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14 Motivations to Help You Go to Work

14 Motivations to Help You Go to Work

We all have to do it, but that doesn’t mean that it comes easy… going to work that is!

Some days, we hop in the car and go out of habit and we’re at our destination before we know it. And the day has begun. Other days, we dread to put one foot in front of the other because we know with each step we take, it takes us a little closer to where we’re going to be spending the next eight hours. Those eight hours when your head isn’t “in the game” can be excruciatingly long, extremely dull, and leave you yearning to see the clock’s hands move just one iota.
For those days where you think you just can’t face going in one more time, I offer you 14 motivations to help you answer the question “What’s in it for me?”

1. Make your work-space an inviting space

Who wants to drive in to work knowing there’s a monotone-colored cubicle and matching desk accessories waiting for you? Create a space that is “you!” If you have an agreeable supervisor who doesn’t mind a few touches from home, dress up your space with plants or a few pictures of the people you love most. Put up motivating quotes on colorful backgrounds or print some out and frame them. Not only will you make a space you feel comfortable in, but your co-workers will see how you took ownership of an area and the things you chose to surround yourself with… you can motivate others in this subtle way!

2. Reward yourself for perfect attendance

Why not? We were rewarded as children. When we were attending elementary and high school, our job WAS school and we were rewarded for showing up. Make a point of being at work ten to fifteen minutes before you are required to and track whether or not you’re successful. “X” off every day you made it in early and give yourself a treat for five days in a row or whatever time frame you designate. I advise keeping this one to yourself though, sometimes there are clock-Nazis watching and taking their own notes too!

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3. You get to mentally challenge yourself

When we go to work, we get the opportunity to be challenged both creatively and intellectually. Problems are present every day. Being present in body as well as in mind gives us a chance to stretch our thinking and personally challenge ourselves to strive for success. Track these times when you feel excited by new approaches to performing your job – being able to reflect on these times will aid you in your ability to have an air of gratitude.

4. You spark your own creativity

Going to work allows us to think outside of the proverbial “box.” Each day you get in your car to go to work, try thinking: What will I learn today? Maybe it’s the chance and the training ground you need to learn how to be creative. Why not keep a little notebook and jot down when your idea was used or a portion of it? Tracking these things and bringing them up during performance evaluations could further your position within the company.

5. You experience positive interaction with others

Whether you view yourself as being a private person or not, interaction with co-workers cannot be underestimated. When we go to work and engage in conversation, work-related or about life in general, we are engaging in social behavior that gives us a sense of being connected with the human race.

6. You can help others

Our willingness to go to work earns us the financial capability to touch the lives of others through charitable activities. Because we show up at work, we are afforded the opportunity to make a difference in the life of someone not capable of changing their circumstances on their own. We are able to “give back” because we work.

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7. You are able to provide for your family and yourself

Whether you are a member of a family or it may be just you, the cold hard truth is that you need to be motivated by financial responsibilities, the mortgage or rent, electricity, insurances, phone, and food. Your job enables you to afford the things in life that you not only want but you at the basic level need.

8. You gain self-respect

Going to work and obtaining a reputation for not only being dependable, but someone who people can trust boosts your self-respect. Knowing that someone relies on your talents and knowledge gives you value and makes you feel confident in the work you are called to do.

9. You enjoy a sense of completion

Whether you work at a fast-food chain or an executive office, there is a mission for that day. There is always something that needs to be accomplished. Participating in that work gives you a sense of completion because you know you were involved in the process to make the end result or product come about.

10. You establish a career path

Any job you hold should be viewed as a stepping stone to the next phase in your life. Look at your current position as a “testing ground” for the next big thing that will come along in life!

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11. You can afford a certain lifestyle

A powerful motivation to go to work is knowing that the money you earn can potentially afford you a lifestyle you want to enjoy. Do you long to travel? Own your own business? What dreams do you have that you long to fulfill? Showing up at work and planning for the things you want puts you on that path to that desired lifestyle – it all has to start somewhere, why not the motivation to go to work?

12. Go to bed earlier

I think by now we’re all pretty aware that we rarely get the correct amount of sleep that our body needs to restore itself for the next day. This results in multiple snooze-alarm-slaps in the morning hours and scrambling to get ready for the workday ahead. Eliminate this unnecessary stress and turn in early. It may take some getting used to, but you’ll feel better in the long run.

13. Prepare your lunch the night before

This very simple step can shave time off of your get-ready time in the morning! How nice would it be to just walk to the refrigerator and pull out the bag you prepared the night before?

14. Select and prepare your outfit the night before

Take time out to go to the closet and pick out what you intend to wear for the next day. If it needs ironing, do it before you go to bed! Again, a huge time saver in the morning! Once you’re done with showering and grooming, simply walk to your closet and take out what you got ready the night before. This eliminates the stress of picking something, ironing, and possibly running late especially if you discover at the last minute there’s a missing button or worse yet, a hole in your favorite shirt or blouse.

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The bottom line is: work is what we choose to make it. If you want to continue to dread it and find ways to escape being there, that’s a personal choice. But if you’d like to have peace of mind, grow as a person, and feel excitement about the role you play at your workplace then turn your thinking around and consider what you gain from being there besides just the paycheck!

Featured photo credit: epSos.de via flickr.com

More by this author

Cathy Robinson

Cathy blogs about mental strength, motivation and happiness at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

What Does Self-Conscious Mean? (And How to Stop Being It)

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like your nerves simply couldn’t handle it? Your heart beats fast, you start to sweat, and you feel like all eyes are on you (even if they’re really not). This is just one of the many ways that being self-conscious can rear its ugly head.

You may not even realize you’re self-conscious, and you may be wondering, “What does self-conscious mean?” That’s a good place to start.

This article will define self-consciousness, show how practically everyone has faced it at one point or another, and give you tips to avoid it.

What Does Self-Conscious Mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-conscious is defined as “conscious of one’s own acts or states as belonging to or originating in oneself.”[1]

Not so bad, right? There’s another definition, though — one that speaks more to what you’re going through: “feeling uncomfortably conscious of oneself as an object of the observation of others.” For those of us who regularly deal with extreme self-consciousness, that second definition sounds about right.

There are many different ways self-consciousness can spring up. You may feel self-conscious around people you know, like your family members or closest friends. You may feel self-conscious at work, even though you spend hours every week around your co-workers. Or you may feel self-conscious when out in public and surrounded by strangers. However, you probably don’t feel self-conscious when you’re home alone.

How to Stop Being Too Self-Conscious

When you’re in the throes of self-consciousness, it’s nearly impossible to remember how to stop feeling that way. That’s why it’s so important to prepare ahead of time, when you’re feeling ready to tackle the problem instead of succumbing to it.

Here are a variety of ways to feel better about yourself and stop thinking about how others see you.

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1. Ask Yourself, “So What?”

One way to banish negative, self-conscious thoughts is to do just that: banish them.

The next time you walk into a room and feel your face getting red, think to yourself, “So what?” How much does it really matter if people don’t like how you look or act? What’s the worst that could happen?

Most of the time, you’ll find that you don’t have a good answer to this question. Then, you can immediately start assigning such thoughts less importance. With self-awareness, you can acknowledge that your negative thoughts are present and realize that you don’t agree with them.[2] They’re just thoughts, after all.

2. Be Honest

A lie that self-consciousness might tell is that there’s one way to act or feel. Honestly, though, everyone else is just figuring life out as well. There isn’t a preferred way to show up to an event, gathering, or public place. What you can do is be honest with your feelings and thoughts.[3]

If you feel offended by something someone says, you don’t have to smile to be polite or laugh to fit in with the crowd. Instead, you can politely say why you disagree or excuse yourself and find a group of people who you relate to better. If you’re nervous, don’t overcompensate by trying to look relaxed and casual — it’ll be obvious you’re putting on a front. Instead, nothing is more endearing than saying, “I’m a little nervous!” to a room of people who probably feel the exact same way.

On the same note, if you don’t understand why someone wants you to do something, question it. You can do this at work, at home, or even with people you don’t know well. Nobody should force you to do something you don’t want to do.

Also, even if you’re willing to do what’s asked of you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more clarification. People will realize that you’re not a person to be bossed around.

3. Understand Why You’re Struggling at Work

Being self-conscious at work can get in the way of your daily responsibilities, your relationships with co-workers, and even your career as a whole. If you’re facing some sort of conflict but you’re too nervous to speak up, you may be at the whim of what happens to you instead of taking some control.

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If you’re usually confident at work, you may be wondering where this new self-consciousness is coming from. It’s possible that you’re dealing with burnout.[4] Common signs are anxiety, fatigue and distraction, all of which can leave you feeling under-confident.

4. Succeed at Something

When you create success in your life, it’s easier to feel confident[5] and less self-conscious. If you feel self-conscious at work, finish the project that’s been looming over your head. If you feel self-conscious in the gym, complete an advanced workout class.

Exposing yourself to what you’re scared of and then succeeding at it in some way (even just by finishing it) can do wonders for your self-esteem. The more confidence you build, the more likely you are to have more success in the future, which will create a cycle of confidence-building.

5. Treat All of You — Not Just Your Self-Consciousness

Trying to solve your self-consciousness alone may not treat the root of the problem. Instead, take a well-rounded approach to lower your self-consciousness and build confidence in areas where you may struggle.

Even professional counselors are embracing this holistic type of treatment[6] because they feel that the health of the mind and body are inextricably linked. This approach combines physical, spiritual, and psychological components. Common activities and treatments include meditation, yoga, massage, and healthy changes to diet and exercise.

If much of this is new to you, it will pay to give it a try. You never know how it will impact you.

If you’re feeling self-conscious about how your body looks, a massage that makes you feel great could boost your confidence. If you try a new workout, you could have something exciting to talk about the next time you’re in a group setting.

Putting yourself in a new situation and learning that you can get through it with grace can give you the confidence to get through all sorts of events and nerve-wracking moments.

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6. Make the Changes That Are Within Your Control

Let’s say you walk into a room and you’re self-conscious about how you look. However, you may have put a lot of time and effort into your outfit. Even though it may stand out, this is how you have chosen to express yourself.

You have to work on your internal confidence, not your external appearance. There’s nothing to change other than your outlook.

On the other hand, maybe there’s something that you don’t like about yourself that you can change. For example, maybe you hate how a birthmark on your face looks or have varicose veins that you think are unsightly. If you can do something about these things, do it! There’s nothing wrong with changing your appearance (or skills, education, etc.) if it’s going to make you more confident.

You don’t have to accept your current situation for acceptance’s sake. There’s no award for putting up with something you hate. Confidence is also required to make changes that are scary, even if they’re for the better. Plus, it may be an easier fix than you thought. For example, treating varicose veins doesn’t have to involve surgery — sometimes simple compression stockings will take care of the problem.[7]

7. Realize That Everyone Has Awkward Moments

Everyone has said something awkward to someone else and lived to tell the tale. We’ve all forgotten somebody’s name or said, “You too!” when the concession stand girl says to enjoy our movie. Not only are these things uber-common, but they’re not nearly as embarrassing as you feel they are.

Think about how you react when someone else does something awkward. Do you think, “Wow, that person’s such a loser!” or do you think, “What a relief, I’m not the only one who does that.” Chances are good that’s the same reaction others have to you when you stumble.

Remember, self-consciousness is a state of mind that you have control over. You don’t have to feel this way. Do what you need to in order to build your confidence, put your self-consciousness in perspective, and start exercising your “I feel awesome about myself” muscle. It’ll get easier with time.

When Is Being Self-Conscious a Good Thing?

Self-consciousness can sometimes be a good thing[8], but you have to take the awkwardness and nerves out of it.

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In this case, “self-aware” is a much better term. Knowing how you come off to people is an excellent trait; you’ll be able to read a room and understand how what you do and say affects others. These are fantastic skills for people work and personal relationships.

Self-awareness helps you dress appropriately for the occasion, tells you that you’re talking too loud or not loud enough, and guides a conversation so you don’t offend or bore anyone.

It’s not about being someone you’re not — that can actually have adverse effects, just like self-consciousness. Instead, it’s about turning up certain aspects of yourself to perform well in the situation.

Final Thoughts

When you’re self-conscious, you’re constantly battling with yourself in an effort to control how other people view you. You try to change yourself to suit what you think other people want to see.

The truth, though, is that you can’t actually control how other people view you — and you may not even be correct about how they view you in the first place.

Being confident doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it happens in small steps as you slowly build your confidence and say “no” to your self-consciousness. It also requires accepting that you’re going to feel self-conscious sometimes, and that’s okay.

Sometimes worrying that there is a problem can be more stressful than the problem itself. Feeling bad for feeling self-conscious can be more troublesome than simply feeling it and getting on with the day.

Forgive yourself for being human and make the small changes that will lead to better confidence in the future.

More Tips for Improving Your Self-Esteem

Featured photo credit: Cata via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: Self-conscious
[2] Bustle: 7 Tips On How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious
[3] Marc and Angel: 10 Things to Remember When You Feel Unsure of Yourself
[4] Bostitch: How to Protect Small Businesses From Burnout
[5] Psychology Today: Self-conscious? Get Over It
[6] Wake Forest University: Embracing Holistic Medicine
[7] Center for Vein Restoration: What Causes Venous Ulcers, and How Are They Treated?
[8] Scientific American: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Aware

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