Your worst boss

Written by Karola Morawska

Karola Morawska’s photo

Your worst boss

The first step of self-improvement is to recognize your symptoms.

You’re at work. You’re stressed, emotionally tired and unsatisfied. You tried your best, yet you keep getting feedback that’s everything but positive. And it’s all because of your own boss who puts you under pressure, yourself.

Does this ring a bell? In many cases, it’s us who really puts ourselves in a bad mood. Fortunately, the symptoms leading to those situations are easy to spot.

Self-criticism

You can’t satisfy everyone and yet, the hardest person to please is yourself. You’ve become too fastidious and think every single thing you’ve done could always be done better. “Nah, I don’t like it” is your default response to praise. Your inner critic is the reason of your negative self-judgement and ultimately your low self-esteem.

Overworking

A day is just 24 hours that should be used both for the work as well as our rest. We’re not machines after all. Even though you understand that, you think that rule doesn’t apply to you. Your todo list is piling up, because you have problems delegating tasks. Or worse, you’re too diffident to refuse any new ones. You take care of everything heroically, because you can’t let down the company. The truth is, these superheroes end up being tired and unhappy before anyone else does.

Sabotaging

This one is tricky. You probably don’t realize this, but you sabotage yourself at work quite often. How many times have you made a sound decision, but kept thinking it over and over afterwards? Have you ever blamed tools or others for your unproductiveness? Or bikeshedded small things while letting important issues slip away? If the answer to any of those questions is yes, you’re deliberately postponing your own success.

Blaming others

Mistakes happen to everyone but you—officially at least. The truth is we all happen to screw up something from time to time. But when you do—unintentionally—the consequences embarrass and frustrate you. Admitting your mistake would be the right thing to do, yet you bury your head deep in the sand, accusing circumstances or other people.

Fear as motivation

You keep postponing things for later or just procrastinating. Time passes and you’re finding yourself cornered by deadlines. The fear of being fired, public ridicule or letting people down is a strong motivator. But the pressure of losing reputation, money, or chance is also very toxic. “If I had done this earlier, I would have saved myself so much stress.” How many times have you told yourself that?


If you recognize at least one of these symptoms, there’s a chance you might be your own worst boss. But fear not—the identification is the first step of self-improvement.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. This attitude will help you move things forward and be happy with yourself. 🙌