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When you doubt your performance

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Self-doubt can be a real doozy. And if you are worried about your performance at work, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. In other words, the more you think you are doing a terrible job, the worse you’ll do. Instead of allowing your concerns to tank your performance, take these steps to turn things around:

Focus on your accomplishments. You may be worrying for nothing. Assess the progress you’ve made toward your goals. Revisit your wins. Read through positive comments you’ve received on performance appraisals, in emails and from customers and coworkers. Take a moment to fully assess the value you bring to the job, your team and the organization.

Talk to someone who will actually listen. Avoid those people who simply tell you to “Get over it” or “Move on.” You need someone who will let you express your feelings and talk about your fears. Do explain to the person that you don’t want them to fix your problem. You just need someone to listen to you. You’ll often walk away feeling better just because you vocalized your concerns.

Meet with your boss. Sometimes you need a good reality check, and who better to give it to you than your boss. Schedule a meeting to ask “What about my performance are you happy with? What would you like to see me do better?” It offers you an opportunity to learn how to up your game, without admitting any concerns about your performance.

— Adapted from “Three Steps to Take if You’re Worried Your Work Performance is Slipping,” Richard Moy, Fast Company, www.fastcompany.com.

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