When you are going through a stressful time at work, it can sometimes be hard to move away from the stress. In order to recognise times of stress & to keep a solution focused mindset at all times, I continuously look for the positive / the good / the things that are working in what I am doing.
Having a negativity bias – where we are more inclined to focus on the negative & things that aren’t working- is part of human nature. Negativity sucks in more of our attention. We are focusing on the things that are going wrong or things that may go wrong. It feels uncomfortable to be ok with uncertainty & doubt when things aren’t going well. It is ok to focus on the things that aren’t going well, it’s not something to ignore. We want to address what isn’t going well & move to change it. It’s when there is the wrong balance between positive & negative & we can’t even see any of the positive things that are going well, this is when we can start to consciously look at our perception of the situation.
In all cases, a question to ask is:
What is my perception of this specific situation? Am I only focused on the negative & what isn’t working? Or am I focused on things that are going well? How can I begin to focus on solutions in this scenario?
These three questions (which I currently ask myself on a weekly basis) can help to building up the habit of focusing on both positive & negative:
What worked well for me (and for my team) this week?
- Look at all you have achieved (both individually & as a team). We don’t often celebrate success as we’re so busy focusing on the next thing or focusing on a problem. Recognise where things are going well.
- Say thank you / well done – get into the habit of recognising others where things go well – saying thank you / well done can also help them to stop & recognise the progress made instead of continuously focusing on what’s left to be done. This helps to bring more enjoyment into the day to day.
What was enjoyable this week ?
- Look at the things that have you enjoyed while at work. In recognising these when they happen you will start to see your own areas of enjoyment & then can look to see how you can bring these more into the work that you do. When we are so busy rushing from one things to another, we often don’t stop to take the time to notice the enjoyment in what we are doing. If you don’t know what you enjoy in work – take a look at our toleration exercise – https://amaresults.com/tolerations/
- Check whether what you enjoy doing in work links back to your strengths – we automatically get more enjoyment from the things that we are good at. Focus on making the small changes in the work that you do so that can bring in your strengths more into your work.
What are the things you are grateful for / what are the benefits in the role that you are in?
- By focusing on the things that we are grateful for / the benefits that we are getting from doing the work, we can enjoy work more. This can be anything about the work that you do – e.g. I have really good friends at work; good commute; really good canteen; experience I’m getting to put on my CV / Resume.
When we are so stressed out about all that we have to do – constantly dealing with demands, managing expectations, dealing with change, it can be hard to recognise the things that you enjoy & the things that you are grateful for. Take a moment to see if you can recognise these in your work?
What one thing can you implement in your daily habits to move away from the stress in work & move towards enjoying your work more.
If you found this blog useful, you may also be interested in looking at how to make work better when it’s not going ok.