How to Respond When You Feel Like You’re Failing at Work
As many of you know, I’ve recently made some big changes to my career. Exciting? Very, but that doesn’t mean every day is perfect. No matter what your job is, everyone is bound to have off days. Well, I had my first off day not too long ago and for just a second I questioned every choice I’ve ever made. Annnnnd cue the self-doubt. It’s THE WORST.
The next day, thankfully, I woke up feeling much better and excited about life again, but it got me to thinking. How should I respond to this situation? I mean it would be really easy to drop everything and pretend like I don’t have any responsibilities every time I feel this way, but we all know that’s not the answer. So, after giving it some thought, this is what I came up with.
Take a micro break
I know I just said dropping everything isn’t the answer, but taking a teeny tiny break won’t hurt anyone. We can’t always just jet off on a vacation either, so that’s why I’m calling this a “micro” break. The micro break means taking an hour, maybe a few — a day at the most — to regroup. Don’t sit around and think about the projects you turned in late or the things you failed at, instead try to really step away for a second. I’ve found that when I sit around and overanalyze, that’s when I’m at my worst. But when I step away for a minute and distract myself with some fun, I come back with more energy and creativity.
Talk to someone who understands
Even if it’s not someone in the same industry as you, find a friend or family member that will just listen to you vent and maybe offer a few words of encouragement. This isn’t the time for the friend we all have that will just say, “Your life could be a lot worse.” There are times for that friend — this isn’t one of them. It always makes me feel a little bit better when I realize I’m not alone in feeling down or overwhelmed, because that can be easy to forget sometimes.
Ok, this might sound really bad, but sometimes when I need reminding why I’ve chosen the path I have (this isn’t often, but desperate times), I think of the previous corporate jobs I’ve had. Suddenly I’m snapped back into reality and feel incredibly thankful for being able to pursue the career I love. This isn’t meant to offend anyone who works in corporate America, but rather to just remind everyone that you’ve probably had a bad professional moment in your life that you wanted to escape more than anything. Think of that moment when you’re feeling unsure about where you’re at now.
It’s really ironic because as I’m writing this Feeling Good by Michael Bublé came on my Pandora and I’m really, really vibing with it right now and it just seems so appropriate for this topic. Give it a listen — you won’t regret, trust me.
Remind yourself how awesome you are
Ok, so now that I’ve looked back at some of my worst professional moments, now I have to look at some of my best. Reflect back on the moments when you were like, “Oh, that idea? Ya, that was mine.” Pump yourself up — you deserve it.
Photography by Brooke Confer