Of course, I have moments of angst like any other professional but generally speaking, my career isn’t something that keeps me up at night.
I’m one of the lucky ones who has always known exactly what she wanted to do with her life, right from a young age. I have pursued my professional aspirations — with fervor — since the moment I realized journalism and writing could be a full-time gig.
From endless internships and writing for free until someone finally decided to pay me, most of the time, my work doesn’t feel like work, but rather something I enjoy and happen to be skilled at.
This confidence and calm has served me well throughout my journey, and it’s also taught me a few valuable lessons. Here, a few tips from someone who doesn’t get super-anxious about work and how you can apply the principles.
How to stop to stop worrying about your career:
Recognize the power of your thoughts
Blame it on having a mother who is an astrologer but I believe in the power of the universe. And more so, I am always alert to what words I’m using to describe myself, my work and my attitude.
Because writing is a passion, the adjectives I associate with this part of my life are positive, exciting and encouraging. I’ve never doubted my ability to string together sentences, hustle for a byline or to land a client, so I rarely think negative about my professional sphere.
On the other hand, I struggled for year (read: a decade) with dating before I met my partner. He was worth the ups and downs, but it wasn’t until I started to shift my mental patterns about finding love that I was in the right head space to meet him.
If you are anxious about your career or your ability to snag that dream gig, start with the way you talk to yourself.
What you say you are, you are — and what you think, becomes your reality. Pay attention and shift appropriately.
Don’t hold onto the failures
The road to becoming a full-time freelance travel and lifestyle journalist and owner of a content strategy company definitely hasn’t been smooth sailing from day one.
In fact, a big part of my job description is remaining collected when I receive a rejection. Or an article is returned for revisions. Or, I don’t get a client I thought I had in the bag. Whatever the case, I allow myself to mourn the setback… and then I let it go.
I also have learned — over many trails and errors — not to take anything personally. Perhaps an editor had a rough morning, and they took it out on their writers. Or my writing style wasn’t a fit for a particular publication.
The more you hold onto your shortcomings, the more they define your overall perception of yourself as a professional.
Though I may be more sensitive about my body image, when it comes to my career, I’m able to absorb in the comments, release them, and move forward.
Celebrate the wins
If there’s anything my friends know about me, it’s that I love a reason to celebrate. I always keep a bottle of champagne in the fridge, I have a drawer full of cards for every occasion, and I never let a birthday go by without doting on my loved ones to the extreme.
I apply the same philosophy to my career: when my dream byline went live, I held an impromptu happy hour. When I managed to meet a savings goal, I treated myself (and my boyfriend) to a nice dinner.
These milestones may not be much in the grand scheme of a career, but if you aren’t proud of yourself — how can you expect others to be?
No matter how you take a moment to reflect on a win, that pause is non-negotiable. It will help foster your self-esteem and give you the motivation you need to push harder.
Foster trust in yourself
Even though it isn’t 100 percent true, I find peace in the parts of my life that I feel like I can control. While I couldn’t magically snap my fingers and meet a wonderful guy when I was single, I could hustle hard-time and find new clients.
Part of why I don’t suffer from as much anxiety from my career is because I know with diligence, ambitious and determination, I will always keep chugging along.
Most importantly, I trust myself to never give up.
I also trust my abilities, my judgement and my performance, which automatically sets me up for success.
The more that you can remind yourself that hey, I’m worthy and I’m ready for the next big thing, the more convincing you will be to other people you meet along the way.
You have to love it
Sure, not everyone will be head-over-heels for their profession. Not everyone has a lifelong passion.
When many people struggle to figure out what to do with their careers, they will make an excuse that “I don’t really like anything that much.” This isn’t true for anyone, since working doesn’t have to be the most fulfilling part of your life.
In fact, you can love your job because it allows you to create the lifestyle that you want. Say, you’re in management and though it isn’t dreamy, you make six figures, have a flexible schedule and can go abroad four times a year. Instead of thinking about the aspects of your day-in and day-out that you don’t enjoy, you can shift your thinking to focus on what your gig gives you in return.
Love can be defined in many ways, after all.
So how can you stop worrying less about your career? And manifest the life you want? Start with one positive thought — and you’re on your way.