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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

Think Your Work Sucks? 7 Ways to Deal with It

Think Your Work Sucks? 7 Ways to Deal with It

Society as a whole is gradually becoming more open to the concept of seeking out work that you truly enjoy and embracing those opportunities but, for many, work sucks; it may be a place of dissatisfaction rather than one of pure joy.

This can be due to any number of reasons. Perhaps you are in a position solely for the money rather than for the work that you are doing on a daily basis. Maybe you are in an entry-level position that serves as a placeholder until you can get the job that you want. You may even be in a job simply because it was the only option available to you in the moment.

Regardless of why you are in a job you may not be in love with, the truth is that this position is going to remain your reality until you are able to carve another path for yourself.

Ultimately, it is up to you to shape your reality. Would you prefer to show up to work every day with a negative attitude or be present each day with a positive one?

If you have chosen the latter option, here are 7 ways that you can deal with your work situation and change the course of your professional outlook.

1. Figure out Where the Source of Discontent Is Coming From

A lot of people can say that they are not in love with their jobs but not a lot of people can truly tell you why they are unhappy in detail. The problem with this is that you may only be unhappy with a couple of things but, since you are choosing to say that you are unhappy with your job as a whole, you could be missing out on the wonderful parts of your position that make it worthwhile.

Take some time to sit down and hash out where this discontent is coming from. Are you unhappy with the amount of money you are making? Are there people in your workplace who are making your professional life miserable? Are you spending too much time getting to and from your workplace? Are you working too much and are able to properly take care of yourself and other aspects of your life?

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Whatever the issue may be, it is important to take note of these problems as this will help you determine where you are not satisfied in your job, and will give you something to work off of so that you don’t blame your job as a whole for your dissatisfaction. [1]

2. Focus on the Positive Aspects of Your Job

No matter how bleak your current outlook of your job is, the truth is that there are always positive aspects to every professional role, even if you have to look a little bit harder to find them.

These positives can be found in almost any part of the workday and it is up to you to frame them the right way so that you can look forward to them rather than dread them. Some positive aspects may include…

  • A long lunch break and several small breaks that give you time to re-energize.
  • Being close to your house so that you don’t have to stress about extensive travel in the mornings or evenings.
  • A larger salary that allows you to lead the lifestyle you want.
  • Positive employees who pump you up and make you feel ready to tackle the workday.
  • Being able to indirectly help people through the job or service that you are performing.

Although these examples may or may not apply to your own professional life, they serve as a reminder that you can always find great parts of your job if you are looking for them.

Once you find the parts that make you happy, make sure to focus on those throughout your work day to improve your mood and your overall take on work.

3. Discover a Greater Purpose in Your Job

A job is never just a job. Is a job a service that is performed so as to achieve a certain purpose for other people who are willing to pay for it. This means that whatever you are doing is helping someone else with their own needs and to help them improve their own quality of life.

That’s not to say that every job holds the same level of quality in terms of purpose but, your work does matter and it does contribute to something. If you are having trouble finding what this something is, consider the purpose of the company that you work with.

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Perhaps you work for a fast food establishment and you are not able to see your immediate impact based on your role. If this is the case, for example, you could choose to take a look at some of the impact your organization is making and frame it in such a way that your work is helping them to reach those goals.

Purpose allows people to feel more motivated and positive about going to work. There is always an underlying purpose to what it is you’re doing. Find it and work with that purpose in mind!

4. Make the Rest of Your Life More Enjoyable

If you are relatively unhappy with your life and you are going into a job each day that you don’t necessarily enjoy either, your move and your perspective on life isn’t going to improve any time soon. Remaining miserable with your life conditions is no way to live.

While you may not be able to change your situation, you are in control of your life and your attitude. You can make adjustments in your personal life that will help to make your work life more bearable.

Think about what it is that you want out of life and what you can do to increase your current quality of life. Are there goals that you want to reach? Are there things that you want to do more of that you haven’t been pursuing lately? More often than not, our professional life can shift our focus away from our personal lives and, we will lose track of fulfillment in this area.

Changing the way that you live your life can greatly improve your mindset towards your current work situation.[2]

5. Learn More About What You Would Like to Be Doing

People will often think about the fact that they would rather not be doing their jobs but, they don’t often think about what they would be doing instead. If you don’t like your job, it can be proactive to learn more about what your alternative career path would look like.

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If you weren’t working this job, what would your new and improved job look like? What would your position be? What responsibilities would you have? What impact would you make? How much money would you be making? Why would you want this job over your previous one and how it would it improve your current situation?

Don’t just fantasize about your current situation. Figure out what you would rather be doing so that you can take your first step towards a new life when the opportunity presents itself.

6. Create a Plan That Will Help You Reach Your New Career Goals

If you do have a better career path in mind and you simply need to get out of your job and into one that you would prefer, you will need to create a plan that you can work towards regularly — one that will be successful in landing you that new professional role.

Based on the questions you asked yourself in the previous point, find out what it will take to reach the career of your dreams. Do you need any further education to get there? Are there any requirements that you have to meet beforehand? What obstacles do you need to clear along the way?

Take a look at this guide and get more inspirations about how to set carer goals: How to Set Ambitious and Achievable Career Goals (With Examples)

Your plan will vary widely depending upon the difference between your dream job and your current position but, you will get there in time if you work towards these goals every day and take the necessary steps needed to make the transition seamless.

Figure out what you need to do, make a plan and a timeline, and crush your goals!

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7. Take Control of Your Work in the Meantime

Part of making your work suck less is learning the art of acceptance. You cannot change everything about your job overnight and, you need to accept that you will be in your current position until you are able to shift into a position that you truly enjoy.

However, this does not mean that you can’t make your current job more easily acceptable at the moment. Take control of the situation and take control of your work while you still have the job that you are in. Whether this means making the changes in the things you do not like (if you can) or taking control of the work that you are given, changes can be made to better suit your needs.

Get organized, grab your job by the horns, and guide it towards a better tomorrow. After all, this is your reality!

The Bottom Line

While your job cannot change at a moment’s notice, your outlook can and the most valuable tool you have at your disposal is yourself. Use that mighty brain to your advantage and cultivate a better mindset as you plan for the future that you want, rather than choosing to remain negative about your work life.

More Tips for Finding Fulfillment at Work

Featured photo credit: Helloquence via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Jo Green Coaching: What to Do When Work Sucks
[2] The Art of Charm: What to Do When Your Job Sucks

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Dylan Buckley

Dylan is Lifehack's Motivation Expert specializing in self-development, with extensive experience working for life coaches and startups.

Think Your Work Sucks? 7 Ways to Deal with It How to Figure Out What Motivates You at Work 25 Hard Work Quotes to Motivate You to Achieve More How to Do What You Love Successfully How to Deal with Failure and Pick Yourself Back Up

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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