How to stop sabotaging your career with bad thoughts

When you’re in the wrong headspace at work (for whatever reason), negativity can slowly creep in and threaten your performance — or at least make the experience a lot harder to get through. Here’s how to keep negative thoughts from ruining your career.

When you’re in the wrong headspace at work (for whatever reason), negativity can slowly creep in and threaten your performance — or at least make the experience a lot harder to get through.

Here’s how to stop those negative thoughts from ruining your career.

Leave your impostor syndrome at the door

It’s easy to feel like you got your job because of pure luck, or that there are only so many hours until your boss finds out that you’re a fake, but you shouldn’t give in to impostor syndrome.

Sure, when other people ask smart questions or make insightful comments during meetings, it’s also easy to think, I’m way out of my league here. Everyone else is so much better suited for their jobs than I am.

When your boss decides that your ideas for the latest project aren’t the direction the team should go in, you might also feel unproductive.

But you should remember that you most likely got the job for reasons other than luck — such as experience, skill, and leadership potential.

So treat these experiences with others as opportunities to learn something — after all, you’ve probably contributed something to the team that someone else wouldn’t have been able to come up with.

Let negative coworkers stew in their feelings — without you

Research has found that witnessing rudeness in the morning can sabotage the rest of your day, but that doesn’t mean this has to be the case every time — the study also found that a bit of confidence can go a long way.

There also comes a certain point where you have to let people deal with their emotions in their own way, and move forward, remembering all that you have to be thankful for.

The same goes for absorbing your coworker’s bad mood(s) throughout the day — sure, you might have to deal with annoyed know-it-alls, work martyrs and manipulators, but there are a few barriers you can put in place.

For example, try to put yourself in their shoes, and don’t lash out. Instead, just get out of their way so you can focus on your own work.

Don’t think you’ll never find career meaning because you hate your job

Do you ever feel like you’ll never break free from a job you really don’t like? When you walk in, both tired and anxious on a Monday morning, it can leave you feeling stuck without the option to pursue something you really love.

You need to hold onto the fact that this isn’t forever and you have the power to make decisions that can shape your life for the better.

One way to create meaning at a job you’re thinking of leaving is to write down all the lessons you’ve learned — even if you learned them the hard way. As you start to apply elsewhere, think of the position as a stepping stone to a job better suited for you.

If you’re not in a position to leave your job just yet, make connections with colleagues who can teach you something and look for a mentor.

Jane Burnett|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at jburnett@theladders.com.