“There's a lot of optimism in changing scenery, in seeing what's down the road.”
- Conner Oberst
Working life is pretty juicy for you as an Idealist; looking towards the future, seeing possibilities, generating ideas that innovate and excite those around you. Your energetic optimism can change the world! You are most engaged in your work while it needs ideas and creativity, connecting “dots”, sometimes putting in long hours (“Oops, what time is it?”), tirelessly taking big ideas to fruition through planning. However, moving from planning and execution to maintaining can be TEDIOUS!
Compromise comes in the form of marginalization when others don’t get excited about your big ideas or there is no scope to be original and think “out of the box”. This causes emotions you’d rather avoid (“Nobody puts Baby in the corner!”) While you have important things to complete, time is lost in a bubble of creativity and overly-rosy optimism (no corners in bubbles!); less enticing work is seen as optional, deadlines may be missed or quality slips. “Sidelined” through obligation you feel left out of other exciting projects (a bad case of FOMO – fear of missing out).
When marginalization comes home it fuels an even greater resistance to limits. If irritating realities become too much then impulsive frivolity results, escaping from unwanted feelings and daily constraints through avoidance and indulgence: “Life is short, eat dessert first!”.
Free Your Potential...
Nothing gets you down for long, you figured out a way to avoid those troublesome “bad” feelings (forgotten deadlines, mistakes, you don’t let them “infect” the way you want to feel). People may be “wowed” by your creativity, but that is not what they remember when you skimp on completing all aspects of your work. No matter how well you evade experiencing your feelings, they still suck the life out of you, leaving you emotionally drained at the end of the working day.
This refusal to be realistic about your approach to work holds back your immense potential. Be accountable for the full spectrum of your role (the parts you find exciting and the parts you don’t); leverage peers to better understand where applying more focus and self-awareness would strengthen your results. When emotions get overwhelming off to the future you go, looking for the next big idea or shiny new project (it’s a great place to hide; being void of all reality because it hasn’t happened yet) – stop hiding. Still with me? Uh huh, I know you were tempted to stop reading.
See what is there for you when you embrace the present moment (emotions, facts and all); staying present offers rich opportunities to use your gifts. Resting in the here and now and learning to lean on others allows you to see new perspectives so you can implement all your big ideas without compromising your enthusiasm. Feel into those pesky emotions and they’ll stop controlling your working life.