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5 Fears That Hold You Back From Success At Work

5 Fears That Hold You Back From Success At Work

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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Maggie Heath

Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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