Here’s an interesting statistic: a study revealed that 62% of respondents feel more depressed during January.
A third of the respondents also revealed that it is the worst month for their mental health.
It is ironic since February is also known as the month of love—a time to hone in on the importance of compassion and love for others and yourself.
Not everyone may be aware of this but negativity and self-judgment can increase stress and undermine job performance.
However, self-compassion—the loving and kind treatment of yourself—can help you move through personal shortcomings, professional setbacks, and job challenges with ease.
In other words, self-love can be a very powerful career advancement tool.
Loathing and self-criticism can hinder your career advancement even if you might not be aware of it.
If you are like most people, it is likely that you have been taught that self-love is narcissistic or selfish and that self-sacrifice and putting others first is a virtue.
Even in your wildest dreams, you wouldn’t treat a loved one the way you would treat yourself: not believing in yourself, calling yourself names, and berating yourself for the smallest slip-ups.
When you are feeling sad, grieving, or in pain, you tell yourself harsh words like “There are people worse off than you,” “Get a grip!” or “Stop feeling sorry for yourself!”
Rather than providing the love and support you need, you are making things all the more difficult for you.
When you disavow self-love, many professionals find comfort in berating and brutalising themselves for their shortcomings and missteps.
Often, the belief is that if you give yourself too much leeway, you can become a slacker.
Many people have the misconception that treating themselves badly can advance their careers and boost their performance.
However, nothing can be farther from the truth.
In the event of a career setback like not meeting a deadline or a missed promotion, self-condemnation is the true career blocker and not the setback itself.
Substituting self-judgment with loving kindness can help you get back in the saddle.
Here’s the first rule when practicing self-love: be for you, not against you.
If you don’t stand in your corner and support yourself, who will do that on your behalf?
When you are more loving towards yourself and you treat yourself with compassion and kindness, you will deal with the stressful experience but not the added negativity from your self-judgment and self-loathing.
Watch how often you treat yourself badly, shame yourself, or call yourself names.
Rather than attacking yourself, stand up to your own harsh judgments and impossible standards.
Be quick to forgive yourself for all the shortcomings and see them for what they truly are: old behavior patterns, bad habits, or just blunders that most people make.
When you love yourself and treat yourself with kindness, you will have more empathy for others.
Over to You
Give yourself a thumbs up and a pat on the back each time you reach a successful work milestone, finish a project on time, and accomplish a goal at work. Regardless if you are dealing with a small hassle or a massive crisis, treating yourself with kindness can help you stay calm and have the clarity to tackle any career obstacles.