By Mary Ann Faremouth,
Today, I was reflecting upon the Third Step of the Faremouth Method, Step Out of Your Comfort Zone. With all the changes going on in our lives and especially in the New Work World, I am reminded of the famous quote by Wayne Dyer, “If you change the way you look at things, things you look at change.” He was so right. When you change the way you see the world, when your intentions are positive and powerful, when you search for the good in a situation, then you can transform your life into the amazing journey and adventure it was designed to be. Even in a time in history when a pandemic is among us, we can change our mindset. For a split second, I thought to myself, can we really do this. Am I being delusional or in some type of imaginary “La-La-Land” that really doesn’t exist at the present time?
Being a very “pragmatic” individual, as someone recently described me, this process of Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone and changing my own mindset isn’t really an easy process. Could I be trying to make Fiction out of Reality? But then a big smile came to my face as I remembered my loving father’s wise counsel when he would insinuate the power of perception and imagination to create the reality you want. He would often say, “If you keep telling yourself you can’t achieve this or that, you won’t. If you put your mind to it, you can achieve whatever it is you want in life, Mary Ann.” I have never forgotten his wise words.
I think even Henry Ford said, “If you think you can or can’t, you are right.” The idea of becoming aware of the subjectivity of our perceptions is an admittedly abstract one, the likes of which are considered philosophy and science fiction. However, human perceptions and their ramifications are very real and potentially life changing. Research shows that people may hold an unconscious bias against creativity because it represents uncertainty unless they are able to perceive that uncertainty in a positive light.
“Consider the role perception plays in helping patients improve in ailments ranging from pain and depression to Parkinson’s disease through the phenomenon known as the placebo effect. Though the placebo effect remains largely shrouded in mystery, researchers attribute some aspects of the placebo response to active mechanisms in the brain that can influence bodily processes such as the immune response and release of hormones.” (Amanda Enayati)
We read so much these days about a “changing mindset” and I think it’s critical for our own sanity that we do change our way of thinking. We must change our perception because when we do the gates of our mind can open to innovation and transformation. Our minds are much more powerful than we think and we often don’t give them enough credit. We can create a positive environment by focusing upon positive thoughts and affirmations. We are what we think.
How might we harness the power of perception to live more deliberate lives and perhaps even recast the most challenging situations, like this pandemic, and the effects of it in the New Work World that we find ourselves living in?
A method we might consider during these changing cycles might consist of three words:
REVIEW, RECONSIDER, RESTART
REVIEW – Do a thorough review of where you have been in your career and what is reasonably available to you now. Believe in yourself and that you have what it takes to navigate rough waters. Research your current options and do what is necessary to establish a plan of action. If you need to take more online classes to become more familiar with the digital world, do it. If you need to take a bit of a pay cut for now to put food on the table, evaluate what there is in your current lifestyle you can do without. It must start with YOU and the mindset that you will survive these challenging times and be able to communicate your service orientation and strong contribution to a prospective employer.
RECONSIDER – Reconsider how you can refine your skill set to meet the demands of the New Work World. If there is more of a need for temporary or contract workers at this time, investigate the opportunities and if perhaps those jobs might eventually go permanent. Reconsider how you may have to take two part-time jobs to maintain your financial balance at this time and realize that this won’t last forever. Understand that you are not stagnant. You are not stuck with the amount of talent or competency you were born with. Realize you can choose to expand your skill set with deliberate action and determination to expand and grow. You are the only one navigating your boat to calmer waters ahead. You will get there with the right compass and strategic plan. First, you have to believe in yourself and your abilities that you can do it and change your mindset to be able to get to this new destination.
RESTART – Don’t look at this situation as an ending. Consider it as a new beginning to allow you to meet many interesting people along the way and contribute to your own personal growth and expanded awareness of your work world journey. Just because you have been, for example, a sales assistant in the oil and gas business, doesn’t mean those skills are not transferable into another industry that uses the same skill set mechanics of tracking, logistics, follow-up and back-up to the sales force. It might have to be done now in more of an online/digital way with less face-to-face interaction. The online jobs of the future will allow us to have more interface with people and cultures in different countries that might add value and enhance our understanding of the job and the world at large.
Stepping Out of Our Comfort Zone can be an opportunity for a new growth mindset and more meaning in our lives in ways we never thought possible. A friend of mine reminded me of the “Moss Rose.” In some cultures it is considered a weed because it can take over a garden. In other cultures it is highly desired for it’s beauty and fragrance. It really depends on the gardener’s perspective. Let your perspective have an expanded growth mindset and step out of your comfort zone into the New Work World that might offer benefits you could only have imagined.
Ruha Benjamin, Professor of Sociology at Boston University says, “What we are fighting for is our imagination, the right to imagine a life and relationships and a social world that are happier, less anxious, more harmonious and more just. We are not being diligent enough or deliberate enough about culminating our imagination. We have to fight for our ability to imagine the world we want.”
Covid-19 has already dramatically changed the way many jobs are done and employers are now planning how best to extract benefits from those changes as they prepare for business after the pandemic subsides. Greater digitization and automation, along with more demand for independent contractors, increases reliance on remote work, and has the potential to deliver better productivity, lower costs, and enhance resilience. Historically, innovation has driven changes beneficial to workers and humanity at large while new workplace trends hold the promise of greater productivity that will fuel broader well-being.
We have to put forth a conscious and deliberate effort to change how we think to create our own new reality. We must envision that new mindset in order to create it. It has been shown that when we mentally imagine what that New Work World might look like for us we are then able to see ourselves in a much better position where we can thrive economically and personally. This is where we can move our own personal mountains and envision what is on the other side of this pandemic for us to become more productive and deliberate individuals in the New Work World. We are not limited by the challenges when we seek ways to overcome those obstacles by changing our mindset.
Mary Ann Faremouth is the founder and CEO of Faremouth & Company and a highly regarded recruiter, career consultant, speaker and writer. She has been a placement specialist and a leader in the national recruiting community and has placed thousands of employees since 1982. She was the 2016 president of the Houston Independent Personnel Consultant Group and is a board member of the NASPD (National Association of Steel Pipe Distributors) and Authors Marketing Guild. She specializes in recruitment of professional, clerical, and temporary placements, with a variety of industry specific positions in various fields. Her expertise is in matching quality applicants with the right job, serving companies ranging from thriving independents to global conglomerates, tailoring each engagement to the client’s needs.
Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, DC, and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze, Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations in various other industries, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. She has a keen understanding of the marketplace and its specialized needs and requirements.
Mary Ann brings a wealth of expertise to clients looking for the right individual to maximize and empower their team. As a consultant she is available to assist both the applicant and the client to quickly adapt to the New Work World. She also offers virtual and in-person workshops to guide individuals through personalized self-discovery to find new career paths. She continues to build her affiliations with recognized leadership organizations to best serve her clients and applicants by creating a network of highly professional contacts throughout the world. She utilizes her platform as a writer and speaker through her articles and affiliations to reach those in need of help, offering hands-on guidance to navigate this uncharted territory. (More information on www.faremouth.com)
Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 of the Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction by Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books by Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019) by Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018) by Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, teaching them how to tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction as well as the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann also showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.