Unless you’re running a multi-dollar corporation with nothing to do but dish out orders to your minions, your working life will be fraught with the occasional setbacks and difficulties (but hey, even head honchos have their own share of worries too!). Instead of fretting about them, you should look at what’s ahead of you. Always think of constructive ways to improve your performance – even if you get discouraged by your performance appraisal or encounter obstacles. Just keep the following in mind: 

Change your thoughts. As American novelist James Lane Allen expounded: “You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you”. It’s true – we are shaped by our thoughts; hence, we can change our lives by changing our thoughts. It’s easy to become jaded; but putting a positive spin on things can give us what we need (but often forget about) – hope. So do not despair if you get negative feedback about your performance – keep trying (at your present job or something else). 

Seek opinions. Two heads are better than one – so if you find a colleague whom you can readily trust, try getting his or her opinion on what you should do to perform better. Or get feedback from your friends and family members – you may even come away inspired by their suggestions! 

Admit it. The first thing you need to do before addressing the deficiencies in your performance is to admit that you could have done better, especially if you feel the feedback you’ve received is justified. Only then can you continue to improve. 

Be accountable. What’s worse than making an error in judgment? The answer is simple – not taking responsibility for it. If you’ve made a mistake (everyone does!), own up to it; and more importantly, fix it! This may not absolve you from your mistake, but at least no one can label you as a shirker. 

Think sooner than later. When you commit to a deadline, try to deliver a little earlier than expected. This will show you are an efficient worker. Similarly, try to arrive slightly early for work. 

Be proud. Whether you fry noodles, sweep the road, manage clients, write or sell products for a living, take pride in your work – do it well, and aspire to do even better. This personal commitment will make a difference in your performance. Trust me, it really shows.