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“Am I dysfunctional?”

“Am I dysfunctional?”  How many of us have asked ourselves that question? How many of us should ask ourselves that question?  Instead, we choose to avoid that question at every turn. After all, isn’t it a heck of a lot easier to blame everybody else rather than look at ourselves? Now, I’m not saying that others aren’t to blame from time to time.  I’m sure they are. But if you continue to relive the same unpleasant patterns over and over again in your life (Ex: you consistently have co-worker issues regardless of the job, you’ve never gotten along with any of your bosses throughout your career, you’ve been fired more than a few times, you have a long history of failed personal relationships, etc…) and you are the only common denominator, it’s time to look in the mirror. There comes a time when the answer lies within.

This month we are tackling this career and life derailer: “Am I dysfunctional?” We’ll take on, amongst other things, the following questions:

• Are you dysfunctional? How can you tell?

• What are the most common dysfunctions we suffer from?

• What do those dysfunctions cost us at work… and at home?

• What can we do to recognize those patterns and stop them before it’s too late?

Every week, I’ll kick off our conversation by addressing one of these big questions. Throughout the week I’ll collect and share stories, examples and other opinions as we dig in. By the end of the month, if we haven’t cured this dysfunction, we’ll do a darn good job treating it!  Write to me with your stories, examples or opinions on the subject. I promise to protect the innocent (and guilty!).

So, are you dysfunctional? What’s that costing you and are you willing to pay that price? Your choices are clear: continue to blame others and stay in your own personal version of “Groundhog Day” (a great movie if you haven’t seen it) – reliving the same patterns over and over again, or make the decision to break those patterns and live differently. The choice is simple and yet one of the scariest one’s we’ll ever make. The life you’ve always wanted lives on the other side. Just ask Bill Murray…

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4 replies
  1. Brandon Smith says:

    Isabelle, thank you! Never hurts to ask ourselves “am I the problem?” Speaking for myself, it’s true more than I would like to admit!

  2. scott says:

    Been working for 13 years, have had 42 places of employment, currently unemployed – does any of this sound dysfunctional? Any advice would be helpful

  3. Brandon Smith says:

    Scott, hang in there and don’t freak out just yet. A few really important things to consider:
    1. To get good at something you have to spend enough time doing it to tell. With 42 places of employment so early in your career (yeah, I know you are probably exaggerating, but your point is a fair one), you might not have had enough time in one stint to figure it out. So, look back over all the things you’ve done and try to identify your favorites, or at least the elements of your jobs you liked the most. Start there.

    2. Just because you haven’t found it yet, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Building off of what I said in the first point, maybe you take what you have liked but you go in different direction. For example, if you’ve always been in retail and liked working with customers but hated the environment and hours, find a job in a different field serving customers. Tweak the job and culture to fit you better.

    3. Finding what you are good at is a life journey. Don’t stress out. Just explore and give yourself some patience. What helps many (including myself) is finding something you are curious about or passionate about and working toward that. 10 years later, you’ll find you are pretty good at it. Its not about finding the hidden treasure. Its more about building it over time.

    Good luck!

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