In working with clients, I get to observe some of the biggest beliefs that get in the way of positive, effective and joyful leadership. One of these beliefs is "If I work harder, I'll have more success, and I'll be happier." "If I just push through this...." Not so true.
People sometimes think it woo woo when I talk about "leading one's energy intentionally and holding their space" - but this is actually one of the places this comes into play. It's all about the energy of the work; the lens you see it through, and the energy you bring to the table.
Try it on. Try on "working hard" - feel into it. Feel your body, what happens with your brain, feel any emotion that comes up for you. Now try on "present, open and curious"- feel into that. What's different?
"Working harder" has a "force" to it, it's pushing, it has a scarcity energy to it, it's "tight", it's uphill, it's exhausting. It does not inspire, it does not compel. It grinds.
"Being present in the moment, open, curious, leading my energy, managing my space, and being fully engaged in the work, finding the gifts in it - even enjoying it" (or whatever works for you :-)), has a different impact. All the sudden the space has opened up. Instead of force, I've stepped back, I've caught my breath, I've looked at how it can be more fun, more energizing, more organic.
Regardless of how "hard" something is, if I can, in the moment, start to find the opportunity in it and a bit more space, I've changed the energy I'm bringing to the table. My resource state, my ability to engage with the work, shifts. The exact same work - that was once hard and I was going to trudge through it, remains the same work, yet now I have more space to look at it, to work with it, to collaborate and leverage myself, to see new perspectives, and to even enjoy it.
I've been playing with this with clients for years, imagine my delight when a client sent me this link today discussing positivity in work and that working harder is not the answer. It's a 12 minute video from a TED talk by Shawn Achor. You'll find some great statistics in here (love the way he does stats), and some easy ways to start increasing that positivity...that, oh by the way, will make you work better while you feel happy doing it.