Today I want to talk to you about resignation. When I say resignation, I am not talking about the paper you hand in when you quit your job. I am talking about something you feel, even though you might not be aware of it.
I want to illustrate what I mean with a story. It's a recent encounter with my father. I always tell my father what I'm thinking, what I'm feeling, what I'm learning. And in this recent talk I was telling my father how I realised that I am usually under-stimulated and that's why I don't focus on the task that I have. And that's also the reason why I procrastinate because when the deadline approaches, then I am overstimulated, and I get things done. But in the end, I realised that this is too stressful so instead I choose my own deadlines, and I can get full simulation, and also get worked done in the way that I want. I was expecting from my father "Hmm, wow, interesting, great realisation. But instead he said "Good that you realised when you are 40". I was so surprised. I was so surprised. (First of all I am not 40) I was so surprised that he saw the story from this perspective. He did not focus on the positivity, the potential, the possibilities, what I can do now, what I'm going to focus next, which deadlines I will set, what a great thing it was that I had this realisation, but instead, he immediately placed his attention to oh how late it is to discover , how much I have lost already. That day I was very surprised about the differences of our perceptions, but then, experiencing it over and over again, I realised that this is usually how we are. We resign to the negative, and familiar states.
Not long ago, I was talking with a new friend I made from my writing group. I told her about this book that I'm writing about unfulfillment at work, and how it's actually a gift for us. I was telling lots of things so passionately and girl found a little window where she could speak, and there she told me her story. She's an expat who had left her country and moved with her husband to Munich. And while leaving her country she also had to leave her job, which she didn't start in Germany because she got pregnant. And now she found herself in a place of complete unknown. She said "I fell out of the system. It is a total chaos. It is very difficult." I couldn't help but say "Well, chaos is also the source of recreation and a new order. Being out of the system, you are actually at a place to create your own system." You might be thinking "Oh Işıl, you are so dreamy. " Maybe. But check in with yourself. Check in how you feel when I tell you these two sentences. The first one "It is bad". The second one "I wonder what I can make of this". The first one is total resignation. There is nothing I can do. There wasn't even "I" in this sentence. Things are as they are. Done. Deal with it. Tolerate it. Where does this approach bring you? Nowhere new, you stay where you are, or actually, no, that's not true. It brings you down. It is actually a heavy load on your shoulders, which you carry like the cross of Jesus. But you are not Jesus so you sink down and down. The other option has a playground that acknowledges the start place, but keeps the space open and eyes towards the sky, to be able to see all that will come, all that is possible.
Resignation is throwing the towel. Resignation is the cause of unhappiness. It is the I think cause of unhappiness because you settle on the negative. Why are you doing this? I am not judging you. It is actually a rhetorical question. I know why you are doing this. I am doing this too. Well I train myself to do differently now because I know this and I will invite you to do differently too. Why you are doing this is that it is your nature. The nature, the wild side of you is programmed to survive. And something negative that you experienced or you are experiencing but still surviving is better for you than something positive that you haven't yet experienced. Because what you have already experienced and you stayed alive even though it might have sucked means that it's safe for your system. And anything safe should be kept, because your system needs to conserve energy. And anything that you haven't experienced even though will be positive, is bad, because it hasn't been tested yet by your system. So, your system says, "Danger, danger, danger!!!". That's from our animal side, but we humans, we are here to thrive and we can transcend our animal nature and make choices that are serving to positive states for us and for everyone around us. That requires you to interrupt your patterns. That requires you to recognise that you are settling in the familiar negative, you are in resignation, and challenge your assumption. Hold your statement "This is bad. I'm not good enough. This can't be done. It's too late". Hold these and ask yourself "What is it that I want to happen when everything goes the way I want?". Set your intention, then make it an exploration.
Recently I have asked people to share with me their reasons for being unhappy at work, and they told me "I'm not appreciated and not offered promotion", "I work for other people's goals that are not important to me". And "My job is repetitive". These are all statements that settle in the negativity that carry the cross. Actually, not carry the cross but sink under the heavyweight of the cross and stay in this known -in quotation marks- "safe" bad state. Instead, when you say, "I'm not appreciated" what you're saying is, "I want to be appreciated. Appreciation for me looks like this. How can I create this appreciation in my environment?". Now you'll have a playground. "I'm not offered promotion." Okay, that can be the beginning state. What do you want? "I want a promotion". What can you do about it? Who will you be talking to? What else will you do? "I work for others' goals. Okay, what does this mean? "I want to work for my goals". Then the question is "How can I create goals that are serving to me, meaningful to me, but at the same time, is work that I'm doing here, that I will be paid for?". My job is repetitive. You are saying, "I want a job that has variety". Basically, your playground is, "How can I create variation in my job?" And this is your playground. Anything that you feel that gives you this fixed negative state that you feel you have the resignation, you can stop yourself, turn it into your intention, get clear about your intention - what you want-, and then explore what you can do about it. And with this, you will have energy, you will have movement. Instead of resignation, you will have ignition to go get what you want, to go create a new state, you want to live in. I want you to, in the coming days, recognise the moments where you see yourself in resignation. And just make this your practice, just recognise and turn it into an intention. Do it a couple of days and see how your mood is changing. This shifting our perception is an important self work, we need to do to be happier, to be more fulfilled at work, but also in our lives.
I hope you enjoyed this episode, I am looking forward to hear from you. Please send me your questions that you want me to talk more about, or your comments on what you have heard in this or previous episodes. I always appreciate everything that you write to me and share with me. That is for today, and I'm looking forward to talking to you in the next episode. Take care.