Work Problems Can Be Serious Business

Do you like your work? Working is so much a part of who we are. Whether we ‘re paid or work as homemakers, when our work is fulfilling we’re happy, feel a sense of purpose and may even spread the joy around. But then there are the work conflicts and worries that occur and permeate our lives. They affect not only self-esteem and family life, but also the ability to think clearly and envision the future. It was Freud who defined mental health as the ability to love and work successfully. Both are the pillars of well-being and life purpose.

In conversations with clients about work issues, we often hear that the lack of effective power or issues of respect infect their thinking. In today’s economy many can’t afford to rock their financial boats. We all want to feel valued, empowered to do a good job and that our job is a good fit. Without these conditions stress, anxiety, depression, feelings of inadequacy, irritability, and anger are the result. Even those who say they leave their problems at work really don’t. Freud was right.

Of course, some of us are just too sensitive and create our own work problems. We misunderstand and misjudge people, blaming them when we’re unhappy. Some of our clients find their workplace problems may stem from past relationships or family patterns. It’s sad when we keep repeating our ”people problems” and they get in the way of success. Sometimes you have to look at the larger picture, not just the isolated work situation.

We help our clients hear themselves, to hear their own voice, and sort through their emotions and realities around specific workplace issues. So often troubles at work are locked into a silence that backs up inside and then infects others. Often counseling is the first time our client has heard him or herself speak about what is troubling. So much gets stuck in our heads or misdirected in anger towards others. Hearing ourselves and engaging in a real conversation about our problems is healing of the heart and allows our brain to do the job t was designed to do, to think through our problems.

I also like to feel fulfilled in my work counseling others. People wonder, ask how can I sit in my chair, hours on end, talking with people about their troubles? I’ve been doing this for 48 years now and I still like my job! I’ll give a fuller answer in my next Reflections blog. but I can say now that I came into this business to heal others and find ways through the emotional and relationship entanglements that keep people from their hopes. Helping clients hear themselves and change is what I think I was meant to do. I like my work. Do you?