I knew that I had the potential to be incredibly successful. And I knew that I also had the potential to let stress and uncertainty sabotage that success.
You Are What You Say You Are
Your inner dialogue, that ongoing conversation you have with yourself, has a huge impact on your feelings and actions. Think of it like having a conversation with the smartest person you know, and that you believe everything they say. In hypnotic terms, we call this reinforcement. When you repeat something consistently, your subconscious mind begins to recognize it and take it seriously.
If you consistently verbalize your doubts, internally telling yourself you aren’t good enough, or smart enough, and that no one likes you, then your mind begins to believe you and acts accordingly. It starts influencing your behaviors and emotions in ways that sabotage your success without you even being aware of it.
Set Yourself Up For Success
Changing that inner dialogue is the first step in taking back control of your success. A simple daily exercise to help you change those pesky negative thoughts starts by choosing one goal. It can be big or small, but make it specific, and state it in positive terms. For example, if you tend to get anxious at networking events, then a good goal would be to feel more confident when meeting new people.
Next, write down your goal in one sentence, in present tense. You might say “I feel confident when meeting new people.” Or “I can stay focused and motivated while working at the computer.”
Now that you have your goal, take a few moments each night before you go to bed and imagine your goal happening. Imagine yourself rocking that networking event, or plowing through those projects. And while you are enjoying those feelings of your own success, repeat your goal ten times. This simple exercise will begin to reprogram your mind and eliminate the negative thinking that may have been holding you back.
Setting The Tone
One of the biggest adjustments to self-employment and working from home is the lack of structure. Working from home and working for yourself means that no one else is holding you accountable, setting your schedule, or checking your work. While these are some of the most common reasons people decide to work for themselves, they are also some of the biggest challenges to being successful. Oddly enough, you can be more successful when you make working at home more like working at work.
While it may not be possible for home-based business owners and workers to completely draw the line between personal and professional, there are ways to better integrate the different facets of your life. Some simple changes can get your mind in “work mode,” letting you be more productive and more successful with less stress. Everything we’ll share today is designed to give your mind a clear framework of how it should behave. When your mind has these specific instructions, it knows what is expected and is less likely to wander off to find something to do.
Have a Routine. When you work outside of the home, you have a routine you follow when getting ready for work. That routine helps you to transition from “at home” to “at work.” Create a similar routine when you are working at home.
Start by getting dressed. When you work in an office, part of your normal routine includes changing out of your pajamas and into a work-appropriate outfit. It's tempting to work in your pajamas, but it’s not the best option for productivity. You don’t have to wear a suit or heels. Just putting on something that you would wear out of the house breaks you out of “lazy mode.”
Create and maintain a designated work space. This separates your personal space from your work space and keeps you from feeling like you are always at work. And if you have a space that you only use for work, you don’t have to spend part of your work day clearing off the kitchen table just to get something done.
Personally, if I need to work after hours, I go to the office. I learned that taking work home doesn’t work for me. There are too many distractions and my living space doesn’t have a designated “office.” My computer will sit in the bag right where I left it all weekend. I do know some people who work very successfully from a renovated part of their garage, a guest bedroom, a renovated closet, the breakfast nook, the corner of the living room, and other creative areas.
When you do find a space or dedicate a room separate from the rest of the house, treat it like an office. Do your best to avoid household distractions and ask other people to respect your workspace. Treat your office like an office.
Good communication is vital to the success of any business, and working from home can make communicating clearly and effectively a little more challenging. If you are working with a team, take some steps to be sure that your communication is clear and that you are giving and getting the information you need.
Plan out your conversations. Know what you want to ask, what you need to say, and encourage others to do the same. Starting a phone call, meeting, and even an email with a plan can mean less confusion, fewer misunderstandings, and better outcomes.
Give yourself a schedule. Decide when your work day starts and ends, when you’ll take breaks, and when you’ll stop for lunch. Then stick to the schedule. Blocking out time to focus on specific tasks gives a much needed structure to our work day, letting us give our full attention on a task. Too often the alternative to this is jumping from one task to the next, losing focus, and not getting things done.
However you decide to do so, set up your work calendar to include breaks, client appointments, projects, calls, and whatever else falls into your work day. And remember to do work stuff “at work” and home stuff outside of work. It’s easy to blur those lines when you realize the trash hasn’t been taken out. Resist the urge and wait until you “leave work.”
Leave work at the end of the day. Once you finish working for the day, allow yourself the same type of transition that you used to start the day. One entrepreneur I know logs his time for the day, shuts down his computer, and goes for a short walk around his yard before returning home. He comes in, changes clothes, and settles in for an evening with his family.
Keep Up the Great Work!
The benefits of working from home and working for yourself can be outstanding. And the challenges they pose don’t have to be overwhelming. Keep a clear idea of what you want to accomplish, and take a step (even a small one) every day that moves you towards those goals. You’ve Got This!∎
Use this link to get a free 15 minute hypnosis audio for stress relief.
Karen Gray is a Certified Professional Hypnotist, a Certified Hypnosis Instructor, a Registered Nurse, and the Director of Green Mountain Hypnosis. For more information on how you can use hypnosis to change your life, contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org, or (802) 566-0464.