You’re passionate, driven and motivated, but truthfully—you’re overwhelmed. When it comes to your job, you’re all in, both heart and soul. But to be honest, there are things you’re doing (consciously or unconsciously!) that are adding unneeded stress to your already-full plate.
Whether overthinking, scaring yourself out of potential opportunities, or something even more counterproductive, here are seven ways you’re making work harder than it has to be. (And how to stop.)
1. You’re overthinking your decisions.
Everyone overthinks. While overthinking isn’t bad per se, if you’re overthinking every little decision or action, it’s holding you back. When it comes to your career, your gut instinct often knows best. You’ve had past experiences that have shaped you and the way you think. Truthfully, you do know what’s best—don’t doubt that.
Yes, you should be rational and smart when making decisions, but you don’t want to doubt yourself into stagnancy. Trust your instincts, trust your intuition, and trust yourself.
2. You’re not articulating your true feelings or opinions.
You’re making work harder than it has to be when you’re not being true to your feelings and opinions. Whether you have a perspective on a project, insight into a decision, or something to say about a new policy or procedure, it’s infinitely valuable (for all parties involved!) for you to speak your mind.
When you don’t say what you feel, you give others the opportunity to talk or make decisions for you. You also create an unnecessary sense of helplessness that shouldn’t be there. You are capable of advocating for yourself—don’t hold yourself back by not saying what you should.
3. You’re scaring yourself out of (often necessary) confrontation.
Confrontation, albeit uncomfortable at times, is an essential part of the workplace environment. You are bound to have disagreements with coworkers, issues with bosses, or moments where you simply need to articulate your perspectives.
Confrontation might not be comfortable, but you’re escalating conflict and making work harder than it has to be when you’re avoiding it altogether.
4. You’re spending more time worrying about your work-life balance than actually embracing it.
Work-life balance is all the rage right now. Everyone’s talking about it, everyone’s searching for it, and everyone’s getting themselves into a tizzy over it. Here’s the truth about finding balance: it’s not as hard as you think.
Simply give yourself time to refresh, to rest, to relax, and to be off your phone and work email when you can (ie. a night or weekends). When you’re overthinking this more than needed, you’re making a truly simple thing more complicated.
5. You’re not fully embracing the opportunities you have to inject your passions into your projects.
Work is work. Sometimes it will be fun, and unfortunately, sometimes it will be grueling and frustrating, too. Make sure you show up and work hard (of course), but also try to make the most of your time, too.
Maybe you don’t like your boss, your project, your event, etc. but take all moments (even the unfortunate) ones as opportunities. Make the best of each moment and try to inject things you love into the work that you do whenever possible. For example, if you enjoy art, see if you can do more design of your latest project or in the very least, get out your pen and doodle during your lunch break!
6. You’re letting failure dictate your future rather than actively overcoming it.
Everyone fails. But you’re making work harder than it has to be if you’re letting your failure define you rather than
rising above it. No one likes to make mistakes, but if you’re so focused on them that you can’t see your potential—you’re stifling your growth.
Choose to focus on the lessons learned and the changes you’ll take, not the mistakes.
Marisa Donnelly is a Midwest-born, West Coast-based writer, poet, essayist, editor, and founder of an independent writing coaching/editing services company, Be A Light LLC.
She is the author of the poetry collection, Somewhere On A Highway, and has published thousands of articles culminating over 21.2+ million page views for Huffington Post, Bustle, Thought Catalog, and Briar Cliff Review, among many others.