A lot of us are employed or probably may join a workplace which is known to be aggressive in doing business and has an assertive work environment. in order to foster decision making and efficiency. However, not all are equipped emotionally and psychologically to adapt to such an environment. This can lead to feeling stressed, anxious and decrease in self confidence.
In therapy I often see individuals who come with work related stress which stems from problems relating to adapting to such work environment. Changing jobs may not be the best option, especially if one is just starting their career.
If you find yourself in such a situation, here are some handy suggestions which can help you.
Learn to Accept: As a first step learn to accept that your work environment is in a business that needs to be assertive in order to meet certain business goals. Some level of assertiveness is required to get things moving and to prioritize deadlines.
Its not personal: When faced with a disagreement about your ideas, try not to take it personally. It does not mean that you are incompetent or that you are not capable of good ideas, it just means that you need to still explore other ideas or solutions. Ofcourse, if you see that your self respect is being targeted during discussions and meetings, communicate the same immediately. New ideas cannot be generated by stamping on ones self respect at work.
Leverage from the environment: If the work environment is assertive, use it as a leverage to push-back on tasks which may not be in your scope of work or even saying "Not right now" when your plate is already full with lots of work. You can use the work culture as an opportunity to learn to become assertive, if you currently struggle to be assertive.
Keep Time to Disconnect: If assertiveness is a learnt behavior rather than your natural tendency, then it can get over-whelming for the person. Take time out to exhibit your natural behavior regularly in different situations as a way to balance your emotions. For Example:- After an assertive meeting session, you can have an informal chat with a colleague or your team where you can be your original self.
Journal your successes: You can slowly build a habit to journal your successes at work (even on a daily basis). Reading through your successes, will help you keep your confidence intact and reinforce the fact that you can still be successful despite being in work environment which may be challenging.
Be Relaxed: Identify few breathing exercises or simple relaxation exercises which you can do even at work, whenever you feel a bit over-whelmed or stressed with the highly charged environment. It will not only help you feel relaxed, but also help you to be more focused.
If you found this article useful, do share it. If you work in a similar environment, I would be happy to know your experiences