Every day you take on bigger challenges to ace your career and move closer to your aspiration. So feeling nervous sometimes is part of the play. Although some tension will positively stimulate you to improve your work, an excessive amount of it will hinder you from performing well and could even result in a burn-out. Therefore, I have listed out my top-five tips that helped me to cope with stress at the workplace. Follow these tips to become a stress pro. Let’s do this!
Write it down
With many tasks floating around in your mind, you could easily get overwhelmed rendering it hard for you to get anything done. Also, we usually have the tendency to exaggerate things in their mind. So usually what I do is to put every activity down on paper so that they become more touchable. As for the big projects, I break them into smaller tasks and steps, before visualising them on paper. This way, as they become more concrete, it is easier for me to put them into practice.
Make a selfie before the workday or pre-meeting
At first sight, this might sounds like a joke. But when you think about it for a longer time, taking selfies before an important meeting or a hectic workday could help you keep your nerves under control. Taking selfies is found to help you increase your self-consciousness and let you put yourself more in the center. This way, you will see your self-confidence soar.
Although it sounds cheesy, making a planning in advance helps you to prevent many stressful moments. Most of the times we stress at work is due to the insufficient time that we have for a certain task. By determining upfront when you do each specific task and how much time you need to accomplish this, you get a feeling of security and will not be surprised by any ´forgotten´ projects. For most activities, as long as there is enough time for preparation and researching, results will definitely show.
Do not dwell on past mistakes
Although it is easy to let yourself be dragged down by past mistakes, this Is the last thing that you should be doing. The fact that it was a mistake somewhere in the past does not mean that the same mistake will occur in the future. Although this is sometimes hard to grasp, especially when the failure is still “fresh”, past mistakes do form valuable lessons for us to prevent them from repeating again. So never be stuck on past faux-pas but use it as motivation to do it even better.
Share and exchange with colleagues
Remember that colleagues are probably experiencing similar situations as you do, especially direct colleagues that are working on the same projects or are at the same department. Sharing experiences with co-workers will let you realise that you are not the only one who cope with some stress or fear at work. As fearful feelings come from your inner selves, your colleagues might not be able to take away your work stress directly. However, by talking with them and hearing about their fruitful happenings and struggles, you will be nurtured by those sharings to better deal with stress.
Do not be afraid to ask for help
Related to the previous point, colleagues are not only great to share your work experiences with but they can also be of great help in finishing your projects and tasks on hand. No one is better to answer your work-related question than the people you work with. Asking for assistance does not per definition mean that you cannot handle it on your own. Instead, by asking for help you rather show that you both value the person’s opinion and understand that by joining forces you will come with a better solution. To ask is all you have to do and you are likely to see that they are more than happy to help you. This simultaneously gives your colleagues an opportunity to share their knowledge as gift to another peer and to make them feel more at ease to ask for help themselves.
Keep your plans to yourself
Talking to your colleagues and sharing your experiences with each other can be a good way to calm your nerves. However, when it comes to your big plans, it is better to keep quiet. When you share with people your ambitious goals, they will expect that success come your way. The expectation that they have for you will come with the fear of letting them down and not meeting their expectations. This feeling that we have to meet or exceed others’ expectations will create extra pressure for yourself. So better keep it to toasting on the success you have attained. If it did not work out this time then you have more space to digest it, without anyone knowing about. I do not deny the fact that sometimes it is good to tell people about a challenge or a goal to be keep yourself more committed to it.
Hold a good attitude and posture
Your attitude is half of the work. How you look at the challenges your face is essential for the way you tackle it. The thought that no mountain is too high for you, can be strengthened by your posture. When you sit with your back straight and your shoulder back, it will increase your testosterone. This, in turn, increases your confidence level. The same holds true if you stand straight with your shoulders back, your head up high and your arms open in front of a group when giving a presentation. Holding a power pose for two minutes can already be sufficient to give you that feeling of confidence.
Remember the existence of second chances
Do not be constrained by the thought that you only have once chance. In strained moments, we used to have the tendency to over exaggerate the worst-case scenario (that might not even happen!) and think that the opportunity we are facing at that time is the only one we have. This way, it will even make you experience more pressure making you to perform even worse. So instead, consider it as one of the many chances and opportunities. This way, you can better focus on the present and better seize the opportunity that is in front of you. Even if you fail it will bring you closer to your future goals in terms of learning and preparation.
Have you ever tried one or more of these tips before? Do you have other tips of coping with stress that you want to share? I love to hear from you!
Until next time!