Picture this. You have a micro managing boss and it seems that the rules are changing all the time. You have little choice over whether or not you can work from home to finish that report or pop out early if you need to. On top of this you are assigned one of the company’s most implacable customers. Yup, this can all be very frustrating, to say the least. So if you have little control over your job and how it is carried out, is there anything you can have control over?
Believe it or not the answer is something that you have complete control over: your attitude. How you choose to react to your circumstances is within your control. In spite of that haranguing boss or snippy co-worker, you can choose to feel either negative or positive – it is all up to you. No one can make you feel the way you feel other than yourself.
Avoiding the Negative Vortex
While I admit that this can be tough at times, with daily discipline you can master how you feel regarding day to day events. Here’s some things you can do:
- Reframe – Instead of deciding that you are going to feel angry because your boss just dumped on you, choose to see this as a chance to learn how to deal effectively with demanding circumstances. This will serve you well as your move your way up the corporate ladder and learn to take on more responsibility.
- Re-train your focus – Instead of focusing on what went wrong in your day, focus on what went right. By the time we are adults, many of us are conditioned to primarily see what didn’t go right. You can shift this by simply reviewing and writing down what went well at the end of the day. If necessary, being doing this on an hourly basis. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your focus changes.
- Mistakes are OK – When things don’t pan out the way you planned, choose to see this as a rich vein of learning. By objectively examining why you didn’t get the results you desired, you’ll find out how you can do things differently in the future to get what you want.
- Maintain a positive view of people – Maybe you don’t like their views or behaviour, but that doesn’t mean you have to hate them personally. Realize that having negative feelings towards people will just hurt you, not them. It will be you that feels the energy sucked out of you.
- Sh@t Happens – Realize that ‘bad’ things happen to good people all the time – you’re not special. Don’t choose to feel victimized by external circumstances. Roll with it. In an extreme example, Nelson Mandella chose to react with dignity when he was released after 27 years of incarceration. He could have reacted with bitterness and anger. Instead he chose compassion and forgiveness.
So, can there be positivity in the workplace? Well, ultimately it is up to you. You are in control of your life and thoughts and it is up to you how you choose to react. If you find that the circumstances are simply intolerable, remember that you can choose to find another job…or you can choose to stay.
If you have any other tips for bringing positivity into the workplace, I’d love to hear from you.