You are not alone
In a down economy, it is tough to stay focused on work and it is easy to get discouraged when deals fall apart or you’re surrounded by negativity, but you’re not alone. The first step of overcoming any obstacle is knowing the cause of the obstacle so it can be dealt with.
The Time Management Ninja has outlined the five reasons he sees people not giving 100 percent and while the list pertains to personal life and work, we’d like for you to think of it in terms of what obstacles you may personally have in doing your best at work:
- You Are Too Comfortable – We all like to live in our comfort zones. Perhaps, you have become too comfortable. It is only by going beyond our boundaries that we learn, live, and expand our experience.
- You Have a Bad Attitude – A bad attitude can impact your entire world. Don’t underestimate the power of a positive attitude to keep you going and lift your efforts. If your attitude is lacking, find someone who has a positive outlook. The feeling is contagious.
- You Don’t Care – Not caring about your job or work can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. I have encountered many people like this in the corporate world. When they begin a downward slide, they don’t realize that it is because they stopped caring and thus stopped performing. If you do not have passion for what you are doing, then by all means go find something else for which you do.
- You Are Scared of Failure – Kids like to think that their parents, and adults in general are fearless. (When in reality is it the other way around.) When was the last time you failed? Is fear of failure keeping you from trying your best?
- You Aren’t Hungry – What do you want to achieve? What do you want to accomplish? If you don’t have goals, you may not have anything to give 100% of you effort towards. Make sure you have aspirations that stretch your limits.
Five more reasons
When talking exclusively about your work and career, there are more paths we end up on that take us away from being focused and giving our work our all.
- Personal stressors – if your life is out of control or out of balance personally, it can have a deep impact upon your work. If finances or tight, a new baby is coming, a divorce is pending, a spouse is ill, a child is in trouble, it is difficult to give 100 percent to anything – distractions can be horribly destructive to professional momentum.
- Forgetting to visualize success – this sounds cheesy, but hear us out… if you can see the finish line of your career, a project or just the day itself, but you fail to visualize the successful outcome, you lose focus of why you are running the race in the first place.
- You’re burnt out – you’re worn down at work, you’ve taken on too much, you’ve said yes too many people or you’ve set poor short term goals for yourself that would get yourself to that finish line. You may be at an entry level job wondering why you’ve been there for six years and people keep being promoted over you or simply performing better than you have.
- A bad environment – you have a new boss that is a jerk, your clients are all high strung and frustrated, you’re headspun because of layoffs all around you, or everyone in your office is negative which is contagious. You don’t have to be all sunshine and rainbows all the time, but a bad environment can be the cinder block tied to your ankle, pulling you underwater.
- Recovering after failure – you didn’t close that last deal, your income fell considerably this year, you’re the worst performer in your office, but dangit, you’re trying but there’s this huge obstacle in your way. You don’t fear failure, you’ve just experienced failure which is extremely demotivating because the outcome didn’t meet your expectations which causes a need for healing time.
How to get past these ten obstacles
The cure to all of these obstacles and the way to get back on track and motivated is to get back on message. Think about why you do what you do, remember that invigorating feeling you got when you first started your job, and consider how you’re helping people around you. Do not be deterred by your surroundings, accept them for what they are and get back on message. You’re called out of a meeting because your kid is sick? Go pick them up and come back to work with a smile. Coworkers gossiping about so-and-so getting foreclosed on? Smile and walk away, get back to work.
The first step to overcoming your obstacles is to recognize them, know you’re alone, remember why you got into this career in the first place, and get back on message. You can give 100 percent again!