28th May 2018

In an extract from her practical, supportive book “Loving Your Job“, author Amanda Cullen explains how you can take stock of your situation and reduce your stress levels: 

When you’re constantly worrying and you can’t switch off it’s very hard to enjoy your so-called down time. This can affect your sleep, and when you’re sleep deprived everything seems harder and problems seem bigger, which will lead you into worrying more. It’s a vicious circle.

So how do you tackle this vicious circle? Firstly, get clear on what you are worrying about:

  • Are you worried about making mistakes?
  • Are you worried about letting others down?
  • Are you worried about letting yourself down, perhaps by not doing your best?
  • Are you worried about losing your job?

If you said yes to more than one of these, start by identifying the one that bothers you most. Tackle that first and then if necessary come back to the next one on your list.

Worried about mistakes? When we make mistakes, it’s disruptive. It disrupts the rhythm of our work, it disrupts our confidence in ourselves, and ultimately it disrupts our relationship with our employer. So if you are constantly making mistakes, ask yourself why. It could be any of the following reasons:

  • You are being asked to do work for which you have insufficient training
  • You are overtired or unwell and not thinking clearly
  • You are nervous or scared and this is causing you to make mistakes
  • You are working carelessly
  • You have too much work and so are trying to get through it too quickly
  • Your work is too easy or monotonous and you are bored

Once you know the source of the problem it’s easier to do something about it. If you have insufficient training you need to get some more – either by asking for a formal training course or by getting a colleague to show you what to do. If you are tired or unwell, you need to get help.

If you are nervous or scared then you need to tackle the cause of this as otherwise you’ll continue to make silly mistakes. You may know what is making you nervous or scared, but if not, my book may help. If one or more excuses resonate with you, you will know there is something that needs to be addressed.

Worried about letting yourself or others down? This fear is often bound up with a feeling of responsibility or duty. It can help to remember that you are only responsible for doing your best, not for being superhuman. Doing your best includes making sure you have had the right training, whether that’s on the technical content of the job or the softer skills that help you interact effectively with others.

Doing your best can also mean asking for help, either in the form of practical input or moral support. Depending on the nature of your job this could be a buddy, a mentor, a sponsor or a coach. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – most people will be flattered that you’ve asked and be happy to help if they can. And asking for help is a sign of being proactive and taking control, so it will reflect well on you.

Whatever you are worried about, take some time to consider whether the worries are well-founded and, if they are, take action.

If you found this helpful you can read lots more advice from Amanda in her book Loving Your Job.

 

 

 

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