Having a tough time at work is normal. Plus, if you’re having a tough time it’s human nature to want to vent about it, right? But, if you’re starting to suspect your work complaints are becoming a regular fixture take a moment to ask yourself this:
Do your friends and loved ones think you enjoy what you do?
Do the number of good days at work outnumber the bad ones?
Do you remember the last time you shared a positive experience you had at work?
If you answered “no” to more than one of the questions above it might be time to make some changes to your mindset, and your job too…
More and more of us are falling into the habit of constant complaining about our careers. And it’s an easy trap to fall into. Work is called work for a reason, and even if you love what you do there are going to be days that feel horrendous. According to a recent Gallup study, 32% of employees in the U.S. are engaged -meaning they are involved in, enthusiastic about and committed to their work and workplace. Worldwide, only 13% of employees working for an organization are engaged.
If you’ve started complaining regularly about your career outside of work hours, or find yourself starting to complain to coworkers, it time to take stock fast and think about the implications. Scientific research shows complaining can literally shrink your brain. Complaining impacts how our gray matter processes information by physically peeling neurons away from the hippocampus, an important part of our brain. Furthermore, complaining works like a muscle. Basically, the more you complain, the more neurons in your brain stitch themselves together to easily facilitate this kind of information.
Before you know it, complaining becomes so easy for your brain to grasp, you start doing it without even consciously registering the behavior. Complaining about your career might feel therapeutic at first, but if it becomes a habit those negative thoughts can snowball pretty quickly. Even worse, you can leave a lasting impression about how you approach work that is less than favorable on your loved ones, friends and coworkers, even if that wasn’t your intention.
The bottom line is this. If we don’t like something at work, we have options. Try and find a way to make some positive changes, or at the very least change the way you think about it. You can still be productive, even if it feels like your career is going sideways, if you choose to find a way to work through it instead of just complaining about it. If you’ve had a bad day, week or month at work consider that done and be ready to move on. Don’t carry it with you or dwell on it, take some positive actions instead.
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Post by Octavia Goredema @OctaviaGoredema