Archives for posts with tag: confidence

On Sunday evening, as I was preparing myself for work on Monday, I thought I’d take it once step further. I opened my phone calendar and checked to see what I had to do this week (outside of work). I switched a few things around (I had two tasks to complete on Monday for my freelance job and I knew they could wait), thereby brightening my outlook for the week considerably.

I did the same thing when I arrived at work Monday morning–I opened my Outlook calendar and my to-do list (I keep a running list for every day that changes often, with longer-term projects included at the bottom) and assessed my work week ahead. I was able to swap a few tasks on different days that would make my life easier, and then my productivity was set to grow steadily for the rest of the day.

It was such a positive choice to set my week up Sunday evening and Monday morning. Usually on Sunday nights, I get myself ready by packing my lunch, making sure my bag has everything I need, and laying out my clothes for the next day, but I don’t think about my week ahead. I’m tired and I don’t want the weekend to end, but it’s not fair for me to indulge those feelings for too long. By mentally and physically preparing myself for my work- and outside of work-week, I lowered my stress level and was able to fall asleep more quickly and wake up more refreshed on Monday morning. Looking back, I also got a lot done yesterday that I may not have if it wasn’t for my impromptu idea to plan ahead.

I’m patting myself on the back a bit in this post, but I’m glad it worked out for me so far. What about you, dear readers? Do you plan for the week ahead on Sunday night?

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I’ve had to put out a couple fires at work this week and last. I felt the old familiar stress creeping up on me–tightening my neck muscles, giving me a headache, and making me feel panicky. I used my newfound breathing/meditation techniques to get through it and they have helped greatly!

Another thing that I’ve found that has helped me in dealing with stressful situations at work is acknowledging my own input, whether it is good or not so good, in a situation. This means that I’ve been owning my decisions to myself and to others. There is power in acknowledging a mistake, for example, and taking the correct steps to fix it efficiently. There is also power in recognizing a decision you made that led to a positive outcome for a job or project.This attitude contributes to the vision I have of my ideal self; I want to be an honorable person who can be counted on, so it’s important that I become that person.

You know that saying “Fake it ’til you make it”? I used to scoff at that idea because I thought that “faking it” was kind of like cheating. But I was wrong–“faking it” is one way to achieve goals and become the person you want to be. I’m typically a shy person but when I decide that I need to be confident in a situation (like during an important meeting), I have to cheat a little and fake that feeling. Eventually, it doesn’t feel like faking anymore.

Have any of you faked it ’til you made it? Did it work?

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I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before on the blog or not, but I play softball once a week or so after work. When I left my job last year, they asked me to come back and play so I said, why not? It’s been so much fun and a great way to unwind after work, not to mention that it keeps me in touch with friends from that office and keeps my name out there. Let’s call it unofficial networking :). Anyway, we had a game last night in the sweltering heat and, though we had a lot of fun and started the game out strong, in the end we lost. It was pretty disappointing, especially because I’m the pitcher and I walked two people during a crucial inning.

I’m the type of person that beats myself up inside when I make errors both at work and outside of work, as you all probably know by now! So, of course, last night I dwelt on my particularly bad inning with gusto, but then it dawned on me: this is not the end of the world! I know, shocking, right? I came to that conclusion all on my own, when usually I depend on a close friend or family member to say the words to me a few times before I believe them. I take that as a good sign! I’m improving.

I know I can be overly hard on myself, as I’m sure many people are (“You’re your own worst critic” and all that…), and it can sometimes be a while before I pull myself out of a funk. To me, my actions both at work and in my personal life are a direct reflection on me and my self-confidence. I want to be a person of integrity and I do believe I already am that person, but when I fail to deliver what I think I should, I go over and over that action in my mind to examine all the ways I went wrong. This can be a good thing because in some ways this makes me more introspective and it strengthens my self-image; in other ways, it can be a little destructive if my thoughts turn negative.

There is always room for self-review and self-criticism. I think it has made me wiser and overall a better person because it forces me to think about my choices and my reasons for making them. It’s when those thoughts start to drown out any positive outcomes that I need to take a step back and re-evaluate my thinking.

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I can’t stress the power of positive thinking enough. I’ve been going through a rough patch this past week or two with heightened stress levels at work (for no reason in particular) and, due to that, I haven’t been sleeping as well as I could be at night. It’s a vicious cycle. There have been days where I come home from work and just want to sit on the couch with no stimulation whatsoever because my mind just keeps racing. Well, I finally put my foot down and I’m not allowing myself to fall into a black hole again this week.

I woke up yesterday morning and I refused to feel bad just because it was a Monday. I also refused to think about work until I was actually sitting at my desk, going through my e-mails later in the morning. I took a shower, put on an outfit that makes me feel confident, listened to my favorite music, and ate breakfast. When I got into work, I continued to listen to music (classical is my favorite when I have a busy day), took a walk at lunch, and actually kicked Monday’s butt. I got a lot done and I felt like a superhero when I left my building yesterday afternoon.

I had some more work to do that night when I got home (I do freelance work on the side), but I made sure I gave myself some down time before I started it. I made myself a nice dinner, read my book, and watched some TV before I dove into my work for another hour or so. I went to bed at a decent time and yes, I did wake up twice during the night, but both times it was for only a few minutes. I don’t feel overwhelmed this morning and I’m ready to kick another day’s butt :).

By refusing to allow myself to think negatively, I made myself feel better. I played a kind of trick on myself and I’m telling you, it worked! Do you ever play tricks on yourself to get out of a rut?

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