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#WFH: What’s Your Source of Inspiration?

In the virtual environment, you are constantly being pulled or pushed. Internally, you have your own inspirations and certain ideas attract your attention. They usually lead to positive feelings or emotions. On the other hand, you may be externally pushed to do more with less, to stay up late in order to meet with a colleague, to work extended hours today because you went to the beach yesterday and did not do what you had to do.

The external push and the internal pull can create conflict for you. So, to act with autonomy, you want to find a balance, feel confident about what you are doing and still satisfy your job requirements. When you work from home, anything can be a distraction. Your parent, child, spouse, neighbor, mail carrier, neighbor’s lawnmower – the list goes on and on. When you find out what distractions are around you, minimize them.

You are responsible for creating your own work environment. What you bring to that environment is important to your ability to be successful within that environment. You probably don’t have any company policy about how to decorate your office. You certainly are not confined to a cubicle. You may use a beanbag for a chair, work from your sofa or outside in the garden. The office can be whatever you want it to be. It can be relaxed and optimistic or stressful and pessimistic.

The effects of this environment are exaggerated because our method of communicating in this work environment is not face-to-face. You are free to create an atmosphere that best suits you. The virtual environment does not have the same visual cues or the same intuitive interpretations. You are more subjective and you are more strongly influenced by your own thoughts and emotions. You filter things differently in the virtual world.

A communication or interaction may be distorted by: taking it personally, making assumptions, jumping to conclusions, fortune-telling, blowing things out of proportion, acting on shoulds and musts, overgeneralization, and labeling (Burns, 1999). All of these filters that distort thinking and put you in a negative place in the face-to-face world are still present in the virtual environment only they are more exaggerated. Why more exaggerated? – because in the virtual environment, we are more alone with ourselves.

One way to counteract the tendency to be negative is to focus on what inspires you. By reframing things in a positive manner you can influence your own success. Everyone has a source of inspiration. Ask yourself: What is yours? When you find your source of inspiration, you will be more open to new things because you can then look at the world through the lens of positivity. Your ideas may be crazy, perfect, good, cool or even duds. Be open-minded and keep yourself inspired.

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