Currently at work I am the only person able to do office work (between clinic and office) due to staffing and me being injured. I’ve been the only one there all week and I get all my work done and I end up asking my manager for more work. I am being assigned more work now due to being the only one available to do it.

The only problem is no matter how many times people tell me I’m doing a great job, I constantly feel like I am not doing enough.

I feel like I set these high expectations for myself in some way and I always leave feeling like I could have done more even if I go 8 hours straight without taking a break.

Does anyone else struggle with this? What recommendations can you give?

  • 1
    Sorry to hear, sounds hard. Can you edit the question to clarify a little bit? Are you able ro identify the source of stress? Is there anything going on outside of work (which would make it O/T for this forum but might help you sort it out)? Do you have someone you can confide in and talk to IRL?
    – Pete W
    Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 2:10
  • 2
    Are you being assigned less work that normal due to your injury or more work due to the only person doing the office work? The first sentence is a little confusing; it reads like you're only able to do the work because of your injury.
    – BSMP
    Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 3:12
  • 1
    Just want to let you know, most of us feel like this at points in our career, but most of us are too scared to talk or seek help.
    – PeterH
    Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 9:02
  • It sounds like OP is on "office work duties" (rather than whatever their normal tasks are) due to their injury, and typically there would be others on the office work but they've been reassigned elsewhere (clinic?) due to staffing concerns. Is that right OP? Commented Jul 3, 2021 at 20:03
  • @seventyeightist yes that’s correct
    – KelseyT
    Commented Jul 3, 2021 at 20:56

3 Answers 3


I've felt pretty much the same as you for the 20ish years I've worked at my current employer. A couple years ago I was promoted to manager which only made this worse. I've just recently started getting a grip on this... because I was stressing so much, I had to find a way to change it.

Some things I have learned and continue to reminding myself of. Some may not apply to you (as it seems you are commonly requesting additional work)... but maybe someone else will relate to the same issues.

  1. I can't do everything - so don't try to. In most jobs, people are not be rewarded for working longer or harder. I am there to trade my service for a paycheck. Concentrate on doing that well. Work based on priority, while mixing in a few quick hits, especially if they will improve future work (like automating something).

  2. I can't be perfect. The longer I work, the more I stretch myself... the more likely I'll make mistakes. Give myself time to relax. Leave work on time at the end of the day and take small breaks throughout the day to do things like stretch.

  3. Generally people will not lie about good performance... especially when not asking for feedback. People are not going to say "Great Job [YourName]" unless they mean it. Take the compliment and continue to show the same effort/results that got the compliment.

  4. I am my own worst critic. I know my faults and I know if I did something less than optimal... but the people around me probably don't. Sometimes I'm doing things faster than they could have even planned an attack. Even if someone does call me on some inefficiency... just take their feedback, thank them, and learn from it. Almost no one is fired for a mistake made with good effort.

The big problem for me wasn't recognizing these things... but believing them. Thus the problem you face may be less about having someone give advice but convincing yourself to follow the advice.

  • 1
    "The big problem for me wasn't recognizing these things... but believing them" well put, believing in yourself and your work/skills/efforts is an important factor when it comes to mental hygiene !
    – iLuvLogix
    Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 8:37

Sounds like you have a form of Impostor Syndrome:

a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their skills, talents, or accomplishments

  • This isn't exactly rare, but not everyone is affected in the same way. The question says it's just a week, due to temporary circumstances, so it's no real reason to worry. If the feeling persists, getting help can be effective.
    – MSalters
    Commented Jul 2, 2021 at 12:32
  • @MSalters I agree. And honestly, feeling like this for a week seems perfectly normal to me, especially when you're doing something else than what you'd normally be doing (but also during normal work). I wouldn't worry too much (if at all).
    – Dnomyar96
    Commented Jul 6, 2021 at 6:22


Hello Kelsey, welcome to the community!

As someone who has gone through some similar things while exploring my career, I want to see what I can do to help you. Hoping this answer gives you some perspective :)

@DragonYen has already given some really great career related things you can already implement to protect your mental health and well-being, so I will try to focus my answer on helping you understand what the root problem bothering you is.

Understanding Yourself

The only problem is no matter how many times people tell me I’m doing a great job, I constantly feel like I am not doing enough.

I feel like I set these high expectations for myself in some way and I always leave feeling like I could have done more.

Does anyone else struggle with this?

I feel the best way to answer your question on how to meet your own expectations, is for you to arrive at the answer yourself.

To do this, perhaps it would help to ask yourself some questions. I've provided my own answers to some of these questions, so you can see some of my struggles too.


Why are you doing this job? (Purpose?)
What are you getting out of it? (Values?)
What do you want? (Vision?)


Why are you doing this job? -> I want to continue improving at my work.
What are you getting out of it? -> A sense of accomplishment
What do you want? -> I want to see my project succeed.


Conversely, what concrete obstacles are stopping you from achieving your purpose, values, vision?


What is stopping me from improving at my work? -> My time is very limited
What is stopping me from feeling a sense of accomplishment? -> I am stressed out.
What is stopping my current project from succeeding? -> More time is needed


Now, you may understand a bit more about what you want, and what is stopping you. You can take this time to think about some small, incremental ways to start chipping away at your obstacles. You can do them one at a time, in bite sized chunks.


My time is limited but I want to improve -> Small online lessons every day
I am stressed out -> Take a holiday, take care of physical health
More time is needed for the project to succeed -> Be patient, implement small improvements


Be honest with yourself; understand what is stopping you from achieving your expectations in fulfilling your purpose, values, vision; improve in small increments. Most of all, don't be too hard on yourself in this process, we all need time to improve and be effective.

It is perfectly ok to have doubts, some of these questions are ones people struggle with everyday. If you understand them, and track them, you may be able to release some of these obstacles, and feel more happy/fulfilled without needing to push yourself to do extra work! (Unless that is what fulfills you; then work away, but make sure to take care of yourself!).

Also, in terms of the mental health, especially in these trying times, it can be hard to feel a sense of connection. Sometimes it may be good to lay bare some of your worries to your loved ones or friends, they may be able to offer you more help than expected.

Best wishes, hope you can find some answers to what motivates and inspires you :)

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