Recent polls show that two out of every three people report feeling disengaged in their jobs; many of us would simply like to be more inspired by our work.
Perhaps you’re hoping for that extra bit of confidence to ask for a promotion. Maybe you’d like to be able to enjoy your work more, no matter what you’re doing or whom you’re working for. Or could it be that you hope others around you will finally recognize your skills and talents and reward you fairly for them.
For many of us it’s as simple as having a bit more energy, feeling a little happier and finally being able to create the success we know we’re capable of. But what are the tested and practical approaches you can use to show-up, shine and succeed at work?
Podcast series focuses on happiness and success in the workplace
Every day next week, from September 29 to October 3, Live Happy will feature a podcast and blog in which work/wellness expert Michelle McQuaid discusses different aspects of workplace success and happiness. Five podcasts will feature five prominent experts in the field, each addressing a different perspective on how we can become more engaged and be inspired by our work.
Positive psychology expert Louisa Jewell notes that our sense of self-worth often impacts how we feel about our work.
“Self-doubt causes us to engage in self-protective strategies at work like procrastination, hesitation and self-handicapping that hold us back from achieving the results we long for,” explains Louisa.
Self-doubt is an internal phenomenon that reflects the way you talk to yourself. You can counter it with awareness, disputing the negative self-talk, and with a healthy dose of self-compassion. Increasingly studies find that self-doubt is generated by the social evaluations of others and the commentary that surrounds us.
So how can you maintain your confidence in the face of other people’s criticism?
Courage coach and best-selling author Margie Warrell recommends making sure you are driven by what inspires you and not by what scares you.
“In order for you to get outside your comfort zone and stop playing small and safe, you need to have a clear purpose,” said Margie. “Try to find what it is you are willing to speak up about at work. If you think through how you might want to transition your career, start a new business or take on a great big job when there’s more chance of you failing than the one you’re in right now.”
Only when you can answer clearly ‘for the sake of what’ you’re willing to put yourself at risk, can you be as courageous as you can be, as purposeful as you can be and as successful as you can be.
But will you have the grit to sustain your efforts?
Angela Duckworth, Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania defines grit as the passion and perseverance for long-term and challenging goals. It's being inclined to really stick with a couple of things you care about and work hard towards them over weeks, over years and even decades.
“Gritty people have placed extremely high values on their goals, and they understand that to accomplish anything worthwhile is going to require extraordinary investment,” explains Angela. “As a result they value habits, and accept that feelings of frustration are a normal part of growth.”
But how can you develop positive habits when your time at work and home is already maxed out?
Behavioral psychologist B.J. Fogg, professor at Stanford University is dedicated to finding small changes that make improving our behavior easier.
“Tiny habits help you scale back bigger behaviors into many small behaviors and sequencing it somewhere in your life that fits well. It relies less on willpower and motivation to create change and more on redesigning your life little by little so over time these small shifts create dramatic results.”
For example, if you want to finally read the pile of articles and books growing next to your desk, then you could create a tiny habit recipe like this: After I turn on my computer at work, I will read one page. Then as the habit becomes routine, let it grow day by day until you’ve worked your way through the pile and are looking for new things to read.
Once they start to stick though how will you protect your tiny habits from everyone else’s demands on your time and energy?
Best-selling author and productivity coach Valorie Burton recommends setting and keeping clear boundaries with your boss and colleagues if you want to remain productive and happy at work.
“Start by asking yourself, what are the boundaries you need to set in order to protect your own peace, joy and serenity at work,” suggests Valorie. “Choose the areas where you most feel the need for change and then ask yourself what conversation is it time to have?”
To help you build up the courage, confidence and energy to take each of these steps, take the time to clarify in your own mind what it would take for you to show up, shine and succeed in ways that unleash your true potential at work.
Sign up for the podcasts to be delivered to your inbox
If you’re ready to feel more engaged and inspired about your work, and to learn practical strategies for flourishing from top experts in the field, be sure to join Louisa, Margie, Angela, B.J. and Valorie for this special series of interviews. Sign up by clicking here to have the podcasts sent directly to your inbox, beginning on Monday, September 29th, or simply visit LiveHappy.com to access the podcasts and accompanying blog.