If you want to be happier at work, say goodbye to these 7 behaviors

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Sometimes our professional life is laced with more stress and less joy than we’d like to admit.

You might look back on your workday and struggle to remember the satisfaction of a job well done or feel unsure if what you’re experiencing is the norm or not.

How do you know if what you’re enduring is truly a toxic work environment, an issue in your approach to work, or just the typical challenges most people face in their professional settings?

To help you out, I’ve compiled a list of 7 behaviors that could be sabotaging your happiness at work.

If these sound familiar, it might be time to bid them farewell for a more fulfilling professional life.

1) Working without breaks

We all have those days where the workload seems insurmountable and taking a break feels like a luxury we can’t afford.

You might believe that working through lunch or staying late is the only way to stay on top of your responsibilities. But what if this behavior is actually counterproductive?

Research has consistently shown that our brains need regular breaks to function optimally. By denying ourselves this downtime, we’re not maximizing our productivity – we’re sabotaging it.

It might be challenging at first, but try to incorporate regular breaks into your workday.

Whether it’s a short walk, a quiet moment with a cup of coffee, or simply stepping away from your desk for a few minutes, these pauses can rejuvenate your mind and boost your performance.

Remember, it’s not about working harder, but smarter.

And when we talk about not taking breaks, it often goes hand in hand with another common workplace habit: striving for perfection. It’s like we’re on this continuous loop of overworking and over-polishing our tasks. But let’s pause and think: could this relentless pursuit of perfection actually be counterproductive to our happiness and efficiency at work?

2) Striving for perfection

Perfectionism might seem like a desirable trait, especially in a professional setting.

You might think that striving for nothing less than perfection is a sign of high standards and commitment. But what if this quest for the perfect result is actually hindering your success and happiness at work?

Surprisingly, perfectionism can lead to procrastination, burnout, and even affect our mental health. It’s the fear of making mistakes that often keeps us stuck and prevents us from making progress.

Instead of aiming for perfection, try embracing the concept of ‘good enough’. This doesn’t mean settling for mediocrity, but understanding that sometimes, done is better than perfect.

Recognize that mistakes are a part of the learning process and they help us grow both personally and professionally. Remember, it’s not about being flawless, but about being effective and resilient.

And while we’re on the subject of burnout, it’s crucial to talk about how often we put our personal well-being on the back burner. It’s easy to think that sleep or a healthy diet has little to do with our job performance, but what if neglecting these actually makes us less effective at work?

3) Ignoring personal well-being

In the quest to climb the professional ladder, it’s all too easy to sideline our personal well-being.

You might feel that sleep, exercise, or a healthy diet don’t directly impact your work performance. But what if neglecting these aspects of your life is actually undermining your productivity and happiness at work?

Numerous studies have shown that a lack of sleep, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition can negatively affect our cognitive abilities, mood, and energy levels.

Start prioritizing your well-being. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, regularly engaging in physical activity, and nourishing your body with healthy foods.

This will not only enhance your work performance but also improve your overall happiness. Remember, you’re not just a professional – you’re a human being who needs to take care of their physical and mental health.

Taking care of our health is one thing, but there’s also an aspect of professional growth that we often resist, sometimes without even realizing it – feedback. It’s natural to be a bit defensive when receiving criticism, but imagine the possibilities if we viewed feedback as a stepping stone, not a stumbling block.

4) Resisting feedback

Feedback is a vital part of any job, but it can be tough to accept, especially if it’s not entirely positive.

You might see feedback as a personal attack or a critique of your abilities. But what if this resistance to feedback is actually impeding your growth and happiness at work?

Here’s an interesting fact: even top athletes, who are the best in their fields, rely heavily on feedback. They understand that constructive criticism is a tool for improvement, not a measure of their worth.

Start viewing feedback as an opportunity for growth. Embrace it, learn from it, and use it to improve your skills and performance.

Remember, feedback is not about finding faults, but about aiding progression and fostering success.

Feedback helps us grow, but growth can feel stunted when we fall into the trap of constantly comparing ourselves to others. It’s a common scenario when we feel like everyone’s achieving more. But remember, comparison is the thief of joy, especially at work.

5) Comparing yourself to others

In today’s hyper-connected world, it’s alarmingly easy to get caught up in the comparison game.

You might scroll through LinkedIn seeing your peers achieving milestones, receiving promotions, or leading big projects. It can make you feel like you’re lagging behind or not doing enough.

This constant comparison is stealing your joy and contentment at work.

The truth is, everyone’s journey is unique and laden with their own set of challenges and victories. You never truly know what someone else’s path entails from a few social media updates.

Focus on your own growth and progress.

Celebrate your small victories, learn from your setbacks, and remember that your worth is not defined by how you stack up against others.

Your path is yours alone, and it’s the only one that matters for your happiness at work.

Speaking of joy, have you noticed how staying in our comfort zones seems safer but often leaves us feeling unfulfilled? It’s like when we avoid risks to dodge failure, but in doing so, we also miss out on potentially exciting opportunities and personal growth at work.

6) Sticking to your comfort zone

Comfort zones are enticing. They’re familiar, safe, and well…comfortable.

You might feel that staying in your comfort zone protects you from potential failures or mistakes. But what if this reluctance to venture beyond the known is actually stifling your growth and happiness at work?

Here’s the twist: growth happens at the edge of discomfort. The richest experiences and most valuable lessons are often found when we dare to take risks and embrace unfamiliar territory.

Challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone. Take on a new project, learn a new skill, or simply speak up more in meetings. It might feel uncomfortable at first, but remember that discomfort is often a sign of growth and progress.

The more you push your boundaries (without losing rational judgment), the more fulfilling and exciting your work life can become.

And this fear of stepping out often ties back to a deeper fear: the fear of failure. We tend to see failure as a defeat, but what if we shifted our perspective and saw it as an integral part of our journey to success and workplace happiness?

7) Fearing failure

Failure is a word that often sends shivers down our spine.

You might view failure as a symbol of inadequacy or an end to your aspirations. But what if this fear of failure is actually limiting your potential and joy at work?

The truth is, failure is not the opposite of success, but a part of it. Some of the most successful people in the world have faced numerous failures before they achieved their goals.

Start viewing failure as a stepping stone rather than a stumbling block. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from taking risks and pursuing your ambitions.

Remember, every failure brings you one step closer to success and adds more depth to your work experience. Embrace it, learn from it, and let it fuel your journey to success.

This journey to redefine failure and step out of our comfort zones really encapsulates the broader journey towards finding happiness at work. It’s not just about the day-to-day tasks but about how we approach our professional life as a whole, seeking joy and fulfillment in what we do.

Understand the journey to workplace happiness

As we navigate our professional lives, it’s easy to become entangled in daily routines and lose sight of what truly matters – our happiness and fulfillment at work.

You might feel that work is simply a means to an end, a way to pay bills, or a necessary part of adult life. But what if we’ve got it all wrong? What if work isn’t just about survival but also about thriving, finding purpose, and building a life that resonates with our deepest aspirations?

The truth is, we spend a substantial portion of our lives at work. Therefore, it’s crucial that we don’t just endure our workdays, but rather find joy in them. This doesn’t mean every day will be filled with euphoria or monumental achievements. Instead, it’s about crafting a work life that aligns with our values, empowers us to grow, and allows us to make meaningful contributions.

But how do we get there? The answer is multifaceted and unique to each individual. However, there are certain universal truths that can guide us on this journey.

Firstly, understand that happiness at work isn’t solely dependent on external factors like your job title, salary, or the prestige of your organization. While these elements do play a role for some of us, they aren’t the be-all and end-all. Intrinsic factors like autonomy, mastery, purpose, and relatedness significantly contribute to workplace satisfaction.

Secondly, realize that there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to workplace happiness. What brings joy to one person might not necessarily do the same for another. Therefore, it’s important to do some soul-searching and identify what truly matters to you in your professional life.

Thirdly, recognize that the journey to workplace happiness can be arduous and filled with trials. You might need to let go of long-held beliefs, confront your fears, and embrace change. But remember, it’s through these challenges that we grow and find our path to fulfillment.

Lastly, remember that this journey is ongoing. As we evolve as individuals, our definition of workplace happiness might also change. Therefore, it’s important to regularly check in with ourselves, reassess our priorities, and make necessary adjustments.

In conclusion, happiness at work isn’t a distant dream or a lofty goal. It’s a journey of self-discovery and growth that starts with saying goodbye to behaviors that no longer serve us and embracing those that foster joy, fulfillment, and success.

And as we wrap up this journey, there’s one crucial element that ties everything together: self-love. It’s the foundation that supports every change we’ve talked about. 

Embracing self-love in your professional life

As we delve into the nuances of workplace happiness, one vital (and perhaps non-obvious) aspect stands out – the importance of self-love.

You might have read the previous sections and felt overwhelmed by the changes you need to make or the behaviors you need to let go of. But remember, this journey begins and ends with embracing self-love.

Self-love isn’t about being selfish or narcissistic. On the contrary, it’s about acknowledging your worth, respecting your boundaries, and nurturing your well-being. It’s about recognizing that you deserve happiness at work as much as anyone else and that your feelings, aspirations, and needs matter.

When you love yourself, you stop tolerating behaviors that drain your energy or diminish your joy. You become more assertive in expressing your needs and standing up for your rights. You stop settling for less than what you deserve, whether it’s in terms of work conditions, treatment from colleagues, or opportunities for growth.

Moreover, self-love empowers you to take care of your physical and mental health. You start prioritizing breaks, setting realistic expectations, and nurturing a balanced lifestyle. You understand that taking care of yourself is not a luxury but a necessity for your productivity and happiness at work.

Lastly, when you love yourself, you become more resilient in the face of failure or criticism. You realize that these experiences don’t define your worth but are opportunities for growth and learning.

In conclusion, as we journey towards greater happiness at work, let’s remember to carry self-love with us. Let’s practice it daily, weave it into every decision we make, and let it guide us towards a more fulfilling and joyful professional life. After all, our relationship with ourselves sets the tone for everything else in our lives.

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Tina Fey

I'm Tina Fey, the founder of the blog Love Connection. I've extremely passionate about sharing relationship advice. I've studied psychology and have my Masters in marital, family, and relationship counseling. I hope with all my heart to help you improve your relationships, and I hope that even if one thing I write helps you, it means more to me than just about anything else in the world. Check out my blog Love Connection, and if you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Twitter

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