Are you managing yourself in a nurturing way?

What would happen to your Big Vision for your work in the world if you managed yourself in a nurturing way?

One of the main reasons people leave their jobs is because of their manager, but that’s not surprising right? We’ve all had a bad manager at some point. Someone who:

  • Had unreasonable expectations
  • Blamed you for everything that didn’t work
  • Downplayed your accomplishments
  • Expected you to work overtime too often
  • Disrespected your work and personal time boundaries
  • Compensated you unfairly
  • Didn’t appreciate, or help you develop your unique skills and talents
  • Disregarded your overall health and well-being
  • Talked down to you
  • Lost their temper with you
  • Used shame and fear to motivate you
  • Created an unpleasant work environment

You wouldn’t want to work for someone who did even 1 or 2 of those things, right? You’d find a way to leave that job as fast as you could.

How many of those things does your inner manager do, or say to you?

Having a bad inner manager can make you as unproductive as having a bad regular manager. But what if you “hired” a new inner manager? What if you talked to yourself and did things for yourself like someone who:

  • Had realistic and reasonable expectations
  • Looked at all the factors that contributed to something not working and treated it as a learning experience
  • Regularly recognized and celebrated your accomplishments
  • Respected your work and personal time boundaries
  • Compensated you fairly and generously
  • Appreciated and helped you to develop your unique skills and talents
  • Cared about and supported your overall well-being
  • Talked to you with respect
  • Turned frustrating situations into learning opportunities
  • Used kindness and compassion to motivate you
  • Created a work environment you looked forward to spending time in

I bet you would be more productive and feel better, if you let your nurturing inner manager run the show. According to self-compassion researcher, Kristen Neff:

“There is an ever-increasing body of research that attests to the motivational power of self-compassion. Self-compassionate people set high standards for themselves, but they aren’t as upset when they don’t meet their goals. Instead, research shows that they’re more likely to set new goals for themselves after failure rather than wallowing in feelings of frustration and disappointment. Self-compassionate people have more intrinsic motivation in life — trying hard because they want to learn and grow, not because they need to impress themselves or others.”

The Motivational Power of Self-Compassion

Clients often come to me because they aren’t making progress towards sharing their Big Vision with the world. One of the things standing in their way can be an inner manager who doesn’t support them. If they let their nurturing inner manager take charge, things usually start to move forward.

For example, one of my clients wanted to let more people know about her work, but she resisted doing online outreach, social media in particular. She was visibly angry that her mean inner manager was forcing her to do something she felt a deep aversion towards—so she didn’t do it. Consequently, her work was only known to a small group of people.

I suggested that she didn’t have to do online outreach, if she didn’t want to. She had a choice. She could let go of her mean inner manager’s rules and demands. Instead, she could work with her nurturing inner manager who wanted her to use her natural talents in a way she was excited about and that maintained her sense of integrity.

Working with her new nurturing inner manager, she decided:

  • What online tools to use
  • What kind of content to create
  • Posting frequency
  • How much time to spend on the computer
  • How to represent herself online

The result? She picked online tools that used her innate interests and skills, and that allowed her to create content that energized her. She also designed a manageable editorial calendar that worked with how much time she wanted to spend online. She is now producing content about her work regularly and at a pace that works for her.

Are you wondering how you’re going to accomplish the rest of your 2019 goals? Why not consider bringing on a new inner manager—a nurturing one!

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Photo by Artem Sapegin on Unsplash

One thought on “Are you managing yourself in a nurturing way?

  1. Tom Aageson says:

    Britt…your insights honor the good in us. When we are compassionate with ourselves and others we bring the best out of both. Thank you.

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