Work-life can be full of obstacles – annoying colleagues, poor wifi, demanding bosses, slow technology – but the worst obstacle of all can be yourself.
Many of the obstacles you’ll face at work can be fixed easily, but when the obstacle is yourself, more work is usually required.
It takes time to understand what problems you’re causing yourself and how you can overcome them and get out of your own way.
Thankfully, there are some things that you can do to help break the internal barriers that prevent you from being your best self in the workplace. Keep reading to learn the best ways you can get out of your own way at work.
We’ve all been there – there’s an important task that needs to be done but instead, we choose to rearrange our bookshelf in alphabetical order or watch TV promising ourselves we’ll do what needs to be done after the next episode. The fact is, successful people tend to procrastinate a lot less than others.
Procrastination is self-sabotage – especially if you’re handing work in late or adding extra stress as you’re not completing tasks. It can cause tasks to pile up leaving you feeling stressed and disappointed in yourself.
If you want to stop procrastinating, it’s important to learn your procrastination habits. Do certain tasks make you procrastinate? How do you procrastinate? What are you holding back from?
Answering these questions can be the key to successfully completing tasks on time. Instead of spending 3 hours changing fonts and text sizes, do some research and get things done.
You’re sure to feel so much better about yourself and your work if you prioritise tasks and get them done as soon as possible – you’re only harming yourself by procrastinating.
Cut The Negative Self Talk
One of the worst things you can do in your professional life is to have a negative inner dialogue – and actively listen to it.
Everybody has an inner voice, but not everybody realises that they have a choice whether to listen to it or not. If you’re constantly listening to your inner critic, then you’re sure to have difficulty listening effectively and communicating appropriately.
Although you might not be able to completely silence the chatter in between your ears, you can learn how to take its power away and not pay attention to it.
Mindfulness and meditation are great ways to subdue your inner critic. Focusing on your breathing instead of your negative self-talk can drown out the noise, as can actively decide to not give the thoughts any attention.
Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
It’s difficult to not compare yourself to others, especially in busy work environments. It can get you down when you see somebody excel in something that you struggle with, and can lower your work ethic instead of motivating you.
That’s why it’s important to remember that everybody is different, and everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses.
You may wish that you could type as fast as your colleague or be as tech-savvy as them, but your colleague may wish they were as charismatic as you or popular in the office.
If you feel disheartened that you can’t do something as well as your colleague, then it’s the perfect reminder to brush up on your skills and practice until you’re better.
Don’t let it get you down – it’s an opportunity to improve your skillset and become a better, more confident person.
If you’re stuck in a rut or just need a boost of motivation, one of the best things you can do is help others.
Helping others can give you a much-needed reminder of your strengths, reignite your passion for a subject or topic, and boost your well-being.
Being known in the workplace as somebody willing to help their colleagues can also boost your professional reputation, and lead to more windows of opportunity opening for you in the future.
If you notice somebody struggling, offer them some advice or guidance – it’s a sure way to ignite your motivation and make you feel better about yourself and your own abilities.
Don’t Be Afraid To Be Assertive
Believe it or not, it’s possible to be too nice. It’s easily done – nobody really wants to get on the wrong side of people at work, but sometimes you’re doing more harm than good trying to avoid confrontation.
Being overly nice and too accommodating can actually be damaging to your reputation – it can lead your colleagues to believe you put yourself last, and that they can take advantage of your kindness.
Being too nice can also take your power away, and result in people not respecting you. Observe the colleagues that you admire, and chances are, they have clear boundaries and aren’t afraid of saying ‘no’ or telling people off for stealing their tuna sandwich at lunch.
Balancing assertiveness and niceness can be a tough task, and one of the best ways you can do this is by observing other people’s behaviour.
Another way is making a note of when you feel like you’ve not handled a situation particularly well, and coming up with ways you would’ve handled the situation in a more assertive manner.
Be Proud of Yourself
Yes, identifying your weaknesses can help you grow as a person – but make sure you don’t spend too much time pondering over your shortcomings.
Focusing on your weaknesses can leave you feeling deflated and unmotivated, so it’s important to give yourself a pat on the back every so often. Make a note of your achievements and don’t be afraid to celebrate them.
Instead of posting to Facebook and getting gratification from likes or comments, tell yourself that you’re proud and reward yourself.
Many of us are guilty of wanting others to be proud of us, but most of the time we benefit more from being proud of ourselves.
Make a list of things you’re good at or things you’ve done this week that you’re proud of, and you’re sure to feel motivated and ready to face the working day.
If you need any help setting goals, check out our online course here.
Mark is a multi-award winner in business networking and relationship building. He is passionate about coaching and mentoring business owners and professionals through 1-1 & group coaching, team performance workshops and group mastermind sessions.