“Bad days don’t make it a bad job. Good days don’t make it a good job. Like a relationship, it’s the general feeling we get when we think about our work, and not the excitement or stress on any particular day, that defines our fulfilment.”

– Simon Sinek

How would you like a simple technique to reduce your levels of frustration at work? Would that be useful for you?

Read on ….

Sometimes, and I suspect we are all guilty of this at some point, we get mired in the day-to-day and forget about all that we have achieved over time.  Demands from your bosses, pressures at home and the constant connection to technology can all stop us from seeing the bigger picture.

But what if we were to take stock of all that we have achieved over a longer period?

Ask yourself this; “What has changed due to my efforts, and that of my team, over the last year? Two years? Three years?”

Let me introduce you to Susan who works in a large and complex organisation. Susan is not quite C-suite yet but she’s not far off. She is currently experiencing a level of frustration which has been the subject of our coaching conversations.  Susan feels she is not achieving anything at work.

“I don’t feel like I am getting anywhere with this current task that I am working on.”

“Why do we have to keep re-learning the same lessons every time.”

Now, go on, be honest, you’ve felt like this at one time or another haven’t you?

What was the source of your frustration?

It turns out Susan’s was linked to her perception of time.

“What does he mean by that?” I hear you asking.

Let me explain. Susan has been in her role for nearly three years. Her boss was appointed to his role only recently; About six months ago.

It turns out that Susan was tying her sense of achievement in the role to the tenure of her boss and not her own.  Let me explain….

In order to get out of a problem mindset, I started asking Susan about what she enjoyed about the job.  “Oh, that’s easy” she said “I get to be creative.”  Then she proceeded the tell me about how, when she entered her role, she had identified there was no system in place for capturing lessons learned and identifying future trends in the market. Collaborating with her team she had created just such a system.

“How would you rate your sense of achievement over he last three years?” I asked.

“Well” she thought “when I think about how I created something effective for the company, really good.”

“So, where is the source of your current frustration then?”  This was Susan’s light bulb moment.

Susan’s frustration was that she was only gauging her sense of achievement over the last six months. She had forgotten what she had achieved in the preceding two and half years.

Too often we get wrapped in in the “busyness” of the day-to-day and we forget take stock of all that we have achieved over the longer term.  This can lead to a frustration and a feeling that nothing is getting done.

So, what I would like you to do is ….

Find some space and time this week to reflect on what you have achieved over the last few years. For 30 minutes, turn off your alerts, go somewhere quiet, pull out pen and a blank piece of paper and start writing down everything that you are proud of achieving over the longer term. 

When you look back over your achievements, how does that make you feel?

I would love to hear your insights. Please, leave your comments below.

Do you know someone who is experiencing day to day frustrations and could use some time to reflect on their achievements? You could share this blog with them or you could spend some time with them coaching them around this concept. Again, I would love to hear about your experience.

If you would like to discuss this or any of the concepts around leadership please feel free to contact Campbell Leadership Solutions. We’d love to hear from you.