4 Negative Emotions You Need To Fulfill Your Potential At Work

I was talking with a Project Lead about a new piece of technology when I made a mistake. I used the wrong word for the technology – just a word – and yet, in his eyes, I immediately lost credibility as a valuable member of the project. Lesson learned – better not talk about technical things I don’t know well!

Unfortunately, I learned the lesson too well. When talking about technical aspects, I started to shy away from participating in the discussion. Even for projects, I was directly responsible for! Between where you are and where you want to be, there will always be obstacles, misunderstandings, and mistakes. There will always be risks to take and decisions to make.

There will be conflicts. 

Solving them will need your creativity, ideas, courage, and acceptance when things don’t go your way. Manage the negative feelings related to mistakes, risks, and failures is essential for success and fulfillment. 

You need to feel negative emotions to fulfill your potential.

Here are 4 negative emotions to look out for: 

1. Frustration.

I know – isn’t it a good thing to not feel frustrated at work? If you are achieving everything without any obstacles, then yes, but you are Wonder Woman’s material!

You feel frustrated when there are obstacles between you and your goal. For example, you want to deliver a report to a client on time (a plan), but a colleague left so many mistakes you need to recheck the numbers (obstacle).

So if you are rarely frustrated – could your goals are too easy to achieve?

2. Nervousness and anxiety.

This might also sound counterintuitive – didn’t I note a safe work environment as crucial for happiness at work? 

True, BUT…

If you don’t feel anxious at work, you are not afraid of failing. If you are not afraid of failing, you might be not pushing yourself as much as you could. 

There is one thing that we, in particular women, do – living small to prevent failure. 

But living too careful, too small, means not fulfilling your potential at work. 

You don’t need to start pitching your startup ideas to the CEO just yet. But feeling anxious is a signal you are pushing your level of comfort. 

And that is Growth. 

3. Disappointment.

Disappointment is a cousin of failure – you feel it when didn’t achieve what you wanted in the way you wanted.  While the rejection of your idea or being passed on promotion can be hard, it might still be worth being considered.  

Avoiding disappointment means avoiding goals that you are less likely to achieve. If you’re not feeling it, are you pushing yourself enough?

4. Embarrassment.

This one is tricky, as feeling ashamed often can indeed be harmful. 

But never feeling embarrassed is also not a good sign. You either avoid anything in your life that could make you feel this way, or you’re a bully yourself (joking). 

Feeling embarrassed doesn’t always mean you did something wrong – many of us get red-faced from a compliment! But avoiding attention at any cost can be another sign of living too small. 

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.

Albert Einstein