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I Changed My Mindset Towards Work And It Helped Me Strive For The Better

Updated: Aug 14, 2020

by Sabeena Maureen |

Mark Twain once said, “If it is your job to eat a frog, it is best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it is your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first.” But what happens when you start to learn that you hate eating frogs? To the shock of your sweet life, you used to love eating frogs, in fact, that was your dream, to begin with. Frankly, I was not truly excited about the choice of metaphor used by Mr. Twain, as I am not really an adventurous foodie; however, it touches upon some events in my life. 

When we were kids, we spent almost 1/4 of our life in school, then we entered adulthood, where we will be spending more than 1/4 of our remaining lifespan on our career.  Of course, this is mainly a presumption of my personal opinion and observation, as currently, I too have been spending most of my time on my working life as I want to be the best at what I love to do.  But as time goes by, even though I truly love my work as a tutor, I started to feel some level of dissatisfaction and unhappiness, and unfortunately, it has started to spread to another fraction of my life such as the relationship with my family, friends, and others.

I was not aware that I was deeply unhappy until one day, my mother pointed out to me. “Are you happy,  Sabeena?” She asked while I was complaining about some stuff about work. I was taken aback by that question, and then she continued. “You used to be super excited to work and meet the students, but now, even the smallest matter can trigger you. I feel like you are a different person now.” This conversation between my mother and me made me reflect on myself. What changed from then and now? Then I realized it was my mindset towards work that made the drastic attitude change. 

First thing first, I needed to take some time to deeply reflect on myself.  I asked myself if I want to continue with this career path. And the answer was a resounding yes; hence I started working on my mindset.

1. Writing my all thoughts down 

Being a tuition tutor has its pros and cons, but after the reflection, I knew that was focusing more on the cons, which made me have bad chain reaction triggers such as low tolerance on managing challenges, giving up on improving my teaching skills, and so on. So for one week, I wrote down the thoughts that I have regarding my work and the causation of those thoughts. For example, what are the things that are bothering me? Is it the working hours? Is it the environment?

2. Changing my self-talk 

We as human beings, the direct reflection of our mindset can be made out by the conversations that we have with ourselves.  After the journaling and questioning session, I was aware that I was having full-blown negative self-talk. I was saying things like, “ I can’t do this”, “this is bad”, “I hate this” and so on.

It is normal to have ups and downs in life and especially in working life, but the truth is we can overcome them with positivity and determination. So I decided to upgrade my mindset by constantly telling myself in the form of affirmation such as,” I can do this”, “I can figure it out” and “ I have phenomenal coping skills”. At first, it was uncomfortable because it just seems cliches and too flimsy, but I started to feel so much better about myself and I started to have a more positive outlook on the work that I used to dislike. 

3. Being determined and continuing the learning process 

This part was challenging because the negative self-talk was very much ingrained in my brain to the point, it was very habitual of me to just think of everything negatively, but I promised myself that I will do it no matter what.  So whenever I have thoughts such as self-doubts and negative emotions, I would remind myself to take a breather and drink a glass of water.

Sometimes, all you need is to take a break to clear off your mind. Then, I would sit and meditate for 5 minutes on the list of affirmations that I chose for myself to recite. There were times where I definitely gave up and wanted to find other jobs, but I took a step back and tried to be sensible and rational. I came to learn that no matter how many jobs I change if I have the same mindset, the outcome would be the same. 

Source: TuitionHero

So in conclusion, in order to strive better in anything I do, I definitely need to have a positive perspective and mindset. Tying it back to Mr. Twain’s metaphor, instead of thinking about the frog’s slimy body and weird figure,  you can reframe your thoughts by thinking about the health benefits of frogs. Apparently, frog legs are rich in protein, potassium, vitamin A and  omega-3 fatty acids. This way, it would be easy for you to eat any shape and size of a frog that is placed before you. I definitely did not have an easy time resetting my mindset, but it was worth it because I started to see so many benefits not only in my working life but in the other parts of my life as well.

You can learn more about the writer on Instagram.

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