3 Ways To Cope On An Off Day At Work
By: Tori Utley
With the buzz of millennial entrepreneurship gaining traction in the media, it seems that there exists story after story of another twenty-something founding a company to innovate in a stagnant industry or invent a new product. But the truth behind the buzz is that 9 out of 10 startups fail, and although it may be tempting to assume that the life of a young entrepreneur is patterned with unbridled success, we must remember the hardship faced by young leaders. In addition to the exciting moments of founding a startup or accelerating in your career, there are bad days. There are days when failure seems closer than success, and days when it feels that you might lose it all instead of doing anything meaningful at work or in your startup.
When you have bad days, you need to have a toolkit to ensure you’re thinking proactively instead of reactively. You will have bad days or bad moments as an entrepreneur. It’s better to be prepared than to let a bad day blindside you and risk making a mistake in how you cope with it. For entrepreneurs, coping appropriately with a bad day is of vital importance – you’ve got investors, a team, a product or business all depending on you. You’re allowed to have a bad day, but the way you internalize and externalize it matters
Find Your Motivation
When you’re having a bad day, one of the biggest things to seek out is something to motivate you. There are some bad days – or bad moments – that feel so difficult that you want to quit. Don’t. That investment deal didn’t go through? You’ll be okay, and so will your startup. Find a mentor, a colleague or a strategy to remotivate yourself when you’ve lost the fire that gave you the energy to pursue your dreams in the first place.
Talking about a bad day isn’t a bad thing – you might need it. Talking it out with a friend or colleague may be necessary, just remember to find someone you trust and someone who will both be there for you and leave you with something wise. You don’t want to vent and sit there in the mess – vent if you must, keep it to a fixed time period and move on. The mentor or friend who will give you wisdom to move on is someone to keep around. You’ll go back to your startup or your team with the right mentality versus if you let yourself be absorbed by anger, sadness or depressed feelings.
If you’re getting too emotional about a workplace stressor, take a step back. Take a moment, grab a coffee, take a walk. Once you’re composed, revisit the situation and try to stay logical. Use your wisdom and analysis to review a situation or bad day and think objectively about what you could do differently to avoid this type of bad day in the future. The outcome could be an improvement to a workplace system or your attitude – either way, by looking through the lens of logic, you’ll avoid being emotionally reactive, and you’ll begin a new day with a greater understanding of how to improve on your next bad day.
There are many strategies to use when you’re having a bad day – or a bad week – at work. By coping holistically and by seeking out wise feedback from others, you’ll ensure that you don’t make a wrong decision in the face of a stressful situation. By having these coping mechanisms in your back pocket, it will be easier to respond appropriately, and not react impulsively.
Furthermore, you’ll be setting a great example for your team to foster a workplace culture that is understanding yet sets the standard for appropriate coping and pathways to stress reduction and conflict resolution.
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