what creates stress and anxiety in your workplace, is it the people, the environment, or the way you think?
THE WORKPLACE for many are places of anxiety and fear, especially now that Covid-19 has changed the way we work. There is fear and anxiety even in environments where wellbeing and positive work ethos is valued and practised, There is fear and anxiety even when we are working from home.
There are still fear based environments, blame cultures, bullying; where people are frightened to go to work. Statistics show 13% of cases reported violence, threats or bullying as the cause of work-related stress, anxiety and depression. (hse.gov/statistics). Many cases, however, go unreported because of fear; of judgment, of repercussions, or because the company doesn't take action, or because the person can't afford to leave, or some other reason, or because of the many thoughts and feelings experienced by men and women associated with being bullied-abused including shame, worthlessness, hopelessness, self blame.
There is also the fear created by our own thoughts; Our negative 'self talk' which crushes our confidence and self esteem. The 'Inner Worrier' with self doubt and the 'what if's' creating worst case scenario's in our mind, the 'Inner Critic' who criticises what we do, the 'Inner Judge' who judges us harshly as a person, all of which we believe and project onto our work environment, onto the people we work with. The vulnerability may be because of our workload (44%) or due to lack of support (14%) or because of change (8%) or for some other reason (21%) but we begin to worry and the problem gets bigger and we spiral down into work-related stress and anxiety. Many hard working, conscientious people go to work in fear, even when the environment is a positive one, because of 'old programming', old negative beliefs about themselves that are still affecting their thoughts and behaviours.
When I use the word ‘fear’, a person often says, ‘I’m not fearful, work
just makes me anxious’, BUT when we investigate their thought processes and behaviours fear is there; fear of not being good enough, fear of what others might think of them, fear of not belonging, not being liked, fear that they might get something wrong, might lose control, might get into serious trouble, might be found out for being a fraud, fear that they might be sacked.
And there is the fear of something happening again; a repetition of something that happened in the past; in their life, a previous workplace, a previous relationship, at school, in their family. Such fears can make a workplace feel dangerous. And now because of Covid-19 many people are terrified to go to work. Old fears merging with what is happening today.
And also there are people who fear being seen.
People who stay in mundane, unfulfilling jobs or roles, who are leaders, are intelligent, have amazing ideas, have so much potential and much to give to the world, but don’t, because of what they believe about
themselves, based upon their history.
In all work environments there are psychological dynamics: which get unconsciously played out because of our history and what is happening at that time; 'old programmes' affecting how we function in the workplace, how we think about ourselves and others, how we behave and how we work. This causes stress and anxiety in our workplace
Often at the core of work-related stress and anxiety is our history; what we experienced in the past and what we have brought to the present. So, a question to ask yourself, and which will be answered in this training is, "What do YOU take to work with you?"