I recently saw an interesting LinkedIn discussion on this very topic. One side asserted that you can motivate yourself to achieve your best by loving yourself more deeply.
The other side claimed you need stern, relentless self-criticism to stay on top of your work, get more done, and surge ahead.
Pretty sad, in my opinion.
I believe it’s easier to accomplish your goals when you are your own best friend.
It may be possible to succeed when you beat yourself up. But this success is in spite of you, not because of you.
Certainly, there are many advantages to working at home. Convenience, no time wasted on travel, access to your own refrigerator, and financial savings. Add flexibility in scheduling, peace and quiet, freedom to work on the patio or play the music of your choice, depending on your situation.
However, there is a possible downside: isolation and even loneliness.
If you have a tendency towards feeling blue, the worst thing in the world is to feed it with negative thoughts.
In a supportive workplace, the stimulation and interaction help energize you. And if you work hard and maximize your effectiveness, you blossom in the recognition for your achievements.
Here are three tips to help you love yourself to success.
(Note: For these suggestions to work, implement them. Don’t simply read them and nod in agreement.)
1. Keep your daily workload reasonable.
Heck, keep your annual goals reasonable as well.
It’s far easier to meet your personal expectations when they are sane. If you run out of tasks to do, you can always add more work to the list.
2. Reward yourself for your accomplishments.
Take time to pat yourself on the back.
Back at the workplace our boss or even our coworkers may have been the wind beneath our wings. However, now that we are working on our own, it is up to us to supply our own updraft.
Ideally, these rewards should be nonfattening. Who needs more calories? Coffee cakes and Friday doughnuts may have been fun for office celebrations, but they are a bad at-home habit. If you like to pat yourself on the back with a yummy treat, switch to your favorite fruit or attractive veggies.
Related Content: 4 Healthy Eating Tips for Work-at-Home Women
3. Test a new approach—let yourself off the hook for a while.
Start with a mere week or two if you have always believed in bullying yourself into working harder. You may wish to try this during an easier week, perhaps one without especially stressful deadlines.
Remind yourself of your next action steps and your deadlines as you work your way through your to-do list, but filter out the negative self-talk.
Don’t beat yourself up over any negativity—your goal is to release the negative, not reinforce it. Simply note it calmly and move on.
Monitor how it’s going.
I’ll bet you find that it’s the deadlines that keep you working, not the self-punishment.
You may even find that it’s your deepening involvement in the tasks at hand that keep you focused and succeeding.
Beating yourself up is exhausting. A day of putting yourself down and dwelling on what a supposed failure you are is draining. A day of focusing on your strengths and how much you are doing well energizes you.
When we work-at-home—whether or not we have someone else as our formal “supervisor”—we are our own on-the-scene boss. We have the choice to be the most understanding boss we have ever had . . . or to be the boss from hell.
We wouldn’t willingly tolerate verbal abuse from others so why should we allow ourselves to heap criticism upon one of our favorite people. (That’s ourselves!)
Let’s give it a test-run.
Just as you thrived under a supportive boss back at the office, you’ll find that you excel—and relish living so much more—when you are your own loving boss.
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Diana Schneidman is the author of Real Skills, Real Income: A Proven Marketing System to Land Well-Paid Freelance and Consulting Work in 30 Days or Less. She helps people who want to land well-paid freelance and consulting work quickly through her publishing and coaching practice, Stand Up 8 Times. Diana walks her talk—she is also a freelance writer and researcher specializing in the insurance and asset management industries. She has restarted her dormant freelance practice several times after corporate terminations.