Mindset Work

Are you overly influenced by what colleagues think of you?

There’s no way around it – not everyone is going to like you at work. But beware of the toxic habit of putting so much stake in other people’s opinion of you and your work style that you become frozen by fear of taking risks and being creative.

Professional jealousy or a night of little sleep may be what’s behind your co-worker’s critiques about your latest project rather than the merit of your work itself. Whatever the reason, if you aspire to be a leader, it’s important to learn how to stand up for yourself and push for your ideas even when others don’t agree with them.

 If you find yourself becoming more focused on feedback than on being yourself and doing your work, then it’s time for an attitude adjustment. Evaluate what people at work say and how they react to you, then form your own opinions about which comments have merit and which don’t. If you’re going to succeed in your career, you need to develop the strength of character to move forward in the face of detractors rather than internalizing criticism and letting it hold you back.

Are your expectations of others too high?

Whether it’s expecting your boss to mind-read about your desire for a promotion, or wanting your cube mate to ask you out to lunch more often, sometimes your own issues can keep you stuck in toxic thinking that hampers your office relationships. If this sounds familiar, consider whether you’re projecting your own preferences about how to act onto the people around you.

For example, maybe you’re the type of person who, if made a supervisor, would always acknowledge your employees’ progress with recognition – but your manager never seems to notice your achievements. Or maybe you think of yourself as a thoughtful kind of person who would never forget a colleague’s birthday and celebrate it with a desk full of flowers – yet those on your team have never even said “happy birthday” to you, much less given you a card.

While these situations can be hurtful, take a step back and see if the actions of others are truly egregious, or if they just don’t match what you would have done. If you find yourself frequently disappointed by what others do or don’t do at work, change this negative mindset by recognizing when your expectations are out of bounds.

Are you drawn toward gossip, negativity and complaints? Sometimes it isn’t what you do that determines how you feel at work – it’s who you interact with. If you often find yourself drawn toward gripers, gossipers or negative people, it can be hard to stay positive. Think about whether you’re most often spending time with people at work who are keeping you stuck in stinkin’ thinkin’.

While you may think that no one notices, there’s a good bet that your managers and other colleagues are aware that you’re misusing your time by complaining. What’s more, by focusing on everything that’s wrong in the office or on people who bug you, you tend to magnify the importance of these problems rather than solve them.

There’s only one solution to this one, and it’s simple but not always easy: Walk away from any and all sources of negativity. While it may be uncomfortable to shift your alliances to more positive ones, it will help your career in the long run.