Please welcome psychologist and family therapist Anoushka Beh to weigh in on how you can find abundance – and job satisfaction – for yourself in the Year of the Goat.
Abundance, so the Buddhist saying goes, “is your birthright” — and yet for many of us, finding it in the professional arena and anchoring it in our lives can be somewhat elusive. However, given the multitude of options and expanding boundaries around what a job can look like these days, we now, more than ever, have the opportunity to derive true abundance from the work that we do.
Let me be clear about what I mean by “abundance” in this article: I’m talking about the richness that flows from being intimately connected with whatever it is you do professionally and wealth in all forms, be it financial or a deep sense of satisfaction (for example). I believe your craft should have the capacity to bring you great abundance and satisfaction, and it is this that I will examine in hopes of helping you to create abundance for yourself.
Be Clear about What Abundance is for YOU
It’s not uncommon that I sit down with a client who feels that they are not ‘successful’ at what they do professionally. Yet, when we take a closer look at this in session, we often discover that their definition of ‘success’ hinges more on societal perceptions than personal definitions. This is interesting, because without personal clarity around the goal we want to be moving towards, how can we be sure that we are taking steps and engaging in behaviours that move us in the right direction?
Abundance, like success, is person-specific and may even change for you across your lifespan depending on the role you’re taking on and other contextual factors in your life. I tell my clients that it’s important to know where the dartboard is and what it looks like first if they want to have any chance of throwing and hitting it with their dart!
So take time to ask the right questions and reflect on what abundance means for you in your current job. Remember the only ‘right answer’ is the one that resonates with your authentic truth, not what anyone else thinks (after all this is about creating abundance for YOU, not someone else).
Once you’ve done your reflecting, write down the things that you want, using “I” statements in the present tense to help crystallise these goals and bring them more into your current reality e.g.: “I experience great personal fulfillment at work every day”, or “I attract lots of new projects that keep me inspired” or “I earn X amount and this gives me a sense of financial stability”.
Neutralise those Self-Sabotaging Thoughts
Your mind is like a garden and what you nurture will ultimately take root and blossom. Focusing on self-sabotaging thoughts like “I will never be able to find financial stability” or “I will never love what I do for work” will ultimately bring those seeds to life in the long term and anchor them as part of your day-to-day experience. So, if it’s not useful and not serving you in helping you to feel good about the abundance you want to create, observe it as it comes to your mind and let it cross, like a bird that crosses the sky then disappears from view. All negative thoughts and emotions are ultimately temporary if we breathe and allow them the space to pass.
Be Happy for Those Who Have it All
This point is key, because as easy as it is to feel jealous of others that have things that we want but don’t have, on a subconscious level we are programmed to move towards creating things that our subconscious believes will be positive for us. So while this could come across as a little bit self-serving, it’s really important for you to connect with a place within you where you can be genuinely happy for others who are creating their own abundance.
Get Over the Fear and Get Real with Your Finances
Not all of us grow up having lessons on finance imparted to us over family dinners or in school. The world of spreadsheets and managing our bank balances can sometimes feel foreign and uncharted, inciting emotions of doubt or even fear in us. Get practical and educate yourself. The Barefoot Investor, by Scott Pape, is a great beginner’s guide to financial management for those of you looking to start understanding and growing your financial abundance.
By equipping yourself with the practical know-how to get the abundance you want, you’ll not only have a roadmap to creating it, but you will also begin to defuse those negative feelings you may associate with financial management.
Anchor to the Abundance You Already Have
Sometimes we can get so caught up and focused on future-oriented goals that we forget to look at what we already have. Just as encouragement or appreciation expressed towards a friend or your child has the power to motivate them even more, I suggest you begin to ‘be-friend’ yourself by expressing appreciation for what you’ve already created in your professional life that you’re happy with.
Reflect back on where you were 10 years ago and think about what’s opened up in your career since, or the different options now available to you. Consider the perks, benefits and/or freedoms that your work has afforded you already. When we express gratitude and appreciation for ourselves, that acts as fuel to propel us towards the goals we’ve set. It also makes the present experience of your work much richer and more enjoyable.
With the shift into the Year of the Goat, I should mention that this year is traditionally associated with abundance and the Chinese saying “Three goats bring fortune”. With that positive perspective in mind and some of my tools safely tucked away in your bag, I wish you all the best with creating the wealth, in all forms, that you deserve to have in your career and beyond this year!