“How’s at work?” it is a question that is often asked to us by our loved ones and when we answer, we probably think about the difficulties we face or the discomfort/distress we feel towards our work.
If this is your case, don’t worry because you are not alone.
The work environment has changed a lot in recent years and has become a source of stress and anxiety. Lack of future objectives, frequent changes within the organisation with consequent change of bosses, external and internal competition, digitalisation that transforms working methods and requires the acquisition of new skills, managers who sometimes are incompetent but under pressure for corporate objectives, excessive workload and stress can cause toxic behaviours.
People look for motivation at work. Autonomy, mastery and purpose are part of it.
You know what I think about happiness at work, but we can try to develop these 5 skills to feel better at work and find our own motivation.
- Accept imperfection: your own, the one of others and the one of the environment. Perfectionism is an important source of our suffering. Being 100% consistent, rejecting your own failures, setting too ambitious goals, all this may lead to a situation of permanent dissatisfaction. A step towards serenity would be accepting the obstacles of everyday life, making choices and compromises, asking what would be the best future path rather than thinking about what could have been (post-occupations, or being worried about something that has already happened and that obviously we cannot change or influence).
- Stimulate your own initiative and your ability to act. At work we can decide to be pro-active or reactive. The reactive person is affected by what happens around her and lets herself be guided by the signals of the environment, both negative and positive. The pro-active person takes the initiative and chooses how to respond to the events. Faced with a difficulty, the reactive person will say “I can’t do anything about it” while the pro-active one will say “let’s see what options we have”. For the reactive person, “they” have the last word, while the pro-active one is the one who decides. Developing your own pro-activity means being inclined to action and putting your creativity, intelligence and energy at the service of what you can do here and now.
- Strengthen your self-esteem. We are the first responsible of ourselves and the first sponsors of our well-being. This may seem obvious, but it is essential to feel good about yourself, love yourself, listen to your needs (both body and spirit) and try to satisfy them. It is also important to respect yourself in spite of your own defects, fragilities and imperfections, to appreciate and recognise your own values and qualities, to celebrate successes and achievements. Furthermore, in difficult situations, it is essential to protect yourself, to know how to say no, and to communicate your limits, so not to put yourself in danger.
- Develop empathy and learn to communicate effectively with others. Most of our difficulties at work are related to others. Whether they are leaders, colleagues, customers or suppliers, the relationship with the others can be a source of frustration and sometimes of real suffering. In order for this relationship to become healthier, more effective and more serene, empathy may be developed. First of all, we have to respect others and avoid judging them. We do not know them, they may have the same or even more serious problems than us. Then try to get in touch with the person in front of you by understanding her experience, her feelings, her needs but at the same time trying to identify the points in common with her. Communicate sincerely also your emotions, and your needs while maintaining an open mind and attitude towards the person.
- Cultivate a learning attitude and practise the ability to learn. To face the unexpected and the difficulties that life presents us, it is essential to always learn. The attitude of the person who wants to learn consists in accepting that the learning path always goes through a phase of incompetence and confusion. Before mastering a subject or finding a solution to a problem, it is normal to feel lost in uncertainty and doubt. Therefore, we have learn to manage these moments as calmly as possible. Let us remember that we learn from our mistakes. A failure is not a decision or a judgment, but rather a result, an answer to an attempt we have made. From this unexpected result, we can learn lessons that will serve as a basis for making other attempts that will then lead to the solution of our problem. Let us also remember that we can learn from everyone else and that it is important to accept feedback to improve. Do not hesitate to question yourself, and try to find important or useful information from the exchange with others. The person prone to learning considers all experiences as an opportunity for personal growth, ultimately for their evolution.