By Kerry Creaswood
We know when we aren’t like everybody. We sense it in childhood when all our friends want to do one thing, and we want something completely different – or nothing at all.
In my case, I was crazy about my diaries. While the other girls would write on them just the most remarkable moments of their lives, I spent hours of every single day putting into words not only what had happened to me, but also my thoughts and plans for the future.
And yet, despite being the odd one, I made it through adolescence and adult life. I also made good friends, had fun, and enjoyed romantic relationships throughout the years.
With you, it might have happened a bit later. Maybe you started to work and noticed that you were doing something wrong but that you believed shouldn’t be wrong. Maybe you were taking your job more seriously than anybody else, for example, that you were the only one that seemed to care.
And that’s when you started feeling like the black sheep at work.
I bet you can tell that people are talking about you, whispering about why you work so hard, and wondering if you are pushing for a promotion or if you are going mad. But you can’t possibly understand why they are saying that.
You probably have been raised believing that only hard work can bring you what you want. And by hard work here, we aren’t talking about being productive or effective or delivering the best results to your company.
Your idea of hard work is probably “working until exhaustion”. If you still have any energy, you will use it until you drain it all out. People look at you and see you falling apart with a smile on your face – and this is what scares them.
Another thing that might be happening to you is that you come to see stress as part of a normal life. You have been under pressure for so long that you aren’t sure that you can function otherwise.
But this is one of the most dangerous myths of our modern lives. Stress is not a good thing, not for your physical or mental health. Being in a constant state of alert will only make you sick, anxious or depressed. And you will be seeing these effects soon enough, if not yet, in form of a high blood pressure, eating or sleep disorders, and failed relationships.
As you can imagine, a perfectionist doesn’t have a great life. Nothing is good enough to them, from their clothes to their jobs. They waste time trying to fix imaginary failures, or they overthink everything trying to predict what probably will never happen.
You might think that you aren’t worthy. You may not feel like you deserve the job, so you need to prove yourself every day, with no pause for resting.
You might be comparing yourself to your colleagues, who always leave the office by 5, and yet are always getting compliments from your boss. Meanwhile, you are still there late and won’t hear even a thank you. Or you might have made a mistake in the past, and you still haven’t got over it. What you need to understand is that if you got this job you deserved it. You were the best candidate, so be proud of yourself.
In any of the situations above, you should try to change your attitude towards work as soon as possible. It will improve the quality of your relationship with your colleagues, and believe me, your work will be much more appreciated after that.
Have you been feeling like a black sheep at work? Why do you think this is happening to you? Leave your comments below.