Give Yourself Some Credit

In lieu of quick-tip Tuesday, I have long-winded tip Monday. It doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, I’m afraid. But I have laryngitis and since I can’t talk very well, I need to use up my apparent quota of words in written form. At any rate, I would like to espouse the virtues of giving yourself some credit. It’s time to give yourself a big pat on the back and here’s why:

Positive reinforcement is the best type of motivator. This is true of faithful animal companions, spouses, school children and ourselves. Noticing what we do well gives us motivation to do more of it and to keep improving. (Examples: Sit. Good dog, Fido! Nicely done with the vacuuming, honey! Good effort with the arithmetic, Sally! Way to go me, getting the bills paid and the dishes done even with a yucky virus!)

If we fail to give ourselves credit for what we do well, we start to feel that nothing is good enough. We will likely start to avoid things that we are not 100% sure we can succeed at. We take fewer risks. Ultimately will be less productive and unable to take the risks that are necessary to lead to real reward.

When we generously provide positive reinforcement to ourselves, we can also give it more easily to others. When I notice my hard work, say keeping up on paperwork or trying to be more social, I can notice others’ efforts more easily. If I’m feeling good about what I’m doing, I’m in a good place to help others as well. I call this a generosity of spirit. People like to be around others who are like this. It all starts with giving yourself a mental thumbs up.

My dad instilled an interest in both metaphors and baseball, but a real love of baseball metaphors. He says that in baseball, batting .500 would be amazingly brilliant. So while I might have wanted to go to the gym three times last week and only made it twice, or blog twice but only accomplished one- I’m still awesome in baseball terms. Going up to the plate means that sometimes you strike out, hit an easy out or maybe get a less than impressive single. But sometimes you hit a walk off home run. Or a grand slam. Or maybe you’re a steady player that contributes regularly to the scoreboard, one hit, one run at a time. Focus on your successes and contributions and you will find that you can continue to build upon them- all while feeling a lot more confident.

What can you give yourself credit for today?


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