Do you experience pressure at work to produce, to prove yourself, to stay at the top of your game? Regardless of the industry you’re in, you probably deal with this experience – and it can often seem relentless.
For the majority of my career I operated like it all depended on me. I approached my work with the mindset that I had to prove myself more than others, and go the extra mile because it was my effort that would bring me success. What I discovered is that even when I put in the most effort, I could still get laid off. Even when I went the extra several miles, opportunities still fell through the cracks. I never felt like I was enough and I was exhausted.
Can you relate? Here are some things I’ve learned that have helped take the pressure off, so you can actually do great work and have fun in the process – oh yes, AND produce results.
- God is the provider of your success at work (Proverbs 16:3). Thankfully, I finally discovered that my success does not come from me – it all comes from God. That takes so much of the pressure off! You can lean on God for strength and wisdom, and trust Him with the outcomes.
- God provides direction when you partner with Him at work (Ephesians 2:8-10). God has blessed you with gifts and skills that He wants you to use to be productive in the world. And He never intended for you to go off and do it alone. God wants you to partner with Him by seeking His will through prayer, listening for His direction and acting on faith. When you do, He opens doors, gives you favor and brings you success that is beyond any worldly definition.
- God provides peace and freedom when you bring Him glory with your work (Colossians 3:23-24). Of course, we each need to do our part, which is primarily to do your work as if you are working for God, not men. It’s important to be intentional about bringing God glory, not working for your own ambition and success. When you are, you’ll experience freedom from the pressure so you can have peace and enjoy your work.
Today, I strive to work with the mindset that God is my provider. Don’t get me wrong – I still work hard. But I don’t experience the same self-induced, exhausting pressure pushing me to constantly prove myself. That pressure, I discovered, actually limited my success. And I now know that all of the fruit of my labor comes from God (John 15:5). When I diligently seek God (Matthew 6:33), listen for His guidance, and do what He leads me to do, His provision is greater than anything I could have strived toward or imagined (Ephesians 3:20-21).