By Jane Burnett 

Do you ever feel like you’re constantly stretching yourself too thin without giving yourself room to breathe? It’s time to back off and give yourself the space you need — here are three ways to stop getting in your own way at work.

Surround yourself with positivity

This can go a long way.

A article by writer and former English professor Gina Vivinetto features input from Paula Davis-Laack, who is an author and founder of the Davis-Laack Stress & Resilience Institute, about how to be kinder to yourself. One tip is to “start a portfolio of good stuff.”

“Positive emotions do more than just help you feel good — they increase your creativity, make you more social, build your resilience, and reduce the negative physiological impact of negative emotions, says Davis-Laack. She collects thank you notes, testimonials for her business, and other positive notes and keeps them in her office,” the post reads.

The article was for NBCUniversal’s Season of Kindness initiative.

Give yourself another chance after that error

Give yourself room to fail.

Chelsea Babin, Content Manager at IT recruiting firm Camden Kelly, writes on the site about the process of recovering after messing up at work. One of her tips is to “Start Over With New Knowledge.”

“When screwing up doesn’t lead to firing and doesn’t lead to your life being ruined, you’ll appreciate the ability to start over with new knowledge. This will help you avoid being too hard on yourself in the future. And, when you make a mistake, you’ll have the confidence to know that you can handle the situation calmly, professionally, and positively,” she writes.

Don’t try to be perfect

This will only make things worse.

Melody Wilding, an executive coach and social worker who teaches at CUNY Hunter College, writes in The Muse about how to improve your shortcomings “without beating yourself up.” One of her tips is to “check your perfectionism at the door.”

“To keep your perfectionism in check, take note of how you describe your slip-ups. Do you catch yourself saying things like ‘I always forget people’s names‘ or ‘I’ll never figure out how to run a report that pleases my boss’? If so, you’re slipping into what’s known as a negative explanatory style—that is, blaming bad events on permanent, all-encompassing aspects of yourself (think: ‘I’m just not that smart’ or ‘I’ll never have the confidence to be good at public speaking’),” she writes. “Instead, try to turn those thoughts into specific, changeable behaviors that you can improve.”

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