Here’s something that people don’t often talk about. To succeed in your job, in addition to possessing the right skills and experience, you need the proper strategies and tools in place to effectively deal with potential self-defeating thoughts, stress and anxiety.
This may sound easy, but it’s not. Given everything people are dealing with today, it would be surprising if you’re not feeling stressed out and anxious.
Until recently, talking about mental health issues wasn’t socially acceptable. People would keep their challenges to themselves, out of fear of being labeled and marginalized. Post-pandemic, it has become more commonplace to talk about your emotional well-being, feelings of depression and career burnout.
You can control how you react to events
Although many things are out of your control, you do have the power to manage the way you view things and how to react appropriately. For instance, you may not get a job offer after months of interviewing. Instead of getting angry and blaming the company, take a step back and process what happened. Contemplate what you did well and be honest about what you can improve upon. View the setback as temporary and a learning experience, which will help you succeed in your next job interview.
Rather than simmer in your resentment and anger over something not working out in your favor, allow a little time to feel bad, then forget about it. That interview experience is in the past and the past doesn’t exist anymore. You must remain in the present. Use your here and now to improve your interviewing skills, practice your elevator pitch, tighten up your LinkedIn profile and find a few good recruiters to get you back into the game of interviewing.
Stop ruminating and marinating in negativity
Humans default to allowing the nonstop flow of negative thoughts in their minds without pushing back. Almost everyone deals with critical, unproductive, ephemeral thoughts. After a while, most people succumb to these self-defeating and destructive ruminations.
You must fight back. Substitute these negative thoughts with positive ones, or think of the times you’ve persevered and overcome obstacles in your path that led you to success.
The power of positive thinking
Both positive and negative thoughts can have an impact on your overall health. Embracing positive thinking will help you fight back against stress and improve your physical and emotional health. Look at what happened to you within a positive construct. Seek out ways to thrive instead of dwelling on the bad.
Don’t assume people are out to get you. Take the position that your getting laid off or not getting an interview or a promotion wasn’t due to any malicious intent. It's just an unfortunate event. It's not the end of the world. You can pick yourself up, brush yourself off and get back into the job hunt.
One of the ways to achieve a feeling of inner peace, being at one with the universe and gaining enlightenment is by adopting some of the principles of Zen. Meditating, focusing on the here and now and learning to accept the things you cannot control all provide a healthier, more relaxed attitude.
Zen is the art of being in the moment and appreciating where you are now. You don’t linger in the past, as it’s not tangible and can’t be changed. Similarly, you shouldn’t worry about the future, as it’s not here. The key is to hyperfocus on each and every task you do.
For instance, most people get distracted when interviewing. Zen practitioners will pay rapt attention to the interviewer and engage in the conversation without entertaining extraneous thoughts.
Meditation and breathing techniques can help you calm down before a client presentation or public-speaking event. Before your interview commences or you get up on the podium to deliver a speech, clear your mind with a quick meditation. Soften your gaze, take deep breaths to the count of four and hold it for a beat or two, then slowly release the breath also counting to four. You’ll be amazed at how much it helps destress you.
The art of manifestation is all about thinking and believing things into reality. It's willing your goals to come true.
Start with thinking of what you want to achieve. Have a vision of your future. Put out into the universe what you want. This could be through self-talk, putting together a vision board, visualizing where you will be five years from now or sharing your lofty goals.
You can add mantras to help you. Mantras are repetitive thoughts that can impact your life. Reciting your goals will help make them happen. It will reduce stress and offer a wave of calmness and a positive outlook. If you are searching for a new job or want to grow within your current organization, you can run through your mind the following mantras:
“I have all the skills, experiences and background to get this job.”
“I deserve the promotion.”
“This setback won’t stop me.”
“I will succeed and thrive.”
Have a release valve
If you keep bottling up all your anger, resentments and frustrations, eventually, you’ll explode. This may account for the aggressive behavior seen on social media and on the streets of major cities across the United States.
Instead of simmering in anger, seek ways to release your stress in a positive and productive way. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Go to your local gym or take a brisk walk. Attend yoga classes or get involved with hobbies that relax you.
You can’t forget about having a healthy diet and getting sufficient sleep. Avoid self-medicating with drugs or alcohol. If you abuse your body and mind, you won’t have the energy and mindset to deal with the everyday inconveniences of the work world.