Self-care and love and its importance in the workplace Self-care or self-love are terms that have gained a lot of attention in recent times. They are used frequently to sell spa days, self-improvement books, running even dating apps. What became apparent to Ruchi Dhir in the last year, when attending entrepreneur conferences and networking events are the vital importance of this practice for business owners and leaders and the effects in the workplace.

A quick online search or scroll through Instagram or Facebook offers typical examples of the practices of self-love.

Ways to feel good about yourself like having a makeover or buying a new wardrobe of clothes, having a pampering session or reading something inspirational or attending an inspirational event. All of these things make you feel good and are gratifying but some writers and experts on this topic delve deeper :

Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D. of ‘ Psychology Today’ is explicit when she writes.

Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth.

She is clear in differentiating the more superficial, though still important ways to feel good or feel gratification, and those practices and actions which give you real growth. She goes on in the same article to clarify that practising those actions help us to accept ourselves and others as we and they are and also become more centred in ourselves and our purpose.

The big ‘lightbulb’ moment came for Ruchi Dhir in her readings of the practising of self-love in the form of forgiveness, particularly forgiveness of oneself. After attending the Success Resources National achievers event in 2016 at the London Excel exhibition centre where a number of entrepreneurs or experts in the field of finance and business were speaking, Ruchi Dhir noticed that they split their presentations into two parts: the first part was strategic, offering their experience and looking at the markets and analyzing strategies and methods in maximizing capital and growth in your business, the second part focused a lot on the business leaders. Each speaker was presenting their own courses which those present could take part in and in the second part of their presentations, the speakers looked at internal obstacles in leaders.

They looked at the psychology of successful business people. Whilst it is accepted that successful people are internally driven and motivated, they shed light on when that becomes damaging and counterproductive. The constant pushing and punishing of oneself to move forward and achieve which, to some extent drives success, can quickly become counterproductive when coupled with a lack of compassion and forgiveness, initially with oneself.

The headline speaker, Tony Robbins, dedicated a whole section to the heart, forgiveness, meditation and letting go.

The big takeaway from that day for Ruchi Dhir was how self-love or lack of it, can actually reduce or restrict a leaders vision and growth and, as a knock on, do the same to their team and business and have real effects on their ability to manifest their business vision. Whilst the term self-love is thrown around a lot and can be confused with, arrogance at one side of the spectrum or pampering yourself at the other side of the spectrum , some of it is as basic as forgiving yourself and letting go with as little judgment as possible of past decisions made, regarding them as neither good or bad .

On reassessment of many of the articles on self-love that are currently circulating and in this light, it becomes clear that those actions of unforgiveness and failure to let go ae the real culprits of depleting a leader/business owner’s energy and clarity which is their greatest resource.

Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D. of ‘ Psychology Today ‘ breaks it down further into 7 steps of practical examples of self-love to cut through the common misconceptions and give people a practical path to follow:

Become mindful – practice quietness and listen to your inner voice.

Act on what you need rather than what you want- or learn to say no if it doesn’t serve what you are trying to achieve. This will help you to avoid falling into negative and depleting behaviour patterns.

Practise good self-care – take care of your basic needs – nourish yourself through food, sleep, exercise but also through intimate and fulfilling relationships. Anothe way to take care of yourself is through travelling, which you can find out about on Ruchi Dhir’s travel blog.

Set boundaries – again focus on what you trying to achieve, at that time. Learn to say no to things that harm this, whether it is your personal health, happiness, emotions and say no to things that do not serve you or do not allow you to express correctly who you are.

Set boundaries – bring the right people into your life to nourish you. The importance of this cannot be underestimated. Every motivational speaker, website and course expound this knowledge. Where people, leaders, employers and employees frequently get bogged down with pursuing and attaining more skills and experience, what frequently halts an individuals progress is who or which habits they keep around them or don’t let go of. It can be that simple.

Forgive yourself -as already discussed, this is a big one in the art of self-love. Lack if forgiveness of oneself, judgment of one’s decisions and lack of forgiveness of other people can become a boulder in your progress.

Live intentionally – live with purpose and design. Be mindful of yourself, know who you are and create a life which makes you happy. Living that life then gives you purpose.

These guidelines or practices, though followed by the individual, have seismic effects in companies and the workplace. A workplace encouraging self-love with a leader with a clear design and purpose who is able to say no to depleting influences has an automatic knock on effect to the key team members and the workplace environment as a whole which can be the difference between a productive and engaging one and a toxic one.

The idea of self-love as an afterthought or something done on a weekend or spare time has been completely turned on its head in recent years. Leaders of huge corporations such as Arianna Huffington ( Huffington Post ) and Mark Zuckerberg ( Facebook ) have spoken openly of their issues with self-doubt and punishing themselves internally for their decisions or choices. This is a common trait amongst successful people which often initially contributes to their success but needs to be kept in check.

Arianna Huffington describes the doubt as ‘an obnoxious roommate living in your head’ In her interview with Amazon, she elaborates:

“It’s a voice of self-doubt, a voice of self-judgment, a voice that doesn’t trust us and questions everything we’re doing,” says Huffington.

During her early years, Huffington’s “obnoxious roommate” had a strong voice and she had to work hard to “evict” that voice from her head.

“I find a sense of humour helps,” she says. “I find the other thing that helps is recognizing that voice is not the truth and that voice is not who I am.”

Wise words from a very successful woman and also comforting for those people fighting the battle on a daily basis, this ‘voice’ can often paralyse you.

Self Love, compassion and forgiveness form key parts of the core of successful businesses and organisations nowadays, for the positive effect on the success of that organisation that it is. It is no longer a luxury, rather, daily, it is becoming a necessity.

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