Episode 280 Overcoming Boredom: Embracing Challenge and Renewal for Success

overcoming-boredom-embracing challenge

Discover how to overcome that feeling of being bored and disengaged at work and find new challenges on this episode of Reimagining Success with Anna Lundberg.

In today’s episode, we delve into the topic of overcoming boredom. In a surprising twist, Anna explores the concept of boredom as a close cousin to burnout, highlighting the fine line between comfort and complacency in the workplace. Drawing from personal experiences and professional insights, Anna offers practical strategies for reigniting passion and motivation, urging listeners to seek out new challenges and take meaningful actions to revitalize their engagement and energy. Join us as we uncover the power of shaking up routines, embracing new experiences, and rediscovering a sense of purpose in your professional journey.

00:00 Immersion in personal development led to entrepreneurship.

05:35 Embrace new challenges to shift your perspective.

08:03 Take action first to get motivated.

10:31 Seeking future breakthroughs.

*Resources mentioned during the episode*

1:1 Coaching & Mentoring – If you’re looking for one-to-one support to help you achieve your specific life and business goals, Anna has a limited number of spots for individual coaching and mentoring. onestepoutside.com/coaching

Bored at work

So last week we talked about burnout, and this week’s topic is strangely, ironically, very close to that. And it’s about being bored. And it might seem the furthest you could possibly get from being burned out. But I really think there’s a fine line between the lack of energy and sense of feeling drained that comes with being completely disengaged and not seeing the point of anything that you’re doing at work. We’re talking specifically and being burned out. So burned out doesn’t have to be being busy, busy, busy all the time. We’ll talk about that next week. But there is this very uncomfortable place when we’re just completely, and I talked about this a while back on the podcast, the difference between comfort and complacency.

So comfort is not necessarily a bad thing. If I’m choosing to be comfortable, I’m coasting a little bit at work, and that’s allowing me to be more present with my kids at home. Run a half? No, not a half. An ultramarathon. Maybe even let’s go all the way in my spare time, then that’s fine. And I’ve achieved lots of things, and right now it’s the season to kind of pause a little bit at work and then I’ll go again in a few months or years time. That’s fine if it’s an intentional choice. If, however, that boredom is coming from a place of complacency, maybe you’re expecting the next challenge to come from someone else.

So you’re expecting your boss to give you that next thing to work on a new, exciting project or give you that new assignment in some exciting place. Tell you what the next stage of your development is. If you can’t be bothered and you just aren’t doing anything yourself, then that’s when you need to ask yourself, okay, is this where I want to stay? And if not, how can I do something different? So, of course, it starts with awareness that you are in this moment of boredom and disengagement. Is it just a moment? It’s just this week. There’s not much to do. Or is it a more significant sort of lasting phase? What’s causing it again? Are you in that comfort zone and you’re choosing to be there, which is lovely, enjoy. Don’t need to listen to the rest of the episode? Or are you feeling complacent and you’re recognising? Oh, actually, I have a part to play here. I’m not feeling that challenge, that growth, that goal to work towards.

Maybe expecting a little bit to come from other people. I’m not motivated. I’m not engaging with sort of a bigger purpose or a vision in the business. I’ve got no exciting goals to be working towards now. Does that matter? Again, arguably not. If you’re happy to coast. If you’re just enjoying it, there’s no sense in setting goals for the sake of it. Right? I’ve had seasons too.

When I first left my corporate marketing job in 2013, did a lot of sort of immersive personal development. In fact, after doing consulting for a few years and discovering coaching, a lot of my early coaching and certainly my blog posts and newsletters were about just goals, goals, goals. And I wrote a bucket list of 100 things to do before you die. And these were all incredible experiences to have and really useful tools for me to get out of the funk of not doing anything particularly exciting. That’s a bit of a harsh judgement on my life at the time because I was doing pretty nice things, but there was something sort of that wasn’t quite as thrilling. And the bucket list and the goal setting and so on was a really important mechanism for me to shake myself out of that comfortable existence and go on a different path, which has ultimately taken me here. But when you’re starting a business, everything is new, everything’s exciting. Learning, I mean, it’s also frustrating and difficult, right? But I was learning about how to blog and how to run a business and how to start a business, how to manage a website, how do I do a newsletter, Facebook, whatever it was, all the marketing, the sales, going to events and conferences, it was all really exciting.

But actually, after a while that becomes part of your comfort zone. And of course, consistency and showing up regularly is a really important thing in business. And so that can be a great way and a necessary way to keep the business going, but not the best way to retain your excitement. Funny enough, I had a friend message me the other day. She’d gone to an event that was run by an organisation that ran an event that the two of us went to many years ago. And even at that time, I was so far into my journey that I was a bit like, meh, yeah, life changing, blah, blah, I know all this stuff. Whereas for her it was completely eye opening and exciting and it was just interesting to see someone who she was in the corporate world at the time hadn’t really gone to this kind of events. For her, these insights could really prompt a huge transformation.

For me, it was just one of many events I was going to. So again, getting a little bit complacent, not really challenging myself and just kind of delivering on my goals. So if it’s becoming a little bit easy and complacent, how can you mix things up a bit? And for me, I’m in the fortunate position that I can evolve my business model as I want. I’ve started going more to in person events, I’m growing my corporate side of my business, I’m doing all sorts of writing my next book. There are some, dare I say, easy ways. They’re not easy, but sort of, at least the idea can be easy to have ways of instilling reigniting passion and motivation for the work that I’m doing. So, look, the first thing you need to do is to resolve to change things up, to make a change right? Again, if you’re happy, if you’re comfortable there or a bit lazy, that’s okay, perfectly fine. I give you permission to enjoy that lazy day feeling and just kind of coast for a bit.

However, if you maybe are a little bit concerned about your role in the organisation, in the current economic climate, and you want to make sure that you’re really creating value for your boss, for the organisation, if you want to be growing your business, if you want to be excited and thriving again, then again, you probably need to decide to make a change and recognise that your dream role, project, job, business, whatever, isn’t going to just land on your plate without any action whatsoever from you. So start with sort of assessing where you are today, what’s working and what’s not. But the key thing to do, and it’s an easy one for this stage, I’d say, is to find a new challenge, any challenge, take any action. Honestly, at this stage, we’re not talking deep, meaningful meaning of life stuff just to get yourself out of that funk. You want to sign up to a course, go on a weekend retreat, find an adventure to do a new project at work, a new team, volunteering, whatever it is, just do something. Take an action that is different to what you’ve been doing. That will position you in a place where you’ll learn something new, you’ll meet new people, change your routine, shift things a little bit, anything, learn, meet, do. And again, it’s not going to be the most aligned, it doesn’t have to be the most aligned and personally meaningful thing to you, but it should be something that nudges you out of that funk.

Again is the word that. I’m sticking with your funk. And look, I always say, and I’m sure I’ve done a podcast episode on this too scary and exciting come together. But fulfilment comes from working through that fear, overcoming the difficulties and inevitable challenges to achieve what you perhaps initially didn’t think was possible or hadn’t even considered even. We all know that lovely feeling of ticking something off, right? That feels great. Maybe that’s the joy of the bucket list, really. You set the goal, you tick it off, you get that boost and having that boost of learning something new, meeting someone, having an interesting conversation, learning something again, doing something, achieving something, is going to give you a boost that will energise you, re energise you to then look further to the next challenge. And that’s when we can begin to get more interesting around the kind of challenges you’re choosing.

But at this stage we’re talking about, you’re sitting there on the sofa, you’re disengaged, sort of metaphorically and perhaps also physically. And the question is, how can we get you off that sofa, get you excited again, and sort of open to the possibility of doing something interesting in the future? And what is interesting about motivation is we think that we can or should sit around waiting for it. Oh, if only I just watched another episode on Netflix, then I’ll have this urge to go for a run or go to the gym, or I will suddenly want to sign in and learn this new thing, or I’m going to have a whirl of energy and tidy the whole house and it doesn’t happen. I’m here to tell you, because you kind of have to take action in order to feel motivated. So motivation doesn’t come from sitting on the sofa. Action doesn’t come after motivation, but rather before. So we kind of need to force ourselves, trick ourselves into doing something. And that’s where these kind of put your shoes by the door so that it’s easy to go for a run in the morning.

Kind of hacks come into play or get up and just do five minutes of hoovering or decluttering. And by the time you start that, you’re off your bum. And actually it’s quite enjoyable and it feels amazing to declutter and you’ll do a bit more. Or if you’re going to go for a walk, five minutes while you’re out, you’re like, oh, sunshine, birds twittering away. It’s beautiful and lovely and I feel great. You’ll walk for longer, go for a longer run, you’ll work at the gym for longer, whatever it is, right. If you go to one meeting, that’s, dare I say, meeting, but like an interesting one. Not just a day to day project management meeting, but you go to some new event or conference or retreat or whatever, that’s then what’s going to give you the space and time to reflect and so on, but ultimately just get you doing something, get that blood running through your veins, pulsing through, get you excited again.

So if you recognise yourself in this description in particular, feeling a little bit complacent, there’s no judgement. Again, you can choose to stay where you are. In my experience, there’s almost nothing worse than being in one place and wishing you were somewhere else. So if that is you, then I’d really urge you again to take action. In this stage, almost any action will do. Just find a new challenge, learn something new, meet some new people, do something different, and that. Who knows what that will lead to afterwards. So if this is you, if you’re feeling bored, then have a go at doing something different.

And who knows what breakthrough that will lead to? Best of luck with finding our next challenge. Bye for now.

WORK WITH ANNA

Let us help you design a business and a life that gives you freedom from the 9 to 5. There are several options for how you can work with us. Choose the programme that’s right for you.

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1:1 Coaching & Mentoring

If you’re looking for one-to-one support to help you achieve your specific life and business goals, Anna has a limited number of spots for individual coaching and mentoring. onestepoutside.com/coaching

1:1 Coaching & Mentoring

If you’re looking for one-to-one support to help you achieve your specific life and business goals, Anna has a limited number of spots for individual coaching and mentoring.

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