Boss driving you crazy with micro-managing, irrational, controlling behavior, or not giving you the support and direction you need? Co-worker stealing your ideas and taking credit for work that you did? Mind-numbing, repetitive work or projects making you feel like quitting your job, right now? Or do you feel intimidated and under-qualified for the job…not talented enough, not smart enough, and generally overwhelmed?
You’re in good company. These stress and anxiety-provoking thoughts and feelings induce a kind of tunnel vision. We hyper-focus on what’s not working, and often our conversations and thoughts keep coming around to the same points of dissatisfaction, and how we’re wanting to get rid of the problem.
Here are a few actions that have worked for my clients and have created some mental space, to alleviate some of the anxiety:
1. Take some time right now, and consider what your boss – or other annoying co-worker – is dealing with in their work or lives that prompts them to behave as they do. Who’s breathing down their neck? What life crisis are they possibly dealing with? What personality issue are they over compensating for? As you consider these questions you might still be angry, but see if you can shift your view to see that this behavior is not always about you, and remember that we, too, are someone else’s difficult person. Perhaps there’s a conversation to be had with this other ‘human’, who’s more than just a label. Sometimes, just imaging what they looked like when they were 10 or 14 years old can help you make this shift.
Imagine yourself where you hope to be in 10 years.
2. Consider how this job is moving you forward on your path. What are you learning in this position that will serve you at a later point in your career? Creating reports or uploading images may not figure in your life dream, but having the discipline and grit to stick with the job right now, will undoubtedly be part of the story of how you got where you’re going, down the road.
3. Feeling inadequate is often a part of the growth curve; part of how we develop in our competencies. If we’re always feeling on top of our game we can’t be stretching ourselves. Yes, some of us suffer from too much ‘less than’ thinking. This is where we may need to do a reality check; ask others more questions about how they got to where they are. Find out what it’s taken others to achieve. And force yourself to recognize that it often just looks like everyone else always knows what they’re doing. Often, people are making things up and hoping for the best. They are trying things and then adjusting. Making mistakes is often how we learn our best lessons. If you find you really don’t like what you’re learning, then you’ll know it’s time to make a career shift.
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