How to deal with Big F*cking Feelings

Work is Sucking my Soul: How to Take Control of Your Life

February 27, 2023 Michelle Kevill Season 1 Episode 81
How to deal with Big F*cking Feelings
Work is Sucking my Soul: How to Take Control of Your Life
Show Notes Transcript

In today's episode I am going to be telling why the story of working is sucking your soul is not going to help you create a fulfilling career or life.

 In this episode we discuss how: 

  • Modern work culture and capitalism impact on your brain
  • Why your brain holds onto this story
  • How optimism is the hardest but best thing we can learn
  • How to create more calm in your life (without the fear things will go wrong)

Show notes and the transcript can be found here:

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Hello, everyone, I hope you're well. And if not, I got you, at least you are here. My name is Michelle Kevill. And I help high achieving corporate women feel passionate about their job again. And today's topic is one that was really hitting me



this morning and I feel hits everyone during the workweek sometime. And I was always I'm figuring out the title, but it's something along the lines of work a second my soul and capitalism is the machine.



I see it a lot on my Tiktok feed as well. And I really wanted to dive into this because it actually does feed into this narrative that we have that really, we don't have that much autonomy or control over our life. And that, in it of itself does keep us stuck. A lot of the stuff about what I teach is showing you really how your brain works and why it wants to keep you and it really likes that narrative because it keeps you safe. And why believing that we do have some level of authority and control in our life is really scary. And we have to unlearn a whole heap of thoughts and conditioning that we've had, since like we were kids. So like, really, what am I talking about? Like, I'm talking about when you've Harley just like Like, say you're on the train, you're going home, and it's been a really long work week. It's like a Thursday and you're just kind of like, ah, and maybe you're scrolling through Tik Tok, and you're seeing some stuff, whether it be like overseas in another country or wherever. And it's just talking about, like, you know, the cost of living, like working is, you know, sucking your soul, like, we're all cogs in the machine. And you start to just sit there and just become really almost apathetic and knollys Nikolaos, feeling that this morning, I'm like, Oh, my God,



like, I am a coach, but I'm also a human with a human brain.



And you were just sitting there, just like, What is the point? Not in like a, I want to offer myself way, but in the like, what is the point from just a very generic, kind of like looking outside everything? What is the point of anything? What is the point in life, like, what am I doing here? I'm doing all this stuff. I'm working hard. I'm trying to manage everything. I'm feeling overwhelmed. I'm up and down. I'm, you know, trying to balance it all out. And I have no idea what I'm doing. I have no idea what I want, what is my identity, like, you go off into this little spiel, it ends up making you feel really, really kind of, I don't think apathetic is the right word, but I'm going to use it in this case, like apathetic to kind of just met. And you feel like you're a passive observer of your own life, the challenges and when you talk about this, about this with other people, it's the same story. And we're all just getting sucked into our own stories. Like, yeah, it sucks, like, we have to work, we have to do this. And things are expensive, and life is hard, etc. I'm not dissing, that there is shit in life and inequality and bad things that happen. If you're likely coming on here and listening to this, there is a good reason that your brain is going towards a story and kind of pulling you towards it. And I'll get into all the technical detail into in a second as to why this happens. And at the end of the day, it just doesn't feel great. It kind of just sucks. And I looked back at how like two years ago how little control I thought I had in my life. And I thought to myself, What a fucking waste. Given that I am, I do have a level of privilege. I am born into a first world country being woe is me, it's not a bad thing. And if you are at a point where you're like, I want more than this, I want to be able to do the shit that I want in life and know that things will work out is going to be safe and okay. I genuinely thought like have any of that I lived in constant panic mode. And now that I've been able to kind of pull off that and come into a more calm state. I cannot get over how much like it's insane. My life now from two years ago is completely different. My state of being how I'm feeling the every day, maybe not this morning, but



I'm accepting that as a human experience. I cannot believe that I would have gone through my whole life being where I'm at in the world, and just would have been like this level of fear. And if you are that in that state that is totally fine. Some of this may sound a little bit challenging to you because I'm not kidding. If me now was talking to me than two years ago, I probably would have told her to fuck off. So get if this is where you're at right now but there's also a part of you that's like but surely there's a little bit more surely I have a little bit of control like I'd I'd love to strive in my career and not burn out but I just don't believe that it's possible. I'm not seeing it like the people above me are working 24 hours. Like that's the only way to make it. I want to turn off on the weekends and stop feeling so over



Well, I'm thinking about work, I want to have more time with my family and friends and actually be present, instead of thinking about all the shit that I have to do, I want to potentially start that new, like hobby or side hustle or whatever without, like, my brain and body telling me to not do it. You know, no one wants to listen to you, etc. And it is possible. And what a lot of my episodes do is touch on little parts, like little tiny thoughts or things you've learned over the years that stop you from doing this even as small as clocking off, instead of, you know, clocking off at 10 o'clock, you click off at 9:30pm. At work, which I have, I've worked with people, including myself, because I kept overworking and I thought that I had to do it. I believed and had all these thoughts, and had all this evidence that said, I have to work all the time. It was only when I took myself out of my comfort zone. I know it doesn't sound like comfort zone, because it's really painful. But it is a comfort zone, your brain will keep you in pain, like emotional pain. Because it has a system, it has a pattern, it knows it, this is the thing that we don't know. And this is why you are so drawn to these stories, or what's popping up on your feed around where cogs in the wheel. Like people have control over us, like work is terrible, etc. And here's the thing, here's one that's going to trip you up here, even if that was true.



Thinking about it that way, is going to always continuously keep you stuck. And if it was true, who would it benefit other than the people in power that wants you to think you don't have autonomy over your life, and to stay in fear and to stay in that dead end job or to stay like just angry etc? It would serve that. So regardless of the manner, it's always better to think that you do have some level of control and autonomy. To do that. What it's going to give you is a better sense of like calm and freedom and realization that no matter what you do in your life, you'll always have your own back and you can always end up okay. Now, when I say that some of you are like, Well, Michelle, if I lose my job, and I don't have enough money, then I like get kicked out of my house. I'm not saying things don't have risk as well. And abrir have a net. Here's the thing, like even advertising Gnosis, we have a negative bias, we will always think of the worst case scenario. And how many times does that happen? The absolute worst case, like, rarely ever does it happen. But you believe it to be so true that that's what stops you from thinking, Oh, maybe I could go for that promotion, oh, maybe I could clock off a little bit earlier. And what I started to see happen is you start to get a level of autonomy in your life and your brain will sometimes pull you back towards this story. And that's completely normal. Because it's craving that safety. Before it was safe. You were in your



nine to five that certain job you were doing it a certain way, whether it's on panic mode all the time, and you're working back and even though it was painful, it was comfortable. Your brain knew what was coming, it knew the highs and lows. Now what you're doing is you're changing that completely and the human brain doesn't fucking like change, it really doesn't, doesn't want to learn a new thing. Like I honestly think learning optimism is one of the hardest things we can do as human beings due to some of our genuine like biology and like wiring, again, I talk about all the time how we were you know, back in the day the person that thought that bear by the river seems really friendly, I'll go over there like that person's genes did not get passed on. It was the people afraid in case it got passed on. So we're fighting against that we're firing against like, genuine like wiring etc. On top of that you have a ton of social conditioning and messages that you get from society that you get from even the school system to a certain extent, like we had homework and I talk about this all the time how the schooling system kind of set people up to get from like a more you know farming lifestyle to like the manufacturing and stuff like that to a more routine kind of lightly lifestyle like you would given homework you were given like assignments like things you need to do similar to a working world and if you are a high achiever like me, you very likely excelled really well in school and you got you know, praise for that at your home environment very likely got praise for that deep down you'd likely to know this at the time but I can tell you right now subconsciously, you learnt that you will likely getting love and faith



draw from your family and parents or primary caregivers through achieving lots of things, then what happens? We're out of that little structured kind of zone. And we go into the working world.



And all of a sudden, you're overworking and you have no idea why but you just believe and you feel that you have to keep doing it. And you have all these reasons, and everyone around you is telling you, no, like, you can stop, you need to calm down.



And you just you can't you just you have to suppose that you have to do it. It's part of the job, I gotta get this all done. You're an absolute dick to yourself, really.



And it's from an that's the challenge. It's unlearning all of that. And here's the thing, when you unlearn all of that, your brain must pull back. Sometimes your brain is like, you know what, no, you don't have any control. You can't clock off exactly at five o'clock and still get all your work done. No, you can't switch off or slow down to actually go faster. It's not possible. Like no one, no one teaches that, by the way I talk about all the time, and like some previous episodes how, like, seriously, when I started to slow down in my career, like really pull the brakes, like, stopped all the action, and just really slow down. That's when all my growth happened. Because giving my brain time to learn things to absorb things. But it was a different way of working. And it really didn't like it because it didn't feel safe. It was like I could get in trouble. I may not be on top of things. So you had to do it slowly and incrementally. And you're just shifting the narrative that is your world and you're creating safety around it. The challenge is, your brain wants to go back. And I see things this is just my own personal experience, like the thing on tick tock about what's happening in the world, you know, inflation, the recession. And that just feeds into that old story you have that you don't have any autonomy or control.



And it can feel disheartening, it can be like, Oh, maybe I don't have a certain level of control. First of all, it's gonna be a bit of an oxymoron here. None of us really do have any control of what happens to us like they say like 10% is what happens to 90% of it is how you react to it really. And at the end of the day, that's what I think scares people the most how much we don't have control of but also how much autonomy we do have.



Like, you could just, you call yourself, just go out and make podcasts if you want it. You could start your own business, you could get that new job, you could go for that promotion, like you have a lot of choice you actually do. But you have a lot of thoughts holding you back. Because change is scary.



And what happens is your brain will look for any evidence as to why change shouldn't happen. So when I hear stuff about like I've heard people say, Oh, it's not the best time to change jobs because of like inflation, the recession, you do not know how many times I have heard that as a coach. And throughout my whole career.



When I was looking for a new job, the same thing was happening to me years ago, he was saying it was the worst, it was the worst time, it was the worst time that and yet, I still found a job.



And yet, still things worked out.



It can be challenging to have that level of optimism. In a world where we're getting all these messages. Does that mean it's fucking easy? No, it wasn't just like, hey, I just put out an application and everything all worked out. Like I still have to do a lot of stuff to go through it. But it was funny how when I look back through my life, I'm like everything has worked out or figured itself out to an extent I'll be doing another episode in this a bit deeper because it's something I'm hearing a lot when people want to change careers or do things that suit them or find something closer to home like the biggest thing I'm hearing is an inflation and a recession just look back throughout your whole career look at how many like it's kind of like the share market right? Like



actually just happened with me when my friend the other day one of my friends has called me freaking out because we both like you know double and shares and they were like oh my god, I've lost so much money and I said hold it Do not pull out it's fine. It's a dip it will get better it is okay now for all I know it may not be that might be the dip of the actual century like the absolute worst horrible thing like the whole share market breaks. I'm only going off that through some thoughts that I have and like data that I have with the data that empowers Medina I just powering I guess you could say those thoughts.



I could be completely wrong. I have absolutely no idea. But we operate so much based off a limited amount of information that we know at the time. And I just I keep seeing this all the time. But I look back and I remember saying this to my partner I'm like, but when I was looking for and I wanted to change you know shifting



My career, they said the same thing to me, everyone was like, You shouldn't do that. No, don't go down this career path, like don't leave, etc. And yet, I'm so glad I did. I ended up making like more money, I ended up getting into like, and ended up leading me down the path that I am now and absolutely, like, love where I'm at, in my job. Like, it's just so interesting.



And I'd heard say this, because I know some of you listening and just like, Michelle, shut up, because I don't doubt you have a lot of evidence in your mind as to like, why this isn't gonna work out and like, Well, yeah, but this can happen. And, you know, finding jobs are really hard, etc. Well, how did you find your current job? How did that happen? How to have all your jobs kind of happened. What I'm trying to say, is take a stocktake of the thoughts you're having around your life right now. Like, if you are absolutely genuinely want to make a shift in your career? How many thoughts do you have to not do that versus to do that? And is that why you are feeling stressed and apathetic and hating life, because part of you, is wanting to pull you in the direction you want to, but part of you still wants to keep you safe. And it will look seriously the negative part of your brain will always look for that type of evidence. And of course, the newspapers etc, are going to talk about this shit. It's this shit that keeps people clicking, and guessing and loving it. And it's like, oh, yeah, like more clicks, let's talk about this before it was COVID. The fact is, there is always going to be something the next, the next panic, there's always going to be the next panic that society or whatever is talking about, and then your brain is going to use it to keep you stuck. There it is. That's the summary and likely the title for the video. That's what it is, there's always going to be something that your brain is going to say as to why you can't do that shit that you want to do.



And is to do why you're like I said, it's all your wiring, like our brains, I'm telling you, optimism is hard. Optimism is going against some of the wiring and conditioning, it's conditioning from society, it's what you've learned as a kid. It's all of that. And then there's a part of you that wants the things they want. So once the change,



and of course, it wants you to it was safe, you're safe. Like, if you want to move forward from this, if you're like, right, Michelle, I don't want to be sitting here thinking, you know, I'm a cog in the machine, I want to believe that I do have a level of autonomy in my life. Where do I go from here, take a stocktake of what you're thinking about right now. And take a stocktake of the thoughts that you have around the control that you do have. And just start really slowly. If it's, you know, working back a little bit earlier, listen to my previous episodes, like they all touch on this to get you to do this, by the way, if you're not people pleasing, if you're not working back all the time, if you believe in your capability, it all adds up to a point where you're like, Fuck, I do have autonomy. I do know that I can, you know, figure shit out, I do know that I can go after that promotion, or like change a job, and I can stay safe authors figure it out. Like they all touch on those little bits and pieces start off slow and slowly chip away at that. Because honestly, it just keeps you in panic mode. Do you want to continue living in panic mode all the time? Or do you want to be able to say, life does, you know, this is my view, at least when it comes to life, life has no meaning. We create the meaning.



We create it with our brains. Were the ones that dictate what we are going to do or not. It doesn't mean it's not hard or not easy or you know, doesn't mean it doesn't come with its challenges is what I'm saying? People like oh, just waltz into a new job. It's like no, it's not like that. But you're not even thinking about that possibility. Or it could be really good. If you change careers, you're not thinking any of that. Or maybe you want to start their business or start their podcasting or even thinking that maybe this could really help someone that crossed my mind before I started this and started doing this. I had some brain drama. But then I just kept thinking, Well, if there was a me out there that was crying in the bathroom in between meetings, surely there are other people that I this can speak to them and reach out to and think Fuck, I did yummy messages which thank you by the way, I've received from lovely people being like, oh my god, like I feel seen. I feel heard. I feel like I have some tangible tools and tips to actually change my life around. That's fantastic. But again, when you have the messaging that there are 7 billion people in the planet, you think, oh, no, there's so many people are so many podcasts out there that can help other people or it doesn't matter. Like this, like we'll go into that very quickly. I noticed I was doing that and it's like but who



keeps the fuck like, Just do it.



Do what you want. I know I'm going great. This is a bit of a more existential episode this time around, like how we earn safety and who else how we control our lives, etc. But it is important because



I even noticed like this this morning, my brain was 100% doing this, it got triggered by like a little tick tock thing that popped up. And I was like, but do I want to be like this all the time? Like, look at how far I've come. Look at the life that I've created for myself. Through all the tiny, small changes. Do I really want to go back to that? Or am I afraid? And I realized I'm afraid I'm afraid right now there's lots of changes happening. Such changes happening on all sides, like work a business like it's in my brains, like I'd like to revert back please. It's like, Oh, okay. I just need to talk to that part of myself. I just need to let it know that it is safe and that it's okay. And listen to it. Like feel the feelings and accept that. from now till forever, my brain is gonna go back to that. And that's okay. Nothing is a thoroughly gone wrong. We're not supposed to feel good all the time. It's just accepting the good with the bad. And when you do that, you feel like you have the fucking cheat codes to life. I feel like I have a cheat code to life. I want to share it with you. Seriously, I do. I am so much less reactive. I am so much more calm and happy. It's insane. And all it did was by changing some thoughts and unlearning some bullshit and creating that safety for myself to be like, oh, yeah, I can really believe this, I can believe that. I'm good enough I can believe and I'm hot shit. And I've got talent and I've got on both sides and my corporate career what I'm doing here and I can share it with the world. That's, it's just a better way to live and being. So that's really it for today's episode. It's a bit of a bit of a different one. But just have a little think, you know, and also take stock of your social media as well. Like, there are articles that I've just decided I'm like, You know what, I don't want to subscribe to this anymore. I don't want to similar to I've done it with like I talked about it in like a body image episode I believe. Like instead of you know, like, Instagram will automatically target me with like, I get ads, Allah used to get ads, like plastic surgery, and, you know, liposuction and stuff like that. And it's like, I unsubscribed from this. i And now subscribing to loving my body. And the same thing here. I am subscribing to believing that I have control of my life, have autonomy, and that it is possible to me. Doesn't mean it won't be hard, doesn't mean it won't come without its challenges don't mean doesn't mean things are just be given to me. That's another thing I feel. Sometimes we think, Well, you know, it doesn't happen straightaway. It's not the ship is supposed to happen straightaway.



It can take time still. If you're not even believing or entertaining that possibility. You're just going to go straight back and be like, Oh, it didn't work. Like I pull away. It just didn't work instead of like trying and figuring things out. So yeah, that's today's episode. I will see you next week. Bye.