We live in a world where it is rare for people to compliment and encourage others. Take a moment to think about your interactions in the last month. I bet you are like most people; you can count your compliments and acknowledgments on one hand.
My straightforward advice then is for you to fill those shoes yourself. Don’t depend on others to be your cheerleader. You need to become your greatest fan and supporter.
As you are learning in all of my lessons, there are hundreds of little things that go into achieving your personal best. You just cannot reasonably expect others to know all the little things you are doing each day and recognize you for them.
Speaker and best-selling author Brian Tracy said, “You have to put in many, many, many tiny efforts that nobody sees or appreciates before you achieve anything worthwhile.” This is why it is up to you to recognize yourself for even your smallest of efforts.
It’s All About YOU
If you choose to exercise even though you didn’t feel like it, look in the mirror, smile at yourself, and say “Great job!”
If you have the propensity to make poor food choices, but today you made a good choice, tell yourself how happy you are about the decision you made.
If you have been going the extra mile to really listen to people and not interrupt, then congratulate yourself on your progress.
If you were proud of the way you handled a difficult situation, spend a few minutes and think about how you are growing as a person.
If you have just achieved a personal goal, go out to your favorite restaurant to celebrate.
If you are working on being more likable and you leave a conversation feeling like you really connected with the other person, then give yourself a high five.
If being friendly does not come naturally to you, but today you pushed yourself to smile, make eye contact, and say hi to the store clerk, then reflect on the experience and push yourself to keep taking these baby steps each day.
If your co-workers are speaking poorly of someone and while you share their views, you withhold your comment, be proud of your restraint.
There are numerous opportunities in the course of a normal day to do things that will make you a better person, a person worthy of achieving your goals. When you do these things, whether small or large, pat yourself on the back and give yourself the confidence to keep pushing.
Please know this is not about being conceited or egotistical. It’s about acknowledging the good things you do and recognizing yourself for them. To me, it is pretty simple. If you aren’t saying positive and encouraging things to yourself, it will be hard to have a good self-image.
Remember that self-talk influences every aspect of our lives. Positive self-talk translates into positive self-esteem. Negative self-talk does just the opposite. You may want to re-read the posts, The Power of Self-Talk, Being Honest With Ourselves, and I Said It, and I Meant It to reinforce how you are the one in control of your internal dialogue.
Write It Down
If you are struggling with a low self-image, I challenge you to write down everything you do in the course of a day that contributes to making you a better person. Carry a small notepad in your pocket, purse, or briefcase.
If you open the door for someone, write it down. If you went out of your way to show your appreciation to someone, write it down. If you normally don’t make your bed, but today you did, write it down.
If you pushed yourself outside your comfort zone to make a call you needed to make, write it down. If you took 30 minutes to read a good book, rather than watching TV, write it down. If you smiled and answered the phone with a friendly voice, write it down. If you showed up for the meeting on time and well prepared, write it down.
Set a goal to make a list of at least 10 things a day that you are proud to have accomplished. If you will do this for 21 straight days, I guarantee that you will feel differently about yourself. You will have an improved attitude. You will be happier. You will have more confidence in your abilities. You will be more motivated and inspired to work towards reaching your long-term goals.
Will you take me up on my challenge? Is how you feel about yourself important enough to make this list for 21 days in a row? If this is the case, don’t go to bed this evening until you have written down 10 positive things, however small they may be.
As I described in my post Accelerating Your Success, your ultimate success will come from the compounding effect of doing all the little things you do on a daily basis to get better.
If you look to others for words of encouragement and praise, you won’t find them. Instead, look to yourself.
Confidence, Excellence, Goals, Self-Talk, Things you were never taught