Is your bad boss holding you back? Have they become so reliant on you they’re unwilling to let you move onwards or upwards? Or perhaps rather than acknowledging all the things you do well, they fixate – or even invent – constant areas of improvement for your work.
Don’t let a bad boss ruin your career by denying your need for accomplishment. Born creatures of progress we all need the chance to learn, grow and evolve or we risk becoming bored, restless, frustrated and ultimately unproductive.
Luckily doing something about your bad boss is entirely in your hands!
Carol Dweck, an extraordinary Stanford psychologist, has found changing the way we perceive ourselves – regardless of what our bad boss thinks – can dramatically improve our feelings and results. In particular, two beliefs in particular can make a difference.
People with a “fixed mindset” believe they’re born with all the natural abilities they’ll ever have and there is little that can be done to improve upon this. As a result, they tend to create performance goals – like being a successful businessman – because they believe that potential is measured by the validation received from others, including their bad boss.
When we believe that our abilities are basically static because they reflect the way that we’re born, then not surprisingly, we’re more likely to avoid challenges, be unwilling to be seen to be exerting too much effort and feel threatened by negative feedback from our bad boss, because we fear others will see any failures as an indication of all we lack.
Unfortunately, both success and failure cause anxiety for people with this mindset. Failure, in particular, induces a state of helplessness when it comes to dealing with their bad boss, which means they don’t pay attention to learning information, disengage from the problem and become depressed, de-energized and lose self-esteem when they inevitably give up.
On the other hand, people with a “growth mindset” believe they’re born with the capacity to improve their abilities through learning and effort – even if they’re working for a bad boss. As a result, they tend to create learning goals around mastery and competence.
When we believe our abilities are like muscles that can be built up with practice, we are more willing to see our bad boss as a challenge, to put in our best effort and to accept criticism, because we understand that learning is the only way to keep getting better and either overcoming our bad boss or getting ourselves to a position where we can find a much nicer one!
Creating goals for learning – even if it’s how to overcome a bad boss – has been shown to increase our performance and enjoyment and decrease negative emotions. Failure and setbacks induce a response of mastery for people with a growth mindset that pushes them to focus on what they’re learning, rather than how they feel, and galvanizes them to find new ways of dealing with their bad boss. They are also then able to think “outside of the box” to solve their bad boss problems because they believe they can.
More important than believing in your own abilities is the mindset that you can improve these abilities. By tuning into the stories that you tell yourself and reframing the setbacks of a bad boss as learning opportunities, rather than failures that damning you to misery, you can move your mindsets from “fixed” to “growth”.
Here are some proven, practical approaches from positive psychology that can help:
Take action now and to reward you – for this week only – we’ll give you a free gift valued at almost $200 to celebrate your courage.
This week as part of the National Boss Day celebrations I’m giving away nearly $200 worth of freebies for anyone who buys my book “5 Reasons To Tell Your Boss To Go F**k Themselves: How Positive Psychology Can Help You Get What You Want”. Don’t wait the 22 months it takes most of us to free ourselves of a bad boss. You can do something about this right now!
Inside the book you’ll get practical, scientifically proven tips to restore your power to:
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