Mental Health – Taking Control of Your Narrative

Mental health is a huge topic these days, and you’re probably hearing about ways to work on your mental health from every direction. There is so much information out there right now, which is wonderful, but it can also be very overwhelming. That’s why we are focusing on one way to work on your mental health today — learning to control and manage your expectations.

Where Do We Find Fulfillment?

During a discussion with a recent college graduate, she expressed her need for her future job to give her fulfillment. This seems to be a very common expectation among people these days. We are constantly looking for outside factors to fill that desire we have deep down inside — whatever that desire may be. While it seems like something we apply to just the younger generation, it happens with people of all ages.

Whether you’re in a corporate role, working part time, a stay at home mom, or anything else, you’ve likely found yourself feeling like you don’t get enough recognition or fulfillment sometimes. When people look for that reaffirmation from their jobs or roles, they likely come up feeling like it isn’t enough. That’s because we are expecting others to fill our cup.

Take Control of Your Narrative

Instead of waiting for someone or something else to define us, we need to take control of the narrative. If we don’t find fulfillment in a job, that doesn’t mean it’s time to look for something new that *will* fill that role. It may be time to change jobs for other reasons, but often, you’ll find yourself in a similar situation if the job is the only way you validate yourself.

When we talk about changing the narrative, we mean changing your perspective and approaching your thought process and actions from a completely different angle. Instead of saying to yourself, “I’ll be happy when…” try “I’m happy that I get to…” This can be applied to everything. If you’re at work, you can say, “I’m happy I get to provide for myself and my family.” If you’re a mom dealing with cleaning up after kiddos all day, you can say, “I’m lucky to have people who lean on me for help.” It’s a small change, but it can make a huge difference.

Who are YOU?

In Scandinavia, when people meet new people, they often begin the conversation with, “What do you like to do?” instead of, “What do you do?” When someone asks who you are versus what you do, it is such a deeper question. If someone today asked you what you like to do, how would you answer it? Maybe, we spend too much time defining ourselves by our job or title instead of what makes us unique and fulfilled. That’s why we don’t feel fulfilled by our roles — because we look for validation or worth in the wrong places.

You’re in Control

Despite living in a society that tries to define happiness and worth status or resume, you are ultimately the one in control of how you choose to be fulfilled. When you approach a problem today, try seeing it from a glass half full instead of glass half empty perspective. Think about what you get to do instead of what you have to do. By making a small switch in how you see things, you may realize that you have a lot more fulfillment than you ever realized.

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