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5 Ways to Get Tough


We all want to be tough. It’s something that was ingrained in us from an early age — more so for boys than for girls — but the impression we may get is that we should be able to handle everything that is thrown our way. But, what would happen if we set all that aside for a minute, and we re-evaluated what it meant to be tough? On the job, if we took a closer look at our toughness, we might just see that we’ve approached it in all the wrong ways.

How to Get Tough

(Photo Credit: ErikaWittlieb/pixabay) 

But, first, we should take a look at what we’re looking at when we talk about toughness. If you look at most dictionaries, it means something like: “strong enough to withstand adverse conditions.” It says nothing about being perfect, or not reacting to situations. But, it is synonymous with strong, resilient, and rugged. 

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It’s likely that you really are more capable and tough than you really believe yourself to be. You just may need better coping mechanisms to deal with those disappointments and frustrations at work. So, here are a few tips.

1. What

What you do is not necessarily who you see yourself as being or becoming. There could be innumerable reasons why you find yourself in the job you’re in today, but whatever your situation or reason, you must embrace where you are. You will feel weak and ineffective in your work if you’re doing the bare minimum in your job, just looking to get to the next payday. Embrace the experience, and do your job well, even if it is the stepping-stone-to-your-career job.

2. Where

Are you even at work? Seriously consider if there is something else on your mind that is constantly distracting you. For many of life’s tragic (or emotional) events, you have every right to feel the way you do.

“Successful people aren’t perfect, but they know how to manage their emotions,” according to Andrea Kay, a career consultant, cited in US News.

There’s nothing wrong with having a bad day — it happens to us all — but when it become a bad few months or a bad year, it may be time to seek counseling to come to terms with what is going on. It’s not that you’re any less tough, or less capable. Sometimes, life’s challenges just prove to be too much for any of us to overcome on our own.

3. How

If you’re asking yourself how any human being can accomplish all that you feel you must, perhaps that’s exactly the right question. Of course, we can all start with looking at ways to be more productive. We can also look at ways to improve our skillsets, so that we’re no longer fumbling to get the job done. Ultimately, though, you may come to the realization that you are tough, that you’ve done your job well, and that you just need to take a step back to see if you can get help, or if the job can be streamlined in another way.

4. How Often

Just because you evaluate your job and how you are fitting into the workplace once doesn’t mean you should stop there. Although you probably don’t have time on a daily basis to re-evaluate your work, it’s important that you schedule self-evaluation. Don’t leave it until you’re feeling particularly negative about your job or for the time before or after your quarterly/annual evaluation.

5. To What Extent

How far do you go? Of course, we each handle situations in our own particular way, based on our experiences. How does that translate to toughness? It does, and it doesn’t.

We can all learn ways to better cope at work, and it’s often easy to find ways to improve, particularly in an understanding, team-oriented environment, where communication is encouraged. We can learn and grow. We should also be aware that trying to “do it all” can affect our health. Is it worth it?

Tell Us What You Think

Are you tough on the job? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Esther Lombardi
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