Get Your Mojo Back
From Forbes Contributor Liz Ryan.
How To Rebuild Your Mojo After Escaping A Toxic Workplace
If you recently escaped from a toxic workplace, congratulations! Isn’t the air fresh and nice out here? You are a superstar! Escaping your toxic workplace was the hardest part of your reinvention project, and that step is already behind you.
It isn’t easy to get out of a bad work situation, not only because your bills are real but because toxic workplaces do a good job of keeping you too afraid to focus on your job search. They keep you off-balance, and they make you sick, and sick and discouraged people don’t always make the most effective job-seekers.
However you got out of your toxic former workplace — by walking out yourself, being pushed out the door, or some combination of the two — you did it.
That’s a huge life accomplishment. You deserve a pat on the back. A lot of people who hate their jobs as much as you hated yours are still working at those jobs. They don’t even want to talk about or consider the prospect of job-hunting.
“Don’t ask me why I stay in a job that I obviously hate,” they say, “because I can’t answer that question without thinking about unpleasant things I don’t wish to think about.” The topic is simply off-limits. That’s fine. That’s the place where they are. At some point they will get a signal that says, “Why are you still working at this job that is making you ill?”
You are at a different place. You stepped out and said, “I need a better work atmosphere, even if I have no idea where that might be found.” You got out. Sometimes your body signals, “I can’t do this anymore” and we have to listen. Mother Nature bats last, as they say.
You are a champion already. Your friends may say, “Oh, you lost your job? Where are you going to work next?” They don’t understand that you don’t step neatly out of a gut-wrenching, painful work situation into a wonderful new position in two weeks.
You have just survived a horrendous experience that sucked away your mojo over weeks or months. You are still recovering. You have to take care of yourself.
Lean on your friends and family members for support because getting out of a toxic work situation is not a trivial thing. If you need a survival job to pay the bills for a while get one of those, and don’t put pressure on yourself to get a fabulous “career-type” job to replace the one you lost. You’re most likely not at full strength right now.
You have to rebuild your mojo and get some altitude and clarity on your path before jumping back onto the conveyor belt.
You can explain this to people who love you. That’s your next assignment: to help your closest friends and family members understand that you’re reinventing, and that you need a little time to regroup.
Here are five ways to rebuild your mojo, get back in your body and remember how awesome you are, always were and always will be.
Get a journal you like and write in it whenever you can. Here are 25 journal prompts to inspire you. Write about what you’ve just experienced and the comical scenes that will appear in your movie. Transfer some of the colorful dialogue surrounding your exit from your job out of your mind onto the page.
Write about your ideas for your career and your dreams for your life. Mother Nature hit the pause button on your forward career progress and directed you to an inlet to stop and think. Think about everything — not just the short-term question “What kind of job can I get fast?” but also “If I got to pick my next job, what kind of job would it be?”
Make plans to get together with people who support you. Get out of your house or apartment and spend time with people — at the gym or at a Meetup or wherever you like to go.
If you aren’t working you have time for a walk or bike ride every day. If you are working a survival job you might be able to squeeze in some physical time in support of your reinvention.
You can find a workout guru on YouTube and do the routines in your living room. You can dance in your pajamas. If you can get physical every day you won’t spend all day calculating and worrying in your busy mind.
This is a great time to garden, paint, draw, sculpt, weave, make music and listen to music. There are signals for you everywhere, not just in the job ads (possibly the most unpleasant reading material to be found on planet earth) but all around you, in every conversation and every thought that flutters through your brain.
There are messages everywhere, even in your dreams. You’ve left a bad situation and you get to design the new one around your needs, but that doesn’t always feel like a realistic or even imaginable goal.
Creative activities pull out your thoughts and ideas in a way that straightforward, left-braining planning doesn’t always do. Rebuilding your mojo means remembering that even after being buffeted about, it’s still your life. All of your choices are still your choices.
Tell yourself what you know in your body is true: even if you aren’t working right now, even if you’re confused and broke and feeling hopeless, you are strong. If you weren’t as strong as you are, you’d still be working at a job that was making you sick. You got out. That was a brave and mighty move.
Now you’re in the desert of reinvention. It’s a hard place to be, but it’s where your most powerful learning will come in, because you know in the desert that you don’t have all the answers. You want the answer, “What should I do now to fix up my life and stop thinking about it?” but Mother Nature is in charge and she decides which lessons we need, and when.
Remind yourself that you are amazing and powerful even when you don’t feel that way.
The problem with a Mojo Drop is that when your mojo disappears, we don’t say, “Oh look at that, my mojo is gone. That stinks. I have no energy and I’m discouraged.” No one says that. They say, “Mojo drop? No, I’m just a loser and a failure but I only just now noticed it. I guess I was faking it all that time I felt successful.”
You were not faking it or if you were, you were faking it in the sense that we all fake it every day, jumping into deep water and paddling like crazy, which is half the fun of being alive. You weren’t faking your old, successful feelings. They were real.
You were beyond successful — you were feeling strong and competent before you hit the rapids. Toxic workplaces knock your strong and confident memories to bits. Toxic workplaces make you doubt yourself.
You were successful before and you are successful right now — you’re a successful escapee from a toxic workplace!
You were fine before and you still are. You got the wind knocked out of your sails.
If it happened to you physically, everyone would rush to your aid. You got the wind knocked out of your sails energetically but the effect is the same.
Go easy on yourself. You rule. The next chapter will be way cooler and more exciting (in a good way) than the misery you withstood. You are on the way up — and onward down your path.
I specialize in helping people regain their mojo after living through a toxic work environment. It would be my pleasure to offer you a 20 minute complimentary conversation.
Call me directly. No machines, no gatekeeper. 401-742-1965
Get more information on my website: www.encoreexecutivecoaching.com.