If You Don’t (Truly) Love Yourself, It’s Holding You Back At The Office Too!

Posted: November 3, 2017

Do you truly love yourself? Could an absence of self love actually hold you back at work? Find out more in this insightful piece from a coach!

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection” – Buddha

As part of my routine role of coaching and mentoring key talent in the organization I have come across so many talented colleagues – both men and women (and in most cases women) who are successful, called as rising stars of the organization but may have perennial self doubt and low self esteem.

I have also seen at the same time, folks who have what are called as critical skills –the backbone of the organization but struggle to reach to the next level. These folks may have tons of functional competence but they may not have the chutzpah – the boldness to discuss the next big idea. They may not contribute in meetings even when they have valid points to make, or else, may fumble and not present smartly in front of senior leaders.

If you skim through the surface and probe deeper, why do these individuals behave the way they do? What’s the mental block that is in between them and their dream role, their next goal? You may be in for a bit of a surprise. It may seem like a bit of a confidence issue, lack of assertiveness and basic leadership skills to begin with. But probe deeper; take the help of a few psychometric tools like say the Hogan personality inventory, and Insights profile along with a coach’s observations, as well as introspection on the part of the coachee and you may arrive at the core of the real issue.

The interesting finding here is that they may well not like…or should we say, love themselves the way they should do. On the other hand I have seen that folks who are the so-called ‘high flyers’ all throughout possess this in plenty. At times they may even not have all that it takes on the functional competence front in a few roles. But they succeed due to their optimism, planned approach and some help as they are so sure of themselves, like what they are doing immensely and most importantly love themselves a lot. Other things do happen to fall in place for such folks, with Luck meeting Preparation and Opportunity!

A note of caution before we proceed – we are obviously not referring to narcissistic tendencies of excessive self love here. We are referring to plain acceptance of how you are as a person and as a professional, investing time in your overall well-being on all fronts – mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. This post also does not serve as an alternative to any kind of psychological advice and is based on my coaching experience as I have mentioned earlier.

This is a set of a few practical tips and insights based on my experience on how to inculcate greater self love (obviously there’s tons of literature on this topic ). I have tried to present a few basic pointers which are easy to implement and should help in your quest to succeed. So this is how you can begin your journey towards greater self love…

The Prescription (well it does sound like one!)

  • First things first – understand the need for greater self love and self acceptance
  • Practice positive affirmations around self love daily. It is recommended that you make it part of your routine. More on affirmations from Louise Hay here.
  • Maintain a dairy (even your phone notes are fine) where you write for at least a month – 3 things that you love yourself for. Try doing this exercise and one may struggle beyond the first five days as it is a very different task; but continue with the journey and you can see amazing results for yourself.
  • Do one thing that you like doing (it could be as simple as having an ice cream at times, calling your best friend etc ) daily at least for a month
  • Invest in yourself daily…Have some me-time for your over all well being everyday. To begin with, there are just 24 hours in a day and you will always be challenged to find time for yourself but find it you must.
  • Have a daily routine around fitness (exercise and diet are very important here), reflections and mindfulness
  • Don’t miss or reschedule appointments that are personal in nature – birthdays , celebrations , anniversaries, hobbies, PTA meetings, any doctor appointment (any small niggling health problem that you have kept on the back-burner), even your spa appointment
  • Find out the reasons for lack of self love. Is there any incident or life event that brought you to this point? Reflect on how you can be back in the driver’s seat and not always allow the flow of events to drive you

More resources to help you love yourself

A few good TEDs and Youtube videos around this topic should also serve as a good eye opener.

https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are

https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

https://www.ted.com/talks/julian_treasure_how_to_speak_so_that_people_want_to_listen

This video by Tracy Macmillan speaks about the person whom you should marry and that person is the one you see in the mirror each day…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3fIZuW9P_M

Hopefully these tips should bring about a mindset change and drive an individual towards greater success and balance in both spheres of life – personal and professional!

Best wishes to all who want to start this journey of self-discovery.

“A healthy self-love means we have no compulsion to justify to ourselves or others why we take vacations, why we sleep late, why we buy new shoes, why we spoil ourselves from time to time. We feel comfortable doing things which add quality and beauty to life.” – Andrew Matthews

Image via Unsplash

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I am based out of Mumbai and like most city dwellers my professional pursuits take

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