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Free or Trapped?

Ever think about how you ended up in the job or career path you are in?

You might be participating in a family business. Maybe a friend recruited you. You needed a paycheck and grabbed something that pays the bills. You wanted the prestige that goes with your profession. You chose to climb the corporate ladder to get the responsibilities, pay, and status that goes with doing so. You are trying to finance a certain lifestyle. Someone once told you that you would be good at this sort of work.

What is your story?

In particular, and the focus of this morning’s reflection, how much choice did you have in the matter?

Was it the only job that was available? Would any other choice have felt demeaning or less prestigious? Were you responding to family expectations? Were you competing with peers? Were you desperate for any paying work? Were you protecting your job security?

Whether we feel free or trapped is a huge factor in shaping how we deal with situations at work. Especially all that is complicated and unpleasant in our jobs!

If we feel free (i.e. we chose our situation and feel we have a choice about whether or not we will stay in our situation), we are much more likely to be able to roll with, deal with, and/or confront people, problems, and complications at work.

If we feel trapped (i.e. we don’t have a choice, don’t have any power, or don’t have any options), we are much more likely to

Here’s the rub. Just because you don’t have certain alternatives available to you doesn’t mean that there are no alternatives at all. Just because you don’t have the power to change a particular policy, pattern or person, doesn’t mean that you don’t have any power whatsoever.

In other words, the feeling of being trapped is only partially based on the difficult realities of your situation.

Once we realize that we have forms of power, resources for change, alternatives, and choices that we don’t currently see and maybe have not yet even imagined, our experience of our difficult realities begins to change.

We begin to become one of those people who find a way to roll with, deal with, and/or confront the people, problems and complications they encounter at work. We begin to feel free.

How did you end up in your current situation? How much choice do you feel you had in getting there?

It can be the difference between feeling free or trapped.

If you are having trouble seeing any choices or alternatives in your situation, it’s time for us to talk!

On your side,

– Karl Edwards



Here's My Thought...


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