Does going to work sometimes (or often) feel like you’re headed into battle? Do you feel like you have to fight “the powers that be” every day just to be able to do your job properly? Do you feel a great deal of resistance from others? Does there seem to be a lot of unnecessary drama or angst in your workplace? Do you ever wish that work – and/or the people you work with – weren’t such a struggle?
I can relate to all of the above. At different times in my multi-career life, I have experienced all of those scenarios – and more. Those situations and environments are terribly draining – and usually unnecessary. But if you don’t know what to do to break out of them, they can bring you down physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. The good news is that there are practical ways to minimize those feelings of struggle in the workplace – and in life.
Recently I read an article about personal relationships that described how one couple refuses to experience the day-to-day differences and disappointments that are part of married life as struggles. Instead, they have chosen to work through the rocky times with humor or laughter instead of with resentment or negativity.
Since reducing one’s struggles in life sounded good to me, I wondered how to apply that suggestion to the workplace. Although humor and laughter certainly may reduce tension and provide some relief from one’s feelings of struggle, they may not work for everyone, or be appropriate in every situation. So here are a dozen other suggestions for actions or attitudes you can take or adopt that will help to reduce your struggles in the workplace:
1. Presume others’ good intent, even when history shows it’s not always justified
2. Approach people and ideas with a sense of curiosity instead of judgment
3. Embrace challenges as opportunities rather than view them as obstacles
4. Ask how things could work instead of looking for ways they won’t work
5. Make “imperfect success” your standard, rather than perfection
6. Check your ego at the door
7. See the “glass” as half full instead of as half empty
Which of the above approaches resonates the most with you? I challenge you to find just one that you think with work for you, and give it a try. You might just improve the quality of your life dramatically by reducing your struggles!
© 2011 Pat Lynch. All rights reserved.