Are you feeling frumpy? A guide to diagnosis and cure

Are you feeling frumpy? Image of Lucy Beddall with a mug of coffee.
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The dreaded comfort zone

Do you ever feel like you’re coasting along in your professional life? Stuck in a job-rut? I’m not talking about your choice of outfit (although that can be a symptom too). I’m referring to that sense of feeling frumpy.

How to diagnose frumpiness:

  • You can’t remember the last time you did something new at work
  • The thought of stepping out of your daily routine makes you weep
  • You’ve got that FOMO feeling watching people move on or up
  • There’s this nagging thought that you’ve missed your chance for something great
  • Networking scares the life out of you
  • Nerves and imposter syndrome are on a constant loop in your mind
  • You are holding back from wearing what you want, just to avoid standing out

The mental health factor:

It’s not just about feeling stuck. Being ‘frumpy’ can affect your mental health, leading to a lack of motivation and even feelings of sadness. It’s really good for our wellbeing to push past fears and be brave in our professional lives. Seeking change, and challenging ourselves can lead to improved mental health and a renewed sense of adventure and achievement.

Recovery from feeling frumpy:

I’ve had my frumpy stages, and weirdly enough, I only realise I’ve been in one when I’m already on my way out. So, how can you turn it around? It’s even harder after Covid. It turned our lives into a loop of sameness.

Post-Covid, I made a conscious decision to jump back into the scary pool. I started saying YES to things that made my stomach feel queasy.

Why don’t you try it?

  • Say yes to the conference that sounds amazing but means going alone
  • Say yes to the networking event where you won’t know a soul
  • Say yes to the career shift that’s been a ‘maybe’ for too long
  • Say yes to finally starting that business idea that’s been brewing in the back of your mind

Just do it:

Staying in the frumpy zone is the easy option. But nothing beats the thrill of metaphorically strutting into a room in a gold leopard print catsuit (because who wants to blend in?).

Be fearless. Say yes more. And in the wise words of my daughter: YOLO*.

And in the wise words of Dolly Parton: “If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.”

*You Only Live Once

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