Supporting Others

BU Logo
BetterUp Studios

5 min

Three people sitting on the bed of a truck

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to doubt yourself. You might say, “I’m a total failure” or “There’s no way I’m capable of getting through this.” It’s easy to sink into these negative habits when you’ve bungled a presentation or if you’re feuding with a coworker. Often, these intrusive thoughts are relics of past experiences, things that you’ve accustomed yourself to thinking whenever stressful situations arise. In times like these, it’s essential to practice self-compassion on yourself, but also to reach out to trusted colleagues and friends for support.

Don’t feel awkward or embarrassed to lean on others for help. People do it all the time and are better for it. Don’t feel like a burden, either. Many times people are happy to help, and in return, they get a sense of gratitude.

Remember that your colleagues and friends won’t always be around. Practicing self-compassion will teach you how to support yourself when others aren’t available. After all, your spouse may be able to reassure or console you, but they may not know how to give a proper presentation or resolve office politics.

Let’s take a moment to complete an activity that will help you build support channels.


Step 1:

Identify a colleague who you trust. Then, think of an aspect of your work that you find challenging. Talk through this aspect with your trusted colleague and ask for their input and advice.

Step 2:

Ask them what they would do in your position. What do they think the best way forward is? Could there be another colleague you could reach out to for concrete guidance?

Step 3:

After speaking with your colleague, make detailed notes about how they responded. Did it help you feel more confident in approaching and resolving this issue?

BetterUp Studios
BetterUp Studios creates and curates research-backed content, activities, and tools to help people everywhere pursue their lives with greater clarity, purpose, and passion.

Recommended Resources

Card image cap

Crisis Support Services

If you or a loved one find yourself in severe emotional distress, know that you are not alone. This article provides contact information for several support services.

5 min

Card image cap

Reflecting on Difficult Conversations Mistakes

Use this series of prompts to reflect on how you've navigated difficult conversations in the past and the ways in which you can improve.

10 min