Be Your Own Agent

It’s a long time since I wrote anything here. I’ve been lost in writing my upcoming book, ‘Let’s Love to Work.’ It’s a real labour of love, one I started pre-pandemic, but now feels so fitting for what’s turning out to be a whole new way we look at the nature of work. Not only what we give it, but what work gives back to us.

One of the key topics on my mind has been the feeling of control. I read something on LinkedIn today about a man who said his 3-year-old daughter didn’t want to go to daycare. He reflected on how he could have told her to ‘man up’ but that he and his partner didn’t want to be parents who push their children to do things they don’t want to do, like he feels they were pushed as kids.

Instead, he gave his daughter the choice to stay home or go to daycare, and he told her that whatever she chose, him and his partner would support her.

The idea of creating choice resonated with me heavily. I, too, have a 3-year-old and his will is mighty. He exerts it at every moment, especially with me and his baby brother.

But, he’s a child with big emotions and a desire to be his own person. It’s only as we grow older that we learn to control those emotions into ones society expects.

Unfortunately, by controlling our emotions, we often lose the power of them. They get lost in what we must or should do. And, by being less intense (at least on the surface) they garner less attention and we learn to mask them and keep them hidden.

By doing this, we create a few problems:

  • People around us believe we’re satisfied when, in fact, we’re miserable
  • Our emotions come out in different ways and sometimes not in ways that are not even remotely expected or useful
  • We become terribly unhappy with no idea why
  • We do things we don’t want to do because it pleases others

I don’t believe we should all revert to our three year old selves, but I think it’s important for us to check in to see what we’re truly feeling — particularly when it comes to our careers.

On an average week, we spend more time at work than anywhere else, and when we relinquish our agency over that working life we quickly become unhappy and, sometimes, despondent feeling there’s no way to change.

Becoming your own agent

One way to take back that agency, is by writing down what you feel without censorship and with the view that no one will read it without your permission.

Only then can you decide how to effectively and appropriately deal with those emotions to create the outcomes that give you more satisfaction at work and in your career.

Of course, this would work for any area of your life, but work is where I sit, so I’m asking you to try it there first.

Be three again, perhaps not with ‘my bowl is green not blue!!’ style drama, but true to you all the same.

Organizational Psychologist, Career Coach, and Author. Helping you love to work.

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Let’s Love to Work

Let’s Love to Work

Organizational Psychologist, Career Coach, and Author. Helping you love to work.

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