Guest blog by Steph Brien, Director and Founder, Work Well Warriors
Break your beliefs about “good” work & life
(so 2022 doesn’t break you)
Skipping the usual (boring) intro for a blog like this where I talk about what beliefs are, where we pick them up etc.
Avoiding big, general statements about your experience of 2021 except to say… we reflected.
On what it means to be leaders. To be part of teams & families. To be humans in the world.
And as we move into 2022, I am assuming you are aware you have some thoughts that are unhelpful. Old thoughts and beliefs you want to shift about work & life.
They don’t fit, feel good anymore, or have created outcomes in your life you don’t want any longer.
Breaking the bad news: there isn’t a “5 step process” to break any belief and transform like magic ✨ into a carefree, inspired version of you. No longer held down by old, limiting beliefs.
Now the good news: you aren’t stuck with your old beliefs, either.
Here are a few ideas to spark & activate you around how dislodging old programming will help you experience more play, freedom, and growth in 2022.
To help you do work & life on your terms.
Which is our passion and crazy fun mission at Work Well Warriors.
Let me give you some prompters. These are here to 1) support your awareness if you share any similar beliefs, and 2) remind us all we aren’t alone.
Here are a few beliefs I’ve heard from Work Warriors this year + a few of my own:
- I’m the only one struggling with this
- I should respond to everything quickly
- I should always be there to solve issues
- I should be productive all day
- I need to avoid large failure at all costs
- Getting the work finished is the most important thing
- I’m not educated enough to have the career & wealth I want
- I’m not doing enough
- Taking time for myself is selfish
- I have to get this right
- I need to push myself otherwise it won’t happen [and that is terrible]
- Conflict is the worst. Avoid at all costs
- I’m paid to put in the hours
- This is my responsibility so I have to do this on my own
Your turn for a quick check-in
When you think about work & life…
- What patterns have you been repeating this year that don’t feel good anymore?
- What are you hiding from or trying to avoid?
- What would you HATE for someone to think about you? (sitting in our shadow)
- What do you wish was different?
- Where are you settling or playing small?
Choose 1 question that jumps out for you, or reflect on them all.
Okay I’m aware… why isn’t it different yet?
Honestly, awareness of our beliefs is SUCH a powerful tool to help us start to break them. If you just do the check-in above you will feel some movement to breaking the old belief.
But it is often where we stop.
I know because I’m guilty of this myself. One icky belief I’ve had looping all year is “I’m not doing enough”. Measured by some blurry, arbitrary line in my head that I can’t quite see but just know I’m falling short of.
It feels like tightness in my stomach. Pressure when I think about work. It means I avoid certain things, because I’ve put so much pressure on needing to get them right (bingo, another belief).
Chatting to many parents this year, I know this is something you are facing into daily. I see you, and send so much appreciation and respect your way.
So I have been aware this is the belief that has been looping.
And… it was still looping.
Awareness isn’t always enough.
Appeal to your logical brain: find new evidence
This is a quick-fix tactic for you. It is the rational process of looking at the looping thought or belief, and finding some new evidence that doesn’t fit the belief.
Say you are struggling with boundaries and switching off after work. You have the belief “I need to be available all the time”.
Finding new evidence could be reminding yourself:
You have meetings when you aren’t available & that is fine. You had a function last week and that was fine. Your company doesn’t expect you to get back to clients after 6pm. It can wait until the morning.
For me, the new evidence around “I’m not doing enough” looked like:
Taking a longer view. Looking back over my week & month for what I had done. I realised I had been much too focused on individual days, and all the things I didn’t get done (but thought I should have).
- Find a few examples of when the belief is NOT true.
- Write it down.
- Revisit when you notice the loop again.
You can also add a reframed version of the belief that feels more true for you. For me it is:
I’m not doing enough >> I’m experimenting and learning
This process is soothing. It gives us relief in the moment and tends to reduce the heaviness of the belief.
Appeal to your emotional brain: have some fun & take the pressure off
It is really easy to get stuck in the self-critical cycle of wanting to change but finding it hard. Then beating ourselves up for finding it hard. Continue spiral…
To have a bit of fun with it, spend some time desiring a new reality.
This is about giving yourself a damn good reason to change your beliefs.
See and know how it FEELS to be you, without the same weight of this old belief.
Picture an ideal day:
- Who is the version of you in the future that doesn’t struggle with this belief?
- What do you feel that is different?
- What do you do that is different?
- What other yummy things are happening in your life?
This taps into your own intuition. It’s also fun to sit there & close your eyes and take a few moments for yourself to visualise.
This is a great exercise to do as a guided visualisation, which we loooove at Work Well Warriors.
They are core parts of all our programs to help you tap into different states of consciousness & access flow a bit easier.
Go external. Look for expanders & examples in other people:
- Who is someone you admire in this area, who isn’t weighed down with the same old belief?
- Make a list: how do they think instead? What do you think they believe about themselves and how the world works?
- Even better: ask them directly. Pick the area you are struggling with (like feeling you need to be available). Ask them “how do you think about… needing to be available?”
This gives your brain examples of thought patterns & beliefs that are available for us. It helps to dislodge and disprove that how we’ve always thought needs to stay.
Breaking your beliefs doesn’t have to just be heavy reflection, musings, resolutions, or therapy (professional help is also great though, seriously).
You can bring some lightness into the process.
A spirit of play and experimentation helps us take some of the damn pressure off ourselves.
It also helps us avoid the traps of self-criticism or “I’m never going to be able to change this” spirals.
Tapping into more creative & fun experiences like visualisation and talking to people also give us something to go to that focus on the future and what is possible. Rather than simply feeling stuck.
You’re doing great, I promise.
About the Author:
Stephanie Brien – I lead the Work Well Warriors team.
We help growth-focused humans get unstuck and find new possibilities. To explore work & life on your terms… then ground that in practical tools you can use day-to-day.
Connecting with you would make my day – LinkedIn or Instagram.
Dial In if you are looking to reset how you work without the hustle & always on culture.
On Your Terms for growth-focused humans ready to create a new direction that is work & life on your terms. With more fun, play, possibility, and growth