We spend a lot of our lives at work. Whether that’s in an office, at your house, or on the move, work is a big part of life. Therefore, it’s important to feel comfortable enough in your environment that you can do what you need to do to succeed. Even if you’re not looking to get a promotion just now, you can still thrive in the workplace. And if you think you might go after a promotion in the future, being able to succeed at work lays great groundwork for that. If you’re feeling like you might not be living up to your potential at work, consider these 5 things that might be holding you back:

1. You’re afraid of getting ignored.

There’s nothing worse than working hard and not receiving recognition for that hard work. A fear of not being recognized for your work might be causing you to hold back, but don’t let that get to you. Immediate recognition for your work is not what you should use as your main motivator for doing your job well. Instead, use internal rewards, such as satisfaction in a job well done. You’ll feel much happier at your job if you seek these kinds of rewards, rather than constantly fretting over not getting a pat on the back from your boss.

2. You’re worried about rejection.

Sometimes, going out on a limb pays off, and sometimes it doesn’t. If you’re finding yourself less and less willing to put yourself out there with a new idea or project, chances are you’re worried about getting rejected by the higher ups at your job. However, this fear can hold you back to the point of endangering your career. Success is all about finding a way to use your failures to your advantage. No one who ever succeeded at anything got there without a few bumps along the way.

3. You’re concerned you might get fired.

This is being worried about rejection, but amplified one hundred times. This fear can be pretty paralyzing, so you need to remember to be rational about this. Ask yourself: are you worried about getting fired because you heard something? You’ve gotten warnings from your boss? There’s been a recent budget cut? These are all valid reasons to feel worried about your job’s security. However, if you’re simply concerned because of some abstract idea of getting fired for succeeding at work, it might be time to make some changes. Talk to a colleague about your concerns. Take things one at a time, and you’ll be a success before you know it.

4. You’re scared to ask for a raise.

Long term success should be met with rewards. If you think you deserve a raise, articulate that to your boss. It’s always a good idea to think of what you want to say before you make an appointment with him or her, so outline your argument and speak with confidence. Being nervous will only hurt your case, so go in with a smile and a list of reasons why you deserve a raise. Fear of asking for compensation for your hard work can really hold you back at work, so go for it and be confident.

5. You’re afraid of being ostracized.

Coworkers can be great…or, they can make your life miserable. It’s important to want to fit in and make friends at work, but it’s an entirely different matter when you let that get in the way of your professional success. Don’t ever throw other people under the bus for a chance to get ahead at work, but remember that you don’t need to hold yourself back for others. True friends will be proud of your accomplishments and will want you to do the best job possible.

Featured photo credit: Simply CVR via flickr.com

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