We can spend much of our time at work, therefore, if we experience struggles at work this can potentially have a significant effect upon our emotional wellbeing both at work and outside of work. Alternatively, it may be that we are mainly experiencing problems outside of work which can affect our confidence and performance at work.
Problems that can occur at work can include a high workload and/or being faced with tasks that are challenging. They may be challenging as they may be unfamiliar, complex and they may require us to draw upon a skill set that we do not perceive to be our strengths. This can contribute to high stress levels and low confidence.
A common issue that people experience is the “imposter syndrome”. This involves feeling as though at any moment you will be found out and your colleagues/managers may discover that you are not actually as intelligent or skilled as they originally thought. You may believe that you have just been lucky to get to where you have got to in your career and perhaps that you only appear to be seen as good at your job because you put in a lot of time and effort. This contributes to a fear that if you were not to work as hard or things do not go well at work for whatever reason then you will be found out and that you may even lose your job. You may feel you are alone with this feeling, however, it is a phenomenon that is shared by many. In therapy you can be helped to learn that your worries about being an “imposter” are most likely unfounded and that you are underestimating your intelligence and skills.
It may be that low self-esteem is playing a role in contributing to these work issues outlined above. For some people, low self-esteem can be associated with perfectionism. Perfectionism is characterised by feeling that you are not good enough, that you can always be doing better, downplaying achievements, dismissing compliments, fear of failure, striving for approval from others, worrying excessively that others are judging you negatively, comparing oneself with others and being highly self-critical. These can add to the pressure that is experienced at work.
Some people struggle with public speaking which work may entail. This may be a longstanding difficulty or one that has recently developed. High anxiety and stress levels may be experienced even at the prospect of having to do public speaking. You may worry excessively about how others will judge your performance and they will be able to clearly notice that you are anxious which would be unacceptable to you.
Other difficulties at work that people can face are being dissatisfied with their current position and job prospects, being unsure what decision(s) to make regarding whether to stay in their role or look for another job, having difficulties with colleagues/managers and difficulties being assertive.
People can cope with their anxieties, stress and low confidence at work in various ways. They may ‘overcompensate’ by working very hard, for example, work long hours, not take sufficient breaks, take on extra work and not say “no” to tasks given to them. Some people may do the opposite and avoid or put off tasks then perhaps have to rush to get things done at the last minute when there is a deadline. Both of these ways of coping can further fuel anxiety and stress.
Therapy for Work and Career related Issues
At Therapy Central we can support you with any work or career related problem that you are experiencing. We will explore with you the reason(s) for these problems, how they are affecting you, how you are coping and then help you to find ways to work through them. Through exploring the reason(s) for these problems we may be able to work together to gain an insight into how underlying problems, perhaps outside of work, are feeding into the problems. We can introduce you to tools and concepts that can help you to address thinking and behavioural patterns that may be playing a role in maintaining your difficulties. We can support you to tackle the emotional impact your work/career issues are having upon you, such as depression, anxiety, stress and low confidence.