My Secret Addiction
Typically when you think of something you are “addicted” to, certain things come to mind right? Maybe a glass of pinot noir. Maybe a hefty bag of crunchy Hot Cheetos. Maybe a cigarette or vaporizer. The American Psychiatric Association defines an addiction as: “Addiction is a complex condition, a brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequence. “ But, in my opinion, an addiction means more than compulsively using a substance. Here’s the thing — every addictive behavior is triggered by a thought.
It’s our addiction to our thoughts ABOUT the substance that creates the addictive behavior.
How do we know that? Imagine you know someone who you love who is addicted to smoking. This was my dad several years ago. He smoked every single day when I was young, and I would constantly smell that musty, cigarette smoke odor in the bathroom. But then, he went to the doctor.
He was told that if he continued smoking, he could potentially die. And guess what? He quit. And he’s quit for nearly TEN years now. Why? Because he changed his thinking about the smoking. He stopped thinking in a way that motivated him to smoke, and instead started thinking new thoughts that drove him to stop smoking.
Now, I want to go back to my super secret addiction (that I actually didn’t realize I had until yesterday)! What’s the secret? Here it is…. I was addicted to something so subtle that I never realized it was under my radar: Hating My Job.
Yes, I was addicted to Hating On Work (I should start up “Over-Haters Anonymous”)!
As most of you know, I’ve been a bedside nurse for 7 years and still am working full-time as a staff nurse. For MOST of my nursing career, I’ve been brewing up and snuggling with negative thoughts about work that I kinda sorta knew I had, but kinda sorta didn’t know I had.
My lack of awareness into this was astonishing!
Now that I look back on it, here were my typical thoughts about work before:
“Ugh, why do I have to come here?”
“I just want to relax! I wish I didn’t have to work today.”
“Why do I have the hard assignments all the time?”
“Why does nothing ever go right here?”
“I can’t take this. I just want to call in sick” — probably my #1 poisonous thought
The thing is, I never realized just how regularly I was thinking these thoughts. When I look back on this, I remember literally venting to my boyfriend after work for a solid hour and a half. I would drive home from work (on my 45-mile commute, meaning 1.5 hours in LA traffic!) and would literally rant to my boyfriend about work for the ENTIRE drive. Isn’t that crazy (and kinda sorta dramatic)?
It was in March 2018 when everything started to change.
In March 2018, I learned about The Life Coach School Podcast and learned about the absolute POWER of the mind. I learned about the importance of gaining awareness of your thinking (with compassion and curiosity), living a conscious & deliberate life, and the possibility of moving forward towards my dreams.
I used mind care tools and managed my thinking from March 2018 until now. Then I learned something that changed everything for me yesterday.
I discovered that I actually can love my job and have a fantastic relationship with my work.
My thinking about my work has shifted TREMENDOUSLY. Here’s how everything changed for me ever since I took the time to do my mind care:
I no longer rant after work (well, there are those particular days, but I would say this happens 10% of the time lol!)
I enjoy working with my patients and love getting to know them
I enjoy working with my co-workers and love getting to know them
I enjoy working with my unit directors & am constantly inspired by them
I work with insane productivity and am much more organized with my time
I enjoy the time off the unit I have to focus on leadership projects and performance improvement
I am no longer addicted to hateful thoughts about my work. That is literally THE BEST gift I could have ever wished, dreamed, or hoped for.
And this is something that is COMPLETELY accessible to you, too.
To discover if you are addicted to negative thinking about your work, thought awareness is the first step:
What are your top 3 feelings about work on a regular basis (for example, how do you normally feel on your work days)?
Why do you feel this way about your work? (Take the time to answer this question for ALL the feelings you listed in Question #1).
What would it look like for you if you were to continue thinking about work in this way for the rest of your nursing career?
Is thinking about work in this way useful?
If it is useful, why?
If it is not useful, how can you think about work in a way that might be more helpful to you and your nursing career?
Take the time to really ask yourself these questions and gain that awareness of what your relationship to your work is currently like. Remember — all these questions are an opportunity to learn about yourself, not an opportunity to self-criticize, blame, or guilt-trip yourself!
Taking a few minutes just to gain that awareness can literally save you YEARS of working in misery. And, as we know, misery is always optional!
Psssst! Hey! Are you a nurse who struggles with asking for help and have tried ALL the weight loss programs and workouts, but nothing seems to stick? If so, I am looking for you! I want to work with busy, working nurses who desperately want to lose weight, but are also willing to learn how to manage their minds so they can keep the weight off for good! Sound like you? If so, let’s chat together! I’d love to meet you & offer you at least one mind care hack that can get you results right away! Click here to book a call with me so we can come up with the best weight loss strategy for you as soon as possible.