Do either of these situations sound familiar?
- You start an email to your boss with, “I’m sorry to bother you, but…”
- A colleague plops their papers down on the conference table, knocking your coffee over. “Sorry! Let me get this stuff out of your way,” you say as you begin cleaning up.
Maybe you’ve fallen into this over-apologizing trap or have found yourself saying “I’m sorry” for things that don’t merit an apology in the first place.
It’s a bad habit that can morph into a reflex reaction. This self-defeating pattern of behavior can not only be exhausting to you, but also to everyone around you including your co-workers, boss and family.
Why Do We Apologize So Much?
This apology impulse may have its roots in childhood. Many women (and men!) are taught to uphold the value of politeness. It’s socialized into our psyches that being nice equates to likability.
Apologizing excessively can be the result of a genuine desire to demonstrate respect. It can become problematic, however, when we hold others’ opinions and reactions in overly high regard. Old habits die hard and unfortunately those well intentioned attempts to be deferential can sabotage us years later.
A tendency to over-apologize may stem from an aversion to conflict. Apologizing can sometimes be a misdirected means of claiming responsibility in order to make a problem disappear–a preemptive peace-keeping strategy–regardless of whether or not you deserve blame in the first place.
Constantly apologizing can have negative side effects on your career, from giving the appearance of incompetence to annoying your colleagues and superiors with your self-deprecating style.READ MORE
Do these sound like promises you’ve made to yourself?
- Once I get the promotion, I’ll feel like my career is on track.
- After this busy period, I won’t have to work so much and can spend time doing things I enjoy.
- When I make six-figures, I’ll be financially secure enough to move across the country/start a family/write a book.
In our goal-oriented society, setting an objective to work toward is often a powerful motivator that drives professional and personal progress.
In theory this may not sound like a bad thing, but what if when you achieve that goal, life doesn’t really look or feel any different? For example, have you ever completed one project only to realize that there’s now even more to do, meaning you’re further from the work-life balance you so desperately crave? Others may relate to the confusing feeling of finally getting or a raise or promotion, only to remain haunted by anxiety and a sneaking sense of disillusionment.
This disconcerting let down has name. Commonly known as the arrival fallacy, it’s a psychological thought trap high-achievers are all too familiar with.
Here’s how the arrival fallacy works along with what you can do to counteract it and reach new heights of success.
The Arrival Fallacy: What It Is And How it Works
The arrival fallacy–a term introduced by positive psychology expert Tal Ben-Shahar in his book Happier–operates on the idea that in the process of working toward a goal, you come to expect that you will in fact reach it.READ MORE
There’s no shortage of self-help gurus who swear that repeating positive phrases to yourself can change your life, encouraging that if you simply tell yourself “I am strong and successful”, your fears will simply disappear.
If you’ve tried using positive affirmations, you know that it can be a difficult habit to maintain. You may spend five, 10 or even 20 minutes reciting your affirmation, but the other 23 hours of the day? Chances are that your mind drifts back to old, repetitive thoughts that have burned deep grooves in your brain.
The problem with positive affirmations is that they operate at the surface level of conscious thinking and do nothing to contend with the subconscious mind where limiting beliefs really live.
It goes without saying that if you command yourself to think “I am abundant and attract wealth”, yet your deeply held core belief is that you are never enough or unworthy of your success, your brain will be quick to incite an inner war. If you trying tell yourself “I am successful”, but you struggle with insecurity regarding your skills and accomplishments, your subconscious may likely remind you of the many times you’ve embarrassed yourself in front of your boss or made a mistake at work (trust me, we’ve all been there!).
The truth is that it’s natural and healthy to experience a range of feelings, including less pleasant ones like disappointment, sadness or guilt. While there’s no question that ruminating in negative emotions can turn toxic, whitewashing your insecurities with positive thinking is merely a temporary fix.READ MORE
Being a millennial entrepreneur comes with it’s fair share of emotional ups and downs. Some days your energy is high. Your creativity is on fire.
Other days? You find yourself in a motivational slump, wondering where that inspiration and focus disappeared to.
Recently I had one of those frustrating “off days.” My mood was low, my brain was foggy, and my inner critic was seriously acting up. Maybe you can relate. We’ve all been there at one time or another.
In the interest of having more honest conversations about work-life balance, happiness, and what it’s really like to be part of the side-hustle generation, I want to share how I lift myself out of a rut and rebound from a bad day.READ MORE
Google “productivity” and you’re served up almost 18 million search results.
Dive in and you’ll find blogs, websites, apps, op-eds, subreddits, consulting firms, podcasts and scientific studies devoted to the art of efficiency.
Our obsession in modern society with doing more is rivaled only by our preoccupation with doing more harder, better, faster and stronger. We’re gunning the engines at max speed, cramming our work days full of tasks, then feeling guilty if we steal a quick second to call a friend or read a book for pure pleasure (gasp!).
Here’s the irony: compulsion over productivity can do more harm than good.
Addiction to productivity is a real thing—similiar to a dependence on a substance or food that leads to maladaptive behavior. Clinically speaking, addiction occurs when someone is engages in something that’s pleasurable, but the continued use or act becomes compulsive to the point of interfering with normal life responsibilities (work, relationships or health). To make matters worse, an addict may not be aware that his or her behavior is out of control.
If you think you’re sliding into an addiction to productivity, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
6 Signs You’re A Productivity Addict
- Are you acutely aware of when you are “wasting” time? Do you beat yourself up for it?
- Are you reliant on technology to optimize your time management?
- Is your #1 topic of conversation how “crazy busy” you are?
You know how when you trip walking down the street, it feels like the entire cityscape of people is staring at you in amusement? Or when you’ve worn the same pair of pants three times in one week, you’re completely paranoid your colleagues are judging you for your lack of fashion sense (or cleanliness)? What about when you fumble over your words in a presentation, and then can’t stop thinking about how every person in the room now thinks you’re a terrible speaker?
As human beings with an ego and an innate self-awareness of our own feelings, actions and thoughts, we tend to notice and greatly exaggerate our flaws while assuming everyone around us has a microscope focused on faults, mistakes and slip-ups. In truth, other people don’t notice them nearly as much as we assume. Why? Because they’re too busy noticing and greatly exaggerating their own flaws!
This strange phenomenon is what’s known in psychology circles as the spotlight effect. You’re the center of your own world, and everyone else is the center of his or her’s. If you’re someone who sets high standards for yourself, your errors probably feel really difficult to move past. You might play your mistake on an endless internal feedback loop like a cinematographer in the editing room. Or maybe you talk through every facet of it with your significant other, best friend or a colleague over and over until you’re making them crazy, too.READ MORE