I have a tremendous desire to do something!
Internationally certified team coach Angela van Dorssen talks about her daily practice. She has been a Certified Neurotransformational Coach since March 2020.
Their flame is fading
I’ve been working with young professionals for years. They are ambitious, eager to learn, full of ideas and bubbling with energy. At least, they were before COVID-19. These past few months, it has become increasingly apparent that the tedium and routine in their lives and work are increasingly having a psychological effect on them. I am told of feelings of despondency, frustration and a lack of motivation. As if their inner flame is slowly fading.
“My life is boring, every day is the same. Now that I have had a small taste again, I just don’t want to go back. I have a tremendous desire to do something!” With your approval, I may use this quote to give a voice to young professionals.
Our minds need stimulation
Why is this logical from the mind’s perspective? Stress is actually a neutral word, although we tend to associate it with a feeling of being over-stressed. Excessive stress can be identified, for example, by an increased heart rate, restlessness, teeth grinding, sweating, an inability to sit still, etc.
Too little stress is equally bad for us psychologically. This is something that is still little discussed, certainly not in a business context. Our body reacts very differently under too little stress: lethargy, no energy and feelings of hopelessness or even despondency. A coachee described it this week as “a plant that has not been watered for a long time”.
Our brain needs substances like adrenaline and dopamine to stimulate ourselves. The right balance makes us feel psychologically fit. The remarkable thing is that our brain sends the SAME signals when there is too much, or too little, stimulation. Some examples: a fuzzy head/no focus, lack of empathy (for yourself and others) and an inability to control your impulses.
And therein lies the risk for young professionals who want to have a good time and feel they can’t/won’t. They are in the prime of their lives and careers, and require a mental challenge. Managers are mainly trained to detect signs of burn-out, and miss the signs of ‘too little stress’. Young professionals say things like: “I have too little to do”, “I do not feel challenged”, “I am unable to motivate myself”. It is time for action!
5 tips for more stimulation:
1. Do something! Activate yourself with something small. No matter what, even if it is shopping.
2. Regularly change your environment. Go to a place that inspires you, or work with someone else for a day.
3. Come up with an ambitious project that matches your interests.
4. Learn something new: e.g. new studies, musical instrument, or ask for a project outside your daily activities.
5. Surround yourself with people you feel comfortable with. You will be stimulated by each other’s energy. Win-win.