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Dread Going To Work? How To Deal With The Feeling

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You dread going to work. Every morning is the same: you have to drag yourself out of bed. It's not that the body is weak. It's that the mind is not willing. Most of us know that. Many people have felt that way at least at one point in their careers. Is there a way to overcome the dread of going to work every day?


I am not sure if I have the absolute solution, but these are some of the strategies I have personally tried in my years of experience:

What Should You Do When You Dread Going To Work?

If you dread going to work, do these four things:

  1. Don't dwell
  2. Locate the source of your dread
  3. Seek not perfection
  4. Think of work as a pedagogue

Is It Normal To Dread Working?

Yes, it's completely normal to dread going to work. If you wake up and can't bear the thought of working, take a mental health day. If the feeling lasts for days, weeks, or even months, that may be a sign that it's time to look for a new job.

Before you decide to quit your job and find a new one, try doing these four things...

Don't Dwell

Do not let Monday blues or the "dread going to work" syndrome become your dominant thought. Yes, I know it is easier said than done. But you have to start somewhere, and that somewhere is your thought process.

The more you think about how much you dread work, the deeper you will dwell on that feeling. Stop thinking about it. Take that thought out and focus your thoughts on something else.

Locate The Source Of Your Dread

Man dreading work tries to work through his lack of motivation

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Find out the source of your dread. Otherwise, you will not be able to tackle it. Do not complain if you do not know what you are complaining about.

Why do you dread going to work? Is it because of your co-workers, your boss, your routine work, your pay, or the commute?

Write all the reasons down and see if you can tackle them. I am sure resignation has crossed your mind. But before you do that, let's see if there is a way to alleviate your feelings of dread. We cannot expect life to be perfect, or work to be perfect, for that matter.

Seek Not Perfection

Woman dreading work looks at her calendar

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Like I stated above, life is not perfect. Why should work be? Accept that things being imperfect is how things work. If you expect perfect colleagues, perfect bosses, perfect resources, or perfect processes, then you are in for a shock.

There can never be a perfect system, perfect factory, and perfect office wherever you work. Because, trust me, no matter how high your pay is, it can always be higher; no matter how good your colleagues are, they can always be better; and no matter how understanding your boss is, he or she can always be better.

Seek not perfection if you do not want to dread going to work. Seek adaptation—adaptation from yourself. What can you do to make the work environment better?

Think Of Work As A Pedagogue

Man dreads going to work

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Ever think that the process of work can also teach us something about life? Think of work as a pedagogue.

It teaches us that we do not always have things our way, and that life can sometimes mean having to do things we do not like or even enjoy. But it's only temporary, and we have a choice of doing something about it.

Use this experience of dreading work as your teacher. What does it teach you? Ask and answer, and you will immediately see this experience in a different light.

There is something you can do about the feeling of dread you get when thinking about work. Do not fear it. Sit down calmly and have an action plan to tackle it. When you start working on a plan to diffuse it, you will feel better—even if the plan does not work long term. Remember: every job is temporary! You'll get through this rough patch in your career soon.

We know most people don't enjoy going to work, especially if they're feeling lost, trapped, or burned out in their career. If you're struggling to find a job that you like, we can help.

We'd love it if you signed up for Work It Daily's Event Subscription! Get your career questions answered in our next live event!

This article was originally published at an earlier date.

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