Are You Taking Work Too Personally?

Our jobs often offer a sense of purpose, growth, and community. But when we’re invested in our work, it’s easy for us to take interactions, decisions, or feedback personally, which impacts our emotions, self-worth, and identity. If your professional role has become too intertwined with your sense of self, here’s how to put things in perspective.

First, practice de-identifying from your feelings with statements like “I am observing this feeling, but I am not this feeling,” or “I can notice this thought without letting it consume me.” By recognizing your reaction, you can create a space between the triggering event and your response.

Next, before you spiral, pause and ask yourself: “What am I interpreting this situation to mean about me?” Through this pattern of interruption, you can examine your assumptions and look at the situation more objectively. You can also challenge yourself to consider alternative explanations for someone’s behavior or words.

Finally, instead of asking, “Why is this happening to me?” focus on more constructive inquiries. Asking “What can be done?” will shift you into a problem-solving mindset. And asking “What can I learn from this?” will encourage you to extract wisdom from your experiences.

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