Staying Positive at Work in Tough Times: A Basic Guide

May 6, 2019

Work Woes

Staying positive at work in tough times is a mental attitude that takes time to master. A growing company goes through various challenges as it strives to achieve its set milestones. Sometimes, these challenges weigh on the very employees that drive up the profits.

Sometimes it’s their personal obligations interfering with work. Unfortunately, many give up when they are at the brink of a breakthrough.

What can you do to remain objective throughout the process?

When you learn the art of staying positive, you continue to grow as you focus on your goal. Here are simple coping strategies you can use to stay positive at work in tough times.


A Quick Spot Check

Expressive writing as an excellent coping strategy to stay positive at work. This strategy counters the effects of rumination. It replaces our mind's natural tendency to relive a negative experience repeatedly. In turn, you begin to heal from past failure and remain positive as you accomplish your tasks.

Are you having sleepless nights, trying to resolve a mistake? Or maybe you are behind on your weekly targets. Pause and take stock of your current performance each time your boss criticizes your work.

tough times at work

Every day before you begin work, write and answer a series of questions that remind you of your past achievements. This list of milestones gives you a clearer picture of where you ought to be.

Use this list to strategize on how to tackle the issue at hand. This plan will help you regain time lost because of losing focus.

As you do a spot check on where you are, learn to refocus your energy on the problem at hand and not on your weaknesses. Additionally, tough times can make us emotionally unstable. When this happens, take some time off to recollect yourself.

Change Your Attitude towards Challenges

Staying positive at work in tough times is possible when we view the challenges we face as part of the learning curve. For example, when your company has just migrated to new software, it can be tough adjusting to the way the new software functions. Be patient as you learn the changes.

Set realistic deadlines on when you would want to accomplish the tough tasks. Perceive the tough times as an opportunity to learn and grow.

Understand that only you are in control of your thoughts. If you entertain negative ideas for too long, they will affect you negatively. On the contrary, positive vibes lead you to positive actions.

Know Your Limits

When you are handling a tough task, learn to work within your limits. For example, communicate to your superiors about the unrealistic deadlines you have to meet.

Offer another way of accomplishing the same task without compromising on quality delivery. When you work within your optimum levels, you can think clearly and make rational decisions.

Staying Positive at Work in Tough Times

Surround Yourself with Positivity

There are times when we have to deal with more than one setback at a time. Such misfortunes have a way of draining all the energy in us. Staying positive at work in tough times is easy when you are with other positive people. Maintain a circle of friends that remind you of your strengths.

Remember, we all make mistakes. Therefore, be quick to forgive yourself when you mess up. Let go of the negative past. Accept that no one is perfect. Start working on the person you want to be in the future. Learn to believe in yourself and what you can accomplish.

When you do so, your confidence will rub off on other people around you. And your positive vibe will attract other optimistic people.

It can also be very important to learn how to be more open emotionally. 

Manage Your Fears

Sometimes, tough times can affect how we see our challenges. We tend to blow issues out of proportion because of harboring the fear of the unknown.

However, most of our fears never happen. So, if you are working on a task that will determine your next promotion and the expectations are too high, never let your fear hold you back from using your capabilities. Instead, embrace your fears and use this adrenaline rush to your advantage.

When venturing into a new system, keep in mind that things may not always work out as planned. Anticipate such mishaps. Always have a contingency plan up your sleeves. Anticipate financial shortages and set aside funds to cover you.

Such an approach ensures you rest at ease as you tackle the tough times.

Maintain a Regular Routine

One way of staying positive at work in tough times is by maintaining a healthy daily routine. Exercise regularly. Keep off junk foods. Always be at work on time.  Declutter your life and spend more time on your priority items list.

Staying Positive at Work in Tough Times

Allocate enough time to sleep and rejuvenate. Keep a diary. Write out any negative thoughts you have and vent them any way you can. Never give up on yourself. Treat yourself as a way of acknowledging your accomplishments. Use this healthy routine to keep any negative thoughts at bay.

Seek Help

When you’ve done all you could to keep your head above the water but nothing seems to work, ask for support. Some situations seem almost impossible when you handle them by yourself.

When staying positive at work in tough times, you know that seeking help is never a sign of weakness. Instead, chances are someone else has handled this challenge before you.

If you are new in the team, seek the counsel of other experienced employees.

Start by discussing the issue with the other person. An experienced colleague will give you their perspective of handling the issue. This approach helps you see yourself beyond the challenge at hand.


When going through a tough phase in your career, it is easy to dwell on the negative. But when you have coping strategies that push you toward staying positive at work in tough times, you are bound to succeed. Start by acknowledging that you are dealing with hard times.

Take stock of your accomplishments and accept your limitations. Surround yourself with people who help you to remain positive. And when things get tough, seek help.

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