If you’re stuck in a rut at work – whether you’re bored with your job, or keep getting passed over for a promotion – you might want to blame your negative attitude! But it’s important to identify which negative emotions could be holding you back. Let’s look at the possible culprits:

  • Fear. Art Mortell is the author of The Courage to Fail. And he says that fear leads directly to inaction. So, ask yourself if you’re really afraid, or if you’re just excited and nervous, like you’re getting on a rollercoaster. If you decide it’s real fear, do something physical to clear your mind. Take a brisk walk or hit the gym. Why? Because exercise increases focus, and improves brain function, making it easier to find a solution to any problem.

  • Rejection. Motivational expert Tony Robbins says the first thing to do when you feel rejected is to consider the source. If it’s someone whose opinion you don’t respect, don’t take it seriously. But if someone you admire disses you, consider it an opportunity to benefit from their experience, and ask for more feedback. Just make sure you’re interpreting the situation correctly. So, try asking something like: “You said X-Y-Z and I felt hurt. Can you clarify what you mean?”

  • Frustration. Organizational psychologist Dr. Cheri Baker says that when a project stalls, or you feel like your manager has overlooked you, resist the urge to complain. Because studies show that workers who are negative are often overlooked for raises and promotions. And can be bumped to the top of the pink-slip list. The fix? Work through your frustration by doing something pro-active. Say, by updating your computer skills, or asking your boss for suggestions to help you improve your performance.