Working hard is tiring, whether your work involves digging holes, building fine furniture, having meetings, writing words, designing, selling, buying, or negotiating.
But if you’re finishing your days not just tired but drained, emotionally frazzled, and feeling like you’ve been in a boxing ring, the problem is not your hard work.
The problem is your thinking, and the emotions created by that thinking.
This is good news – because while you probably can’t change your job tomorrow, you can start to change your thinking. You’ll still be tired, but you don’t have to feel like you’ve been beaten (unless you are indeed a boxer).
How Is This Relevant To Drinking?
Of course, this is relevant to drinking because pure tiredness doesn’t make you crave a drink in nearly the same way the feeling of beaten up does.
I want to offer two broad categories of thinking that could be creating the emotional response that’s the source of your beaten-up feeling:
Judgment about how people should be different than they are.
- If you’re thinking that someone should be nicer, kinder, a better listener, smarter, faster, tougher, more creative, more disciplined, or less wasteful than you perceive them to be, you are creating suffering for yourself.
Worrying that something is going to happen that you can’t handle.
- If much of your thinking is about the future, about the possibilities that you’ll get fired, lose the deal, lose customers, be attacked or humiliated, miss the promotion, you’re just beating yourself up.
Here are some ways to manage your thinking to make your days less burdensome:
- Recognize that the fault you find in others always mirrors some fault that you perceive in yourself
- Recognize that at everyone’s core is the same pure essence that was there when they were born, no matter how crusty and hideous (to you) the protective shell that they have constructed around themselves is
- Realize that your judgment will not change anything for the better
I live by a new golden rule; to be myself and let others do the same.
It’s important to realize that this attitude of acceptance need not inhibit you from competing with, firing, reprimanding, avoiding, or sucking up to people.
Business isn’t for sissies and you can do the hard things, even as you live in acceptance of who people are right now. Doing the hard things will leave you tired, but if you do it without judgment, you’ll have less of that beaten feeling.
- Remind yourself that most of the catastrophizing that you’ve done all your life has not come true. You probably won’t get fired, passed over, or lose your business. Most of that worry is purely wasted energy.
- Recognize that where your worries have come true, your response to them was probably not improved by the past worry.
- Most importantly, if you decided that nothing could happen to you that you couldn’t handle, you wouldn’t have to worry. There’s a difference between not wanting to get fired or lose your house or avoid getting humiliated in a meeting, and misbelieving that you couldn’t actually get through any such experience. Just look around at the tough things people have endured through history, and are still experiencing right now. You’re not a special snowflake who can’t rise to the occasion with the same fortitude as any other human. You can handle it.
You have more freedom than you realize to radically change your situation, without even changing your situation.