It may seem the word love and work in the same sentence is an oxymoron. Most of us just see work as a series of laborious tasks or outputs, for a desired outcome or achievement of cash. We rarely see our working life as the sort of passionate love affair? If i’m honest, most of my real inner work has been mirrored in the workplace and some of my greatest mastery of self and spiritual growth has been achieved right there in the office. It is possible we are missing out on the greatest teacher we take for granted. There is so much we can learn from our daily grind.
Exploring the concept of self-love is a good start. The unhealthy version, is the narcissistic egomaniac focused on goals not people. You know the one. Hopefully its not your manager. Theres one in every workplace. Just itching for that promotion. At any cost and more willing to do the overtime and happy with no work/life balance. Always self-promoting and proclaiming the goods and often never delivering. Waiting in the wings to pounce on that next opportunity when the team is vulnerable. At any cost. Its difficult not to be a predator in the workplace these days, as most of us are trying to survive the larger workloads and extra stress the changing economy brings us. Who wouldn’t want to be doing less with more pay?
In this insecure marketplace, everyone is out for themselves a little more. This unhealthy, always in competition with your team mates and always being a ‘yes’ person to your boss. Can be damaging to your self-esteem. May even cause depression. This fear based management style, doesn’t always create high efficiency, achieving challenging goals for clients or reach excellence in reputation as a business. It causes people to be anxious or over-confidence for show. This is not real self-esteem. Just a mask for insecurity as most of us doubt our ability to deliver or perform deep down. Its amazing how often managers reward the bravado rather than the real employees being honest and quietly confident in a rapidly changing environment with more demands and less time to enjoy the rewards of achievement.
Exploring this concept of self-love in the workplace has never been more important. Most workplaces are wrecking havoc on self-esteem. What does healthy self-esteem look like? Some examples could be:
- An ability to bounce back after failure without self-hating
- More positivity when overcoming obstacles
- Higher ability to manage a changing environment
- More confidence to reach difficult goals with limited resources
These traits will become even more important as the world economy changes and workplaces face more challenges and issues with people and teams to achieve productivity levels. Managers would do well to work on encouraging healthy self-esteem in their workers, rather than using fear-based motivational strategies. This would achieve high productivity and team engagement. Likely result could be, winning more business and less costly turnover.
The following ways you can boost your self-love and promote more self-esteem in the workplace. The following examples are how you can practice more loving ways towards yourself at work:
- After work everyday, even if it is for 20 minutes, do something that you are passionate about. Cooking a great meal, gardening, going to a yoga/dance/art class, listen to music, play the guitar, learn meditation, having a beverage with a mate, spending quality times with kids/loved ones.
- Keep a list of work-related achievements every week on a Friday afternoon for example and do something to celebrate these wins.
- Create a self-esteem bulletin board, every month write down tangible evidence of your value, what project did you do a good job on, when did someone praise your efforts, or any of your childrens/loved ones achievements you helped with and write this down where you can see it everyday
- When you see yourself negative self-talking, make a conscious choice to stop this negative thinking and focus on how to solve the problems and even have a ‘stop’ sign near by as a physical reminder
- Plan a trip or something nice in the future to look forward to, a reward for your hard work and efforts you put in daily to live your dream.
- Take criticism as an opportunity for growth and learning rather than taking it personally as we all have areas to improve on and having feedback is a good thing
- If you are not getting enough appreciation and want more feedback on the things you are doing well. Ask for it and possibly get this in writing from clients or customers.
Further to exploring self-love, is the importance of health and safety in most workplaces today includes both mental and physical protection. When we have a healthy self-esteem, we can manage depression and other mental health conditions that can sometimes be brought about by stress.
As a worker/employee we must take responsibility for own own health and safety at work and start to ask the self-loving questions such as; do I need a few days off as I can feel burnout symptoms coming on. Do I need to stop working weekends and focus on my relationship? Do I need a break from that repetitive task if a small back strain has occurred? Do I need to do more strength building exercise such as yoga/Pilates to be better at work?
People matter just as much as processes and procedures to ensure a safe and happy work environment is achieved, see quote below:
Safety Helmet is required but
Positive Thoughts are important
Safety Goggles are required but
Conscious Vision is important
Safety Hand Gloves are required but
Righteous Protective Action is important
Safety Shoes are required but
Quick and Safe Steps are important
All in all, it is the simple awareness that we do matter and we are not robotic humans that go to work and just do it. You need to believe that you are worthy of so much love for yourself. That you take responsibility and ensure you have what you need at work and ask for the appreciation. We are thinking and feeling creatures of habit and what we feed ourselves in our experiences day to day is our reality in the now and inevitably is who we become.
Sometimes this means that we realise our job is not good for us and we need to move on. Or other times, we need to have more gratitude for what we do have. Or maybe, we just need to train others in how to treat us a little better at work and set healthy boundaries. Either way, your working life is an opportunity for self-exploration and observe this every moment. This attitude can only bring you more happiness and healthy self-esteem all-round. This will bring more meaning into your working life. Whatever job/career/position you hold. The unification of your spirit and inner world in your workplace is spiritual teachings you get paid for.
*Happy travels at Work in Exploring more ways to Love you*
Written by: Tamara Critch
“Career direction / Work related healing sessions are available including writing your CV, preparing you for a new position or helping you to cope better at work due to stress / anxiety including massage therapy, counselling and energy clearing body work”