Cultivating self-love at work
With Valentine’s Day having just passed, we’ve got romance on the mind. Sure, who doesn’t enjoy the chance to exchange gifts and chocolate, spoil the people around them, and read a kind word or two? But that’s not what we’re celebrating – this year, it’s all about you baby! That’s right, we’re bringing self-love back in 2021, and starting with the area in which people often forget to cultivate a self-love practice: work!
So, here’s a couple tricks to help you ditch the negative self-talk and imposter syndrome, and start showing yourself some love in the workplace.
Author of Go Love Yourself, Heather Reinhardt, defines self-love as “making a series of strong choices.” [x] This means taking responsibility for yourself in all areas of your life, owning your choices and decisions, as well as your thoughts and reactions. It’s only through taking ownership of the different aspects of yourself that you can truly know – and love – yourself both personally and professionally.
That being said, go gently! If you’re new to your self-love journey, it might be tempting to get introspective and start journaling about everything you’ve ever said and done, but why not start with the good things?
When you get positive feedback about your performance at work, or finish up a big project, or are just feeling the good vibes from your job, celebrate it! This could be in the form of a mental (or physical, why not!) pat on the back, or it could be just telling your friends and family that you experienced a win.
Another idea is to create something like a successes file/folder/journal – a place for you to keep positive messages from the people you work with, both inside and outside your immediate team. That way, if you’re ever feeling down on yourself, you have a place to look to renew the love. It’ll also come in handy whenever you need to update your resume! Your future self will also love you for having a centralised location with information on successful projects, tasks, and feedback.
Make it Facebook Official
Just like your stock of successes, celebrate wins on social media. Unlike a resume or cover letter, a great LinkedIn profile paints a bigger picture of who you are; your personal brand, as well as a deeper understanding of your success at work.
If anything big comes up, like winning an award, receiving positive press, or getting the opportunity to speak at an event, make sure you mention it on your socials. LinkedIn is made for this. Self-love involves celebrating your own success, but at work it also means keeping your professional network up to date with your accomplishments.
Good things come in small packages
If self-love was only about making a big deal about the big things, you’d most likely be miserable most of the year with just a couple of big spikes of happiness thrown in. Luckily for us, the big wins aren’t everything.
You’ve probably read or heard advice along the lines of breaking down tasks to make it more achievable and keep you in a productive headspace. The same is true when trying to cultivate a good self-love practice at work. When you take a big project or long-term goal and break it down into smaller, more manageable steps, it gives you the opportunity to recognise each of your accomplishments along the way.
Not only does this strategy make it easier for you to congratulate yourself for each little thing you do, it will create the positive habit of working towards larger goals without burning out. Win-win!
Share the love
Self-love might start with you, but extending it to the rest of your team or workplace will just multiply the good vibes! If you’re new to practising self-love, framing successes as a team effort (“we” not “me”) will no doubt make you more comfortable sharing your accomplishments. That’s not to say you should dismiss or minimise the work you have done individually, but rather you should give recognition to everyone involved in a project – everyone likes being acknowledged for the work they’ve done!
You could suggest adding two minutes to the end of your team meetings to commend your co-workers for their individual success, boosting everyone’s morale. Creating a “win wall” in your office where you add pictures, notes, and messages acknowledging the accomplishments of your team would also be a great way to spread the love.
Plus, doesn’t it feel good to be the reason someone’s smiling or in a good mood? When you share your positivity it multiplies!
Wherever you are in your self-love journey, make sure it extends to work. About one third of your life is spent working, so you may as well make it enjoyable along the way.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
Lily Cameron is a writer and editor based in Sydney. She is a UTS Communications (Creative Writing) graduate, and current Communications Assistant at UTS Careers. She is passionate about telling stories, both hers and others’, and the way digital and social media is changing the literary landscape. Her writing has appeared in Voiceworks, The Brag, and elsewhere.