8 Actions You Can Take to Be Happier at Work Without Changing Jobs Tidying up your perspective and habits goes a long way toward preventing the stresses that plague modern life.

By Renzo Costarella

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Regardless where you choose to work there will always be ups and downs. Sometimes the unfortunate happens, and that's okay. The important thing to note is what makes you happy and how you can stay happy. As cliche as it sounds, the power of a positive attitude outweighs almost anything. That said, here are eight ways you can be happier in the workplace.

1. It's better to over-deliver than over-commit.

It's always a good idea to push yourself at all times. Complacency in the workplace can be very toxic. However if you repeatedly commit to more than you deliver, you'll begin to erode confidence in your abilities. Consequently it's always better to over-deliver than to over-commit and come up short.

Related: Keeping Clients Happy: How to Ensure a Project Doesn't Go Over Budget

Eventually you'll get a sense of what you can accomplish within a certain period of time. That way you can always set attainable goals for yourself and exceed expectations.

2. Don't stress over things you can't control.

The bigger the organization the less control you'll have over what happens. There's nothing more frustrating than feeling useless when you have the solution. More often than not you'll be told to defer to upper-management or your boss -- and that sucks.

You need to remember that you are the only person you can control at the end of the day. There's no point in stressing over things you can't control; it's a complete waste of time.

3. Compete don't compare.

Everyone comes from different backgrounds. Everyone has different skills and abilities. The last thing you want to do is compare yourself to others in the workplace. Instead of making unnecessary comparisons as to why you can't and they can, channel that energy into friendly competition.

If you work in a sales team, try your best to compete with your fellow colleagues. Remove negative emotions, and try to out-sell everyone else. This way you'll be engaged and driven to crush your numbers.

4. Create an organized workspace.

Whether you work from home or at the office, your workspace is where you'll spend the majority of your days. If your desk is cluttered and disorganized it'll negatively affect your productivity. Keep your space clean by getting rid of any items that aren't related to work.

5. Stop taking yourself so seriously.

It's good to be professional and to hold yourself accountable for your duties. That said, it's common for individuals to take themselves too seriously in the workplace. Everyone makes mistakes. If you can't laugh at yourself once in a while then you'll get laughed at.

Related: 5 Reasons Not To Take Your Entrepreneur Self So Seriously

The ability to channel negative mistakes into positive and friendly lessons is something your colleagues will grow to love about you.

6. Learn how to say no.

One of the most important skills in business and life is the ability to say no. If you constantly say yes to meetings, errands and remedial tasks, you'll find yourself feeling used. The ability to say no is empowering in many ways.

First and foremost, it values your time. You can't be expected to make every meeting. Nor can others expect you to always be available when they need you. There's no need for excuses either. Simply no is good enough, and you can continue with the work you're assigned to do.

7. Don't try to win arguments with stubborn people.

We all work with that one know-it-all that has a perfect record when it comes to arguments. Not because they are right, but because they are stubborn.

Trying to win an argument with someone like that is a complete waste of time and will only make you feel worse. That doesn't mean you should agree with them. It means you should avoid confrontation and have a clear plan for what you can do next. Remember, you can control 100 percent of your own thoughts and actions, and zero percent of anyone else's.

8. Keep your head up at all times.

Winston Churchill once said, "If you're going through hell keep going." We've all been through tough times. You'll be faced with disappointment countless times at work. Those who dwell on these instances only make things worse for themselves.

When I was attending my brothers graduation at UC Berkeley, Sheryl Sandberg gave a powerful and moving speech about her husband Dave Goldberg, who passed away a few years ago. She told the crowd to "lean in to the suck" when unfortunate things happen. Sandberg's words were very empowering and have helped me push through when times are tough.

Related: What Sheryl Sandberg Taught Me About Giving Criticism

It's okay to be upset. It's okay to feel down. But you need to lean in and get back on your feet because there are always good things ahead.

Happiness comes and goes. Whether you're working in a five-man startup or a Fortune 500 enterprise, there will be happy days, and there will be sad days. The important takeaway is that a positive attitude will triumph every time. If you want to be happier at work, make sure you take note of these eight things.

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Renzo Costarella


Renzo Costarella is an entrepreneur, avid learner and startup enthusiast currently living in Silicon Valley. He consults for several startups in the San Francisco Bay area while pursuing a few ideas of his own.

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