Why It's so Important to "Zoom Out" at Work
Last weekend I went hiking at Crowders Mountain, a local hiking spot here in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. I had never been to this trail before and was really excited; I had heard from so many people that the view at the top of the mountain was absolutely beautiful.
When we got there, we took a minute to survey all the many different trails. We chose the strenuous path because it was the easiest way to get to the top of the mountain. At first, the trail was absolutely beautiful. The soft wind and the smell of the trees on a wide, flat trail was exactly what I needed to unwind.
But then, we reached the foot of the mountain. As we hiked higher, it seemed like the trail would go on forever. Switchbacks and steep elevation made it more and more difficult to keep up. By the time we reached the top, I was out-of-breath and had blisters on my heels.
For a moment, all I could focus on was the pain and frustration. I found a rock to sit on — not even noticing the view at first. I took a moment to close my eyes and take a deep breath, resting for the first time in over an hour. But as soon as I saw the view, I forgot all of that and allowed myself to soak in the immense beauty.
Which got me thinking, how often do you get so stuck in the grind + hustle at work that you forget to pause and take in the view once you finally reach that goal you set for yourself?
It's no secret that the day-to-day professional experiences are much like taking a strenuous hike. You set a specific goal for yourself or your team and jump right in, not realizing what’s ahead of you. Then you begin to experience bumps, bruises, set-backs, and frustration.
If you're not careful, you can let those experiences shape the way you operate. You could begin to resent your coworkers, feel burnt out by your workload, or even start looking for a new job. Worst of all, you can tie your performance to your own self-worth!
If you've been noticing that the hustle isn't really all it's cracked up to be, you're not alone. Many of us have been working from home now for over a year and, let’s be honest, our workloads have only increased. What’s worse: there’s so much shame and blame in the workplace, with no one taking responsibility for their own actions. That project didn’t get done on time? It’s your fault. An email went out to 30k subscribers with a spelling error? Your fault, too.
You may feel like you’re alone on this miserable island. But that is simply not true.
When we take a moment to step back from what’s happening and really evaluate it — from a birds-eye view — we can begin to put it all into perspective. No, the frustration might not go away immediately, but you can begin to reframe the way you react to situations, especially stressful ones, in a way that keeps your mind and spirit healthy and intact.
So, here are a few words of wisdom for you today:
Reach out to your network when you need support. And if you don't have a network? Let me know and I'll introduce you to some pretty amazing ones I’ve gotten connected with over the last two years.
Don't push yourself to get everything done in an unrealistic fashion. Take a lunch break. Walk around the block. Stop working at 3pm if you feel frazzled from working too hard. Setting professional boundaries is SO important. You get to dictate how people work with you -- don’t ever forget it.
Invest in yourself. This can be personally or professionally. Every single time I intentionally invest in my business, I gain the clarity + momentum I need to take the next step. And every time I'm stubborn, I stay stuck.
Bottom line: Don't forget to take in the view.
This piece was written and contributed by:
Meaghan is a Marketing Coach, currently living in Charlotte, NC. With a background in teaching and over 5 years of experience in corporate marketing, she decided to use her skills to develop marketing materials and resources that new business owners could ACTUALLY use. Her attention to detail and crazy work ethic help her transform not only the success of a business, but the mindset of the person running that business. She’ll be your biggest cheerleader, your accountability coach, and your business strategist.