Thursday, April 21, 2011

Feel Better = Do Better

If you are someone who often works from home, I’ll bet the initial thrill of working in your pajamas or sweats is long gone, and ignoring your appearance when you aren’t leaving the house is now simply a matter of habit.

Looking in the mirror, you see your rather unkempt reflection (maybe you try not to look anymore) and ask yourself, Would I want anyone to see me like this?  I understand all too well how and why this happens.  When I first began working from home, I often found myself still in my bathrobe well into the afternoon.

So what’s the problem?  As you may have already realized, when we have taken some care with our appearance, we tend to feel good about who we are. Like it or not, right or wrong, most of us feel smarter, more confident, and more effective, when we feel we look our best (or at least not half bad.) 

It’s also true, unfortunately, that most of us only bother with our appearance when we plan to be among people. The more important those people are, the more effort we apply. (There are some individuals who do not obey this rule, possibly deliberately. Academics, hipsters … well, you know who you are.)

Remember that your reflection in the mirror matters, even if no one else is looking. The funk created by a negative or insecure self-image is contagious – it spreads itself through everything you do. The decisions you make each day are influenced by it. Feeling awful about how you look will affect your enthusiasm, your confidence, your attitude toward other people, and even your job performance.

Taking good care of yourself is a sign of self-respect, not only to others, but more importantly, to you!  Good hygiene, some hair care, and clothes that make you feel a little put together can leave you with a much more positive mindset. (I am not suggesting anything fancy here – just reaching the I’m-not-embarrassed-to-be-seen-this-way level.)

So, today’s tip is: every day, even when no one else will see you, clean yourself up a bit and dress like you care.  If you wouldn’t want to be caught in it outside, don’t wear it inside. Motivation and inspiration come more naturally when you feel good about you, which is a little easier to pull off when you aren’t still in your pajamas after lunch.

Good luck with your goals!

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