Lies We Use To Self-Objectify Ourselves In The Workplace - Kamini Wood

It’s More than Just a Job (& Other Lies We Use to Self-Objectify Ourselves in the Workplace)

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Studies show that we spend one-third of our lives at work. And for many people, it’s more than just a job. Professional success gives them a sense of worth, confidence, satisfaction, and happiness. Unfortunately, too many people strive for success by working hard and self-objectifying themselves in the workplace.

What Does It Mean to Self-Objectify?

Self-objectification is the process of reducing yourself to a single trait. Whether it is your job title, position in your organization, or performance, this boils down to reducing your humanity to a single characteristic and seeing yourself as an object first and later as a person.

Perceiving yourself as an excellent work machine and performance instrument is never good. 

Humans can objectify one another and themselves in many ways. Reducing people (usually women) to their physical characteristics is a common form of objectification. However, physical objectification is only one form. Nothing less harmful is self-objectification at work.

Judging your self-worth based on job performance or professional standing can lead to job dissatisfaction, lower problem-solving ability, anxiety, depression, and burnout. Self-objectivization has also been linked to toxic relationships and harassment at work.

How Can You Objectify Yourself?

Self-objectifying behaviors can take many forms. However, when it comes to physical self-objectivization, this can include being overly self-critical in front of the mirror, taking too many selfies, comparing yourself to other people, and so on.

Research shows that physical self-objectivization is often associated with unhealthy body image, body shame, anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.

 Saying to yourself that it’s more than just a job is the first step toward self-objectivization.

Self-objectivization at work means perceiving your job as the most important part of your identity. The idea of losing your job may feel like the end of the world. You may have trouble imagining being happy without your work.

You may use your profession to introduce yourself to others. Or you may sacrifice your personal life, family, and other relationships to work.

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Common Lies We Use to Self-Objectify in the Workplace (and What to Tell Yourself Instead)

We typically tell ourselves untruths to self-objectify in the workplace. Here are four common lies we use to self-objectify ourselves in the workplace.

It’s More than Just a Job

We tend to feel that our work is more than just a job, that we should be passionate about what we do, and that our profession is our most important identity.

A belief that your work is more than just a job indicates that you are tying it to your most fundamental ideals and that you believe that you really are what you do. This influences how you see others and how others see you.

What You Should Tell Yourself Instead

It’s great to be enthusiastic about your work. However, keep in mind that genuine pleasure and fulfillment are never related to external factors such as a job, other people, or financial possessions. True happiness comes from the inside.

So, instead of saying, “It’s more than just a job,” say to yourself, “I am more than what I do for work.” Practice positive affirmations to boost your confidence and self-love.

I Can Make Time for My Personal Life After

Work-life balance might be a symptom that you are self-objectifying at work. For example, you may work long hours, bring work home, and miss anniversaries, birthdays, vacations, and other important events, assuming that you would have time for your personal life after work.

What is gone, however, cannot be retrieved. One morning, you could wake up to find that your children have moved away, that your spouse has become a stranger, and that you have somehow missed most of your life.

What You Should Tell Yourself Instead

Work-life balance is a vital component of life satisfaction and happiness. To stop self-objectifying yourself:

  • Start prioritizing your time.
  • Set aside time for family and other people you care about during the day.
  • Find time to engage in activities you enjoy without feeling guilty about having fun outside of work.
  • Without My Job, I Wouldn’t Be Happy

When we are passionate about our work, we may believe that it is the primary source of our happiness. The prospect of losing our job may appear to be a disaster. We may sacrifice our relationships and personal lives because we believe they do not provide us as much joy as our careers do. Such belief can lead to burnout, loneliness, and depression.

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What You Should Tell Yourself Instead

Try concentrating on other aspects of your life that make you happy and satisfied. Make it a habit to express gratitude regularly. Each morning, try to think of three things you are grateful for outside of work. These might range from gorgeous spring weather to your loved ones, good health, or friendships.

I Am My Work

Identifying with your career might indicate that you are objectifying yourself at work. When you start evaluating your self-worth in terms of your professional achievements or financial status, you become both the objectifier and the object of objectification. Reducing yourself to a single trait invites others to do the same.

What You Should Tell Yourself Instead

Keep a self-esteem journal to help you overcome such self-limiting and self-objectifying thoughts. Make a list of positive remarks about yourself that are not about your job identity. This can help you:

  • Start thinking about yourself in a healthy way
  • Pay attention to things you enjoy
  • Start taking better care of yourself
  • Stop worrying about rejection or failure at work.

The Harder and Longer I Work, the more Respect I Will Gain

While our efforts and devotion are frequently rewarded, our hard work is not always appreciated or valued adequately. Most of us make the mistake of believing that busyness and productivity are the same things.

However, being busy does not equate to being productive if it drains your energy and stresses you out instead of allowing you to focus on important tasks.

What You Should Tell Yourself Instead

Understanding the distinction between productivity and busyness may help you achieve better control over your time and priorities. Ensure you meet deadlines and respect the rules at work and the people you work with. Keep your office communication positive and strike a good work-life balance.

Such an outlook may improve your self-esteem, confidence, productivity, and happiness.

If you are finding it hard to separate yourself from the roles you play at work, or the work has become all-encompassing and would like to see how coaching could help ensure that all aspects of your life are given balanced time, feel free to reach out

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