Taking on a leadership role at work is not a walk in the park. While many aim to climb the ladder and call the shots, they don’t realize that going up the ranks means heavier responsibilities. It can be easy to crumble under pressure. When the team is stressed, you are doubly so. After all, you’re in charge of steering the sheep. In addition, it can be isolating to be the boss. No longer are you part of the workplace gossip; you may even become the subject of it.
Thoughts like not being good enough as a leader or not properly doing your job also come and go. You begin to doubt yourself and your capabilities. You may feel like you have so many responsibilities yet so little control, and you cannot do any of them right. So, you develop thoughts of inadequacy. This reaction is a form of workplace stress, and it can lead to the deterioration of your physical and mental health.
The good news is you can cope and deal with this type of stress. Multiple articles and websites give out advice or suggestions you can do by yourself. Furthermore, if you want professional guidance, you can always seek the help of a therapist. Therapy has been instrumental for so many people in improving their lives. It is no surprise that it also helps leaders become better in their work. By undergoing therapy, you will understand yourself more, learn how to reduce your stress, and become the confident leader you can be.
Below are some concrete ways how therapy can help you cope with workplace stress.
Find Out What Triggers Your Stress And Anxiety
One type of therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, aims to shift perception from having little control to believe in your capability to overcome any issue or problem. The first step is to spot and pinpoint those anxiety-inducing thoughts.
Most of the time, you only feel like you lost control because of the recurring thoughts. These kinds of thoughts fuel your self-doubt and make you believe they are the truth. If you constantly tell yourself that you are not worthy of leading your group, you may feel dejected. As a result, you might give up and become more stressed.
To stop these feelings, you and your therapist will process your thoughts to spot the negative ones. You might be asked to talk about the entirety of your day. Your therapist may also ask about your previous thoughts and how you feel about them. Slowly, your complicated emotions will unravel themselves. You and your therapist can then identify which ones are not good for you and address them accordingly.
Outside therapy, your therapist might even suggest you keep a journal, so you can point out situations that stress you and how you respond to them. At the next session, your therapist will, again, help you process them all to figure out the triggering ones.
Examine And Dispute Your Thoughts
Once you pinpoint your negative thoughts, the next step is to dispute them. To do so, you and your therapist will critically analyze them. You will have to go through these beliefs and figure out whether they are true or not. If they are true, your therapist will help you find ways to improve. They’ll help you learn how to deal with the situation better, as well. It is okay to be saddened by it. But to give up entirely is not the best answer.
If it is true that you’re not a good leader, you can start attending leadership training or seminars to better yourself. You can also start identifying your strengths and weaknesses to determine where you can improve. However, as you process them, you will see that the majority of these thoughts are untrue. Self-doubting thoughts often lead to lower self-esteem, which makes it easier for us to believe them. You and your therapist will now have to dispute them.
Often, a democratic group votes on a leader. The members would not have picked someone they think is unworthy. Their vote may have been based on seeing that person leading without any major troubles or blunders. You may be this exact leader they want. So, the notion that you are an unworthy leader is untrue.
In the end, the aim of debating over these thoughts is to make sure you do not go into that mental state where you instantly believe them. You will be looking over them objectively as a way to cope better with stress.
According to group counseling experts, being responsible for the success and achievements of a group certainly can put pressure and stress on a leader. Suddenly, you are not just focusing on yourself anymore but the rest of your team, as well. Having that many obligations can make you doubt yourself. You can avoid it, but it does come sometimes. For others, this will motivate them to be better. For the rest, it just brings more anxiety and apprehension.
We begin to push ourselves to achieve our goals at the expense of our health. We reach our breaking point, but we still work in hopes of getting rid of our self-doubts. But, as human beings, we must take care of ourselves. To ensure our well-being, we must not let our thoughts put us in a bad place. Allowing this to happen will cause more problems and consequences for ourselves and the group.
That is why it is crucial always to check yourself. You can question if you’re still doing okay. Ponder on your thoughts, and see how you doubt yourself. If your self-doubt is getting too much, know that therapy is always an option. Know that it’s not only something needed by people in deep trouble. You can also benefit from it as you begin your journey to coping with your stress to become a better leader. Your therapist will be with you every step of the way.