Feeling like you can’t be yourself at work? Or, that you aren’t doing enough to stand out?
These are only a few of the concerns that employees are faced with when going to work. Unfortunately, workplace worries are common in the professional world, especially when it comes to performance and other people’s perceptions. We spend most of our time working, so we should feel comfortable when we pop into the office or when we log into a Teams call. Nevertheless, these intrusive thoughts have the power to knock our confidence and can make us feel like we aren’t good enough.
So, what are the common worries we experience in the workplace and how can we stop these negative thoughts from impacting our time at work?
Coming Across as Unprofessional
When working in a professional environment we are much more aware of how we speak, act, and hold ourselves than when we are at home. Even though it’s normal to have friendly relationships with our colleagues and even our managers, it can be difficult to know where the line is between professional and unprofessional behaviour. As a result, we might find ourselves over-analysing everything we say, holding back in conversations, and dulling down our personalities to stay within the safe zones. This can be mentally exhausting, especially if we are doing it five days a week.
Whilst it can be hard to let go, we need to keep in mind that workplaces are a lot more relaxed than they used to be and there is nothing wrong with being ourselves at work. However, make sure to steer clear of any inappropriate or offensive behaviour, as this is unprofessional and can be enough to put your job at risk.
No one wants to be an underachiever, especially in a role they are passionate about.
The fear of not being “good” enough can cause us to unhealthily fixate on our workload and draw comparisons between ourselves and those who work around us. As a result, we might find ourselves trying to complete work quicker and making more mistakes, or missing deadlines because we are over-perfecting our tasks.
To stop ourselves from falling down this rabbit hole, we need to remind ourselves that balancing responsibilities can sometimes be difficult and that it’s normal to struggle with them from time to time. When this does happen, the best thing to do is to ask for help. Asking for guidance doesn’t cast a negative light on our work ethic or who we are as professionals. Instead, it shows others that we are trying our best and want to keep improving.
Everyone makes mistakes and yet it can sometimes feel like the end of the world when it happens. As professionals, we want to be perceived as reliable, responsible, and experts within our roles. Inevitably, when we do make mistakes, it can be embarrassing because it looks like we can’t do our jobs properly. In addition, there is also the fear that we will get into trouble and have our responsibilities taken away from us.
Nevertheless, we are only human, and we aren’t all perfect. We will miss that decimal point in the data report, or we will accidentally send an email to the wrong person. It happens. The best thing to do is move on and use our mistakes as a learning curve, even if it happens again and again. In the long run, we will become stronger because every time it happens, we are slowly developing problem-solving skills and learning how to bounce back.
It’s natural to want to be liked at work. If we have positive relationships with our colleagues and managers, then this can make our days a whole lot more enjoyable. Nevertheless, if we feel as though someone doesn’t like us or if there is some tension at work, then this can make going to work uncomfortable. If this does happen, the best thing we can do is remain polite and friendly. In most cases, we can misread the situation or over-analyse the way someone treats us. We mustn’t forget that our colleagues have bad days from time to time and this can sometimes be reflected in the energy they bring to work.