It’s a very rare thing to find someone who has never been dissatisfied with their job. There are, of course, a range of intensities when it comes to dissatisfaction.
On one end, you might have a bad encounter with someone at work and feel dissatisfied with the situation. On the other end, you may have the Sunday Night Blues – dreading the thought of going into the office because you are so dissatisfied with your job.
What I want to do today is give you some tips for how to effectively deal with dissatisfaction. No matter how intense your feelings of dissatisfaction are, having some tools you can use will help you get past it faster.
In High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way, the author Brenden Burchard, talks about how high performers are really good at recognizing their feelings. They manage their feelings rather than letting their feelings manage them.
Step 1: Recognize Dissatisfaction
Sometimes the most important step is to just recognize the fact that you are experiencing dissatisfaction in the first place. For some of us, recognizing the emotions we are feeling can be a challenge.
Dissatisfaction isn’t one of those emotions that is in-your-face.
If you are scared – you know it because our body has the fight or flight reaction that is designed to get our attention.
Being excited is also pretty in-your-face. It is hard to be excited about something without knowing it – that big grin on your face is clue #1.
Dissatisfaction isn’t so obvious. It has a tendency to creep up on you.
Its like the frog in the pot of water that is brought up to a boil. You don’t realize it is happening until the bubbles start.
So, the 1st thing you need to do is to learn to recognize what dissatisfaction is for you. What does it feel like? What are the things that trigger it? How do you respond to it?
Dissatisfaction is different for all of us. Something that makes me dissatisfied may not make you dissatisfied.
There isn’t one specific answer. You need to learn to recognize when it happens for you. What are the signs for you that you are becoming dissatisfied?
Step 2: Label It
There are a lot of studies that have shown that the best way to deal with emotions is to label them. If I’m feeling a negative emotion and it is making me uncomfortable, if I can label it as dissatisfaction then I’m making myself aware of exactly what the problem is.
Labeling feelings helps us accomplish several things. First, once you label it, you can decide how you want to deal with it.
Back to High Performance Habits, Buchard talks about being intentional. You are having this feeling – now set your intention for how you want to deal with it.
If the dissatisfaction is minor, for example, you don’t like the tone of the email you just got, you can set the intention that you will treat this as a misunderstanding. Tone doesn’t come through well in email, so rather than be dissatisfied, you can let it go.
If the dissatisfaction is not so minor, maybe your boss is treating you in a disrespectful manner, you can still determine your intention. You can set the intention of being resentful or confrontational or avoiding it all together.
High performers are intentional when dealing with emotions.
In order to go through the process of setting your intention, you must start by labeling the emotion.
Step 3: Take Action
Now that you can recognize and label dissatisfaction, you can start to address it. I like to think of dissatisfaction as a cycle. You are dissatisfied, you take action, you experience satisfaction, something changes, and you are back to dissatisfaction.
A job change is a perfect illustration of this cycle. Most people are very excited when they start a new job. If my LinkedIn feed is any indication, every single person is “excited to announce” that they’ve taken a new position. Only in the most extreme circumstances is someone disappointed to announce that they’ve taken a new position.
So, you are starting this new job and you are excited about it. Time passes, and the job progresses in whatever manner it progresses. At some point, you are going to become dissatisfied with it. There could be a million reasons why – some good, some bad – but regardless of why, something changes and dissatisfaction comes. Eventually, you take action – you make the decision to find a new job. The new job puts you back to a place of satisfaction and the cycle begins again.
Dissatisfaction is Normal and Temporary
One of the important things to remember is that this dissatisfaction cycle is natural. It happens to everybody. It isn’t a reflection on you personally. It is just a reflection of your current state.
It isn’t permanent. It Is the state before growth, so when you are feeling dissatisfied, you can remind yourself that something great is on the horizon. You only need to identify which action to take that will move you from dissatisfaction to satisfaction.
Find something that is causing you dissatisfaction and think about it in terms of a cycle. You are in the dissatisfaction stage of the cycle right now. What is the action you will take to move you to the satisfaction part of the cycle?
Episode 34: How to Get Unstuck
Check out my full book list
In this episode, you’ll learn:
Help us spread the word:
I teach people how to thrive at work. Let's connect on LinkedIn
Listen and subscribe wherever you enjoy your podcasts, including:
Please note: wherever I reference a book the link is an Amazon affiliate link. Your cost is the same, but a small portion of your purchase comes back to me to help offset the costs of the podcast. I've also got a list of all of the books I read that you can peruse.