Learning how to thrive when we have new assignments, projects or tasks, or perhaps a new job, can become very daunting. This is especially true when the task we are about to embark on is challenging by nature and will require a lot of our energy.
However, research shows that most of us stay engaged and motivated when we constantly try new things at work, particularly the type of things that increasingly add more complexity to the job that we do. These tasks continually push our knowledge to the limits and beyond, propelling us to learn more, maybe becoming more effective, creative and innovative.
But how to really stay engaged and inspired when we are assigned a new challenging task? How can we ensure that we are taking the most out of it? How to maximize the opportunity for us to fully step up our professional level by successfully completing the new task?
I compiled this list of six expressions that are worth repeating to ourselves every time that we set out on a new challenging endeavor. They will help us stay focus, energized, inspired and, most importantly, confident in our current or potential abilities to successfully complete our duty:
1. “I can do it”
Most of the times, when we are assigned a new task in our workplaces, it’s because our leaders see the potential in us to do it, and do it well. “I can do it” is a positive self-reinforcement that we can potentially succeed in completing the assigned task. “I can do it” doesn’t necessarily mean that we currently have the know-how. Instead, it means that we will get it done by learning how to do it.
2. “I will learn how to do it”
Research shows that people tend to think and verbalize their current inability or lack of knowledge to engage in a specific task. This is especially true when people are about to apply for a job and they don’t have 100% of the skills for that job. In those cases, they think “I’m not good enough for this job” or “I don’t have the talents or the skills to do it” (this is particularly true for women, as shown in the research in “The Confidence Code”).
Well, we got to get all that BS out of our minds and change our mental negative story for a more positive one. Succeeding in new tasks has never been about knowing from the onset how to do it or solve the problems that will arise. Instead, it has always been about our capacity to learn quickly and move on. “I will learn how to do it” is just too powerful, because it brings up the positive energy that makes us think about what is possible, regardless of the current state of our knowledge.
3. “I will seek help”
Seeking help and support when engaging in a new challenging task is paramount for success. It’s very unfortunate that many people think that seeking help is synonym of less self-worth or, even worse, that that will send the message that “I’m not fit to accomplish the task”. On the contrary, seeking help is perhaps one of the most sublime ways to open the doors for collaboration, teamwork and new ideas that will eventually impact the realization of the task at hand. Never hesitate in seeking help.
4. “If I fail, I’ll get up, learn and move on”
Og Mandino said “just as any gem is polished by friction, I am certain to become more valuable through this day’s adversities”. Failing is not a mandatory preamble for success. However, I don’t really know anybody who hasn’t failed at least a tiny bit in the quest to achieve their dreams and goals. Engaging in a new challenging task is daunting, especially because of the fear of potential small or big failures. Rest assured that the road will always be bumpy.
However, we will increase our knowledge and value as long as we learn from the adversities and move on. We shouldn’t dwell in failures (neither in successes). Just learn as quickly as we can and apply our brand new knowledge in the next step to accomplish our task.
5. “I will get the most of out of this experience”
Sometimes we like the new challenging task, and some other times we hate it. It doesn’t really matter whether we love or hate the task in itself. What we have to do is think about how that specific experience will make us better, more valuable. We have to learn how to love the idea that any task in which we engage will always leave a legacy in us. And that legacy will make us better, because it will give us more tools and preparedness for whatever comes after.
I really think that as we progress in our professional life things continually get more complex. And it is because of our previous experiences that we are shaped to strongly face whatever comes next. Never miss or waste the opportunity to get your hands in a new task, because it will for sure make you better.
6. “If I succeed, I’ll be humble about it and use my knowledge for the next level”
Finally, when we successfully accomplish a complex task it is fundamental to celebrate our success. It is the medium for self-inspiration. Celebration is our pat in the back, but it should never come with arrogance. Accomplishing a task is not about winning a competition, but about winning the race against our previous self. Our new self knows more now and is well-prepared for what comes next. Let’s be humble about our successes, and yet celebrate them as an important life milestone. Then, let’s keep in our minds how the experience made us better and what to use for the next task.