Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself at Work

Pushing back against the biggest critic in the room: yourself

Photo by Fares Hamouche on Unsplash

Last week, I had a nice catch-up session with a colleague. We talked about everything on the go and the agenda for an upcoming Steering Committee meeting we were both chairing. I told him not much had happened (there was a Steering Committee late in December and now there was another one next week) because really not much time had passed.

He then said something I’ve never heard when I was working in management consulting: “don’t be so hard on yourself”.

I love that piece of advice.

All too often, the people that are the hardest on you, is yourself. For example, I have high standards for my health, body and the exercises I do. I have high standards for the work I put out, and for anybody that I work with. I have high standards for the things I put out in the world. And it’s good to have high standards.

But one thing I realized is that you don’t have to have high standards for EVERY single thing you put out into the world. Sometimes when you don’t feel like working out, a crappy 5-minute workout is incredible. Sometimes, when people don’t read emails and then ask questions that are inside those emails, a short but professional answer is fine.

That’s my advice for you before we start the next work week. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Loosen up your standards. It’s okay to not put out quality work (on the things that don’t really matter).

This post was created with Typeshare




Author of Essential Habits. I write about personal development, work and managing your career. Connect with me at

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Wang Yip

Wang Yip

Author of Essential Habits. I write about personal development, work and managing your career. Connect with me at

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