again.  To be reminded that seeing things as they really are, and expressing frustration and being bothered that I cannot change it, isn’t welcome to others or considered a valuable trait.

I want a career where I can FIX things, improve things and the world, make wherever I am better, more efficient…whatever. But I’m constantly asked throughout my life to stifle the part of myself that doesn’t sit back and allow negativity to go unchallenged. In my current work scenario how is it possible for me to be the negative aspect?

I don’t want to stifle who I am. I want to work in an atmosphere that isn’t a ginormous FUBAR nightmare, but is just wacky enough that there’s work for me to do and people who appreciate it.  Is that so much to ask of the Universe?

Read back to the paragraphs describing my workplace perspectives versus my colleagues and tell me… am I really so negative??

**While I’m on vacation I’ll be sucking up every spare second of doing absolutely freaking nothing. I’ll have along my kindle, ipad and a notebook and pen so that when inspiration strikes I can honor it with my attention.

4 Responses to Homework (sorta) – Coaching Session #7

  1. Anne Chia says:

    I can totally relate to this situation. Of course good work conditions are important for the employer,employee,and client! I once worked in an environment where we were told “if you do not like it,you can leave,nobody is indispensable”. We worked alright,but every second of “non-work” was channelled towards finding another job. Most of us left,the attrition rate was high,and the company’s results dropped drastically. It’s just common sense. I hope u see a change soon.

  2. I like the thought of doing absolutely nothing except getting inspired. =)

    • Andrea says:

      I know, right?! There have been people revered for their thoughts alone. I’m not at their level, but maybe I could fool people into it? hehehe

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