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  Jane Miller
BSc  PhD  ECPC


 
 
 
 

Articles -- Trapped

Over the years, I have heard a few people say that they feel ‘trapped’ in their current situation.

There are two statements I’m going to make that will (if you take them into practice) allow you to reclaim your power and ‘escape’.

  1. You are keeping yourself trapped by focusing on the bars of your prison cell.
  2. You can escape by changing your focus.

Imagine you’re in a prison cell, totally focused on rattling the bars, but all you have to do is turn around to see the open door behind you and walk through into a bright and beautiful place.

Can it really be that simple?

Well, let’s say you hate everything about your job - the work, your boss, your co-workers. And you spend all day grumbling about your situation. As long as you stay focused on this, nothing will ever change. In fact, things will probably get worse, because no one likes a disgruntled person, so all kinds of great opportunities will evade you.

In order to get to a more positive place, you first need to change your focus to something you like about your current situation. This may seem difficult at first, but it will yield amazing results.

How to...
There are many approaches that may help you find some positive aspects of your situation.

Find the positive in the job
Take a different perspective on your job.

Think about the value of your work to others... What is the purpose of the work itself? What is the real value? to whom? How might you make it more valuable to those it was designed to serve.

Think about the value of the work to you... What skills might you learn from the job? How might these skills be used in an organization you’d like to work for? Or how might you use these skills in a self-run business?

There are so many opportunities in every job. You just have to look with an open, positive, and imaginative mind. Once you see the things you can improve on or the skills you can develop, everything will change. You will be inspired and motivated, and doors will start to open.

Find the positive in the people
If there’s a person you dislike with a passion, it may be worth figuring out what is going on behind the external behavior. I remember an employee who was frustrated with his boss because she was micro-managing. The employee felt she didn’t believe he was capable. But in fact, she was watching over him because she sincerely wanted him to do well.

Sitting down and talking openly and respectfully about what we notice and how we feel is the secret to good relationships. But the key is to avoid being defensive and judgmental. Instead of jumping to the conclusion that “She thinks I’m an idiot!”, objectively state facts and how you feel. “I have noticed that you check on every detail of my work, and it makes me feel like you don’t have confidence in my abilities.” And even if you find out that’s true, calmly and sincerely ask what you can do to change that.

If you truly feel that a sincere and open approach will not work with this person, you may focus on the opportunity to develop a healthy way of interacting with him or her. For example, if the person is verbally aggressive, you may develop your skills of staying calm and not ‘engaging in battle.’

It may also help to find some compassion for the person you have been having issues with. They may be dealing with issues you know nothing about. Calming the waters and chatting about life in general is sometimes a good way to change the dynamics of your relationship. You may discover that the person is not a tyrant at all, but just someone who has their own life challenges to deal with.

The unfolding
Once you start to see some positive aspects of your situation, and you focus on those, you will feel more energetic and you will be happier. This will start to change everything in amazing ways.

For example, you may spend more time chatting to people, finding out about their jobs and hobbies. You may discover new interests and discover you have talents in areas you previously knew nothing about.

Whatever your interest or skill, the more you focus on it, the more you will be drawn into situations that will direct you to situations you enjoy.

This, by the way, is the law of attraction...

“The Universe will give you more of whatever you focus on.”

Note that the method of coming up with an end goal sometimes works against you because you start to focus on ‘wanting’ the goal, so you say locked in the ‘wanting’ mode. If you want to achieve your goal, you have to focus on the process, and enjoy every step of the journey. The great thing about doing that is that the end goal won’t even matter that much, because you will be enjoying the present. And it will just get better and better.

Exercise
Catch yourself when you start complaining about things, and change your focus.
Notice the things that you enjoy. Focus on these things and feel grateful for them.
Allow that joy to stay with you and keep feeding that joy by keeping your focus on the positive aspects of your present situation.
Take time at the end of each day, reflecting on what positive experiences you noticed.
It may be helpful to note these reflections in a daily journal.


 
 
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