When did you last pat yourself on the back?
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It may not be natural for us, perhaps in childhood we never had anyone telling us we were accomplishing anything purposeful, so there is no automatic internal voice which pipes up with praise. We may also not have people around us who take the time or have the inclination to share in our success; certainly this has been my experience in the past, never more true than in the workplace. In these situations, the practice of self praise may feel foreign, we are not used to it, it is an alien experience.
We may not recognise opportunities to feel accomplished. Our lifestyle may feel like a flat routine in which we have no expectations of ourselves, we may just show up and not have any specific goals and we may feel we do not achieve anything. The media tries to keep us under the impression that we need to live up to a certain ideal, a physical form with a type of external appearance, unnatural and unattainable, the pursuit of this can leave people despondent and feeling there is no point.
What is the solution? How can we find that inner voice of support, heal a history of our achievements being ignored, become resilient to the lack of encouragement in our workplaces, underpin our choices with meaning and purpose?
Ask yourself "What is my personal measure of success?"
For a single parent it may be getting the children to school on time. For an office worker it might be emptying their email inbox before the end of every week. For someone with depression it may be getting up and getting dressed for the day. For a student it may be finishing their assignments on time. These are the general levels of functioning which we find personally acceptable and for which I believe we should take pride in as often as possible. At the other end of the spectrum, we must never set expectations of ourselves which are unrealistic, instead we should consistently practice being grateful towards ourselves for sometimes simply managing to function. We should accept that we only ever have to do our best and we should be celebrating this every step we take in the right direction.
I ask my clients to focus on questions “What do you feel your strengths are, what gifts do you have, what resources can you realistically draw on to work towards your dreams, what could you do to have the feeling you are able to achieve, what matters to you, when are your skills being leveraged, where do you want to focus your capabilities?” Evaluating the answers to these questions can help start to develop a belief in ourselves. When you can believe in yourself it becomes easier to appreciate your accomplishments, and that is the point at which you should say to yourself - “Well done”- no matter how small the achievement.
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Reiki Master Teacher, Energy medicine person, Artist, Meditation mandala creator, Chakra balancing crystal jewellery maker, vegan mentor, Wellness Coach, Blogger poetry story writer, Didgeridoo player. I love my dog xx