So when was the last time you praised yourself? When did you last shout about your achievements? When did you last give yourself a big slap on the back for a job or a life well done? Seriously, when was the last time? And when was the last time you gave yourself grief for getting something wrong? When was the last time you put yourself down? When was the last time you were mean to yourself? Seriously, when was the last time? You don’t even have to have done it out loud to someone else – inside your head counts too.
I’m guessing that you did the last one more recently than you did the first. Particularly in Britain, we are enormously good at self-deprecation. It’s a skill! We hate to be seen as arrogant, so we go far too far the other way into the underworld of self-deprecation. Like most skills though, the self-deprecation skills can be transferred. What if you were to use those skills of observation, clarification, exaggeration and repetition to back-slap yourself rather than bitch-slap yourself?
What are you good at? What are you proud of? What did you do well? What are your best qualities? Instead of replaying the record which tells you what you’re crap at, what you’re ashamed of, what you did badly, your worst qualities, change the record and give yourself some credit for once. You’re worth it!
- Something To Play With -
Big up yo’self this week – you don’t have to become an arrogant arse, in fact, you don’t have to tell anyone else at all. But I do want you to increase your self-belief by talking yourself up – just in your own head will work just fine. Stop hiding your light under the proverbial bushel, and start shining. Want to share your thoughts on this blog post? Please leave a comment below.
Are you feeling festive yet? I am finding myself getting less and less inclined to do any work…which is a problem, because I’ve got a lot of exciting stuff happening in 2012…and I’ve got a LOT of work to do to get it all ready! So, I’m trying to honour my self-care, get into the festive spirit and still get a lot done, without putting any pressure on myself. Because pressure ain’t gonna help…and ultimately everything will get done somehow. I hope.
For one of the new projects I am launching in the New Year, I need your help. I will be doing a video series to help you move your dreams into reality, and what I want to know is: What question would you like me answer about moving your dreams into reality? Do you struggle getting clear about what you want? Have you hit an obstacle that is stopping you? Are you not sure what to do to make it happen? What would really help you to move your dream into reality? Please e-mail me now and I will answer your question in the New Year. Thank you!
- Celebrate 2011 -If I were to ask you what you have accomplished in 2011, what would you say? Would you proudly list all your achievements, large and small? Would you need to think for a moment, then give a few big things that you have accomplished. Or would you instantly say ‘nothing’? Many people will say ‘nothing’. They think they have achieved ‘nothing’ all year. Now firstly, this is impossible. You cannot get through an entire year without accomplishing something. Ok, you may not have become CEO or President or earned your first billion or become a best-selling author or taken over from Simon Cowell on the X Factor. But there are many achievements that you have probably breezed past.
Most people do this, they save their celebrations for ‘big’ occasions and achievements only (if at all) and miss out on the opportunity for daily celebration. Last year I was coached by Sandy Grason and celebration is a big part of her coaching program – and I loved it so much, I make it a big part of my coaching program now too. I am consistently amazed at how difficult people find it to celebrate themselves and their achievements. We are so stingy with our praise of ourselves. With our friends and family, we will be able to see all the things that we could raise a glass to them for – their courage, their dedication, that they have worked hard, because they are a great friend/parent, but ourselves, well somehow we’re ‘not good enough’ and don’t deserive to be celebrated.
We’re just not used to celebrating our lives, our small achievements, sometimes even our big achievements. Earlier this year one of my clients reached a major goal. When I asked what they’d be doing to celebrate, they answered in all seriousness “Working toward the next goal”. Hmm. Well, there is always another mountain to climb, another goal to reach for, another problem to sort out. And the bad news? There always will be! Life will never be ‘perfect’ because we will always want ‘more’ – there will be something new and shiny to reach for because that’s what we do, that’s life. The good news is that this means you might as well celebrate every small (and big) achievement – then you get to celebrate a lot, have a lot of fun and enjoy each of your accomplishments.
As the year draws to a close, look back over the past year and look at what you have achieved – small stuff as well as ‘big’ stuff. Maybe you completed a big project at work, maybe you made a new friend, wrote a blog, paid off a debt, did a course, learnt a new skill, treated yourself to something you’ve always wanted to do (yes, you get to celebrate treating yourself too – it’s a double whammy!), helped a friend, overcame a difficulty, made progress on a goal…there are hundreds of ‘small’ achievements that just go by completely unremarked upon, and dozens of ‘big’ achievements that we mean to celebrate, but forget because the next task/goal/stage is calling. So take the time to celebrate your life. And if you really cannot think of anything you ‘achieved’ this year, then just celebrate another year of being you – beautiful, unique, fabulous, wonderful YOU. Well worth a celebration!
- Something to Play With -
What are you going to do to celebrate 2011 before the end of the year? what are you going to celebrate yourself for? Want to share your thoughts on this article? Leave me a comment below.
Lately I’ve received quite a few pats on the back for my website/blog. I received a LOVELY e-mail last week thanking me for my ramblings (they didn’t say ramblings, but that’s how I like to think of my blog!). A couple of ‘new’ friends have complimented my fabulous website and blog, and then yesterday I was working at a company in Birmingham and one of the chaps said he’d looked at my website to research me and thought my website was great. He said I obviously put a lot of work and thought into it, it showed and it was great!
How lovely. To anyone who has ever had an appreciative thought about my website/blog/newsletter, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Of course, I don’t do it for plaudits, I do it because I believe in it, I love it, and I love that you guys are out there reading it. But it is nice occasionally to hear that it is hitting the intended target! Which brings me to my topic for the day: appreciation. Appreciation is one of the easiest things to give, one of the greatest gifts you can give, and they joy people have when they receive appreciation is wonderful.
But all too often, we don’t appreciate, we criticise. Other people and ourselves. It becomes a very very bad habit that not only makes us feel discontented, it also puts frown lines on our faces! And whether the other person hears the criticism or not, they will get a sense that something is wrong. Of course, there is often much to criticise! If I wanted to be critical of my day, I could find many things and people to criticise for not being 100% perfect according to ‘Donna’s rules’. But I could find an equal amount of things to appreciate.
The difference is that when you take the time to appreciate rather than criticise, you feel better. And if you pass on a little of that appreciation, other people feel better too. So I have an assignment for you today. Look at the people closest to you – partners, children, friends, colleagues and find something to appreciate about them. You might want to share it with them too. Heartfelt pats on the back are always welcomed, and in these dark days of winter, you could bring a little sunshine into their lives!
If you want to, you could even extend the appreciation to people you come across in your day. For example, I had to return an item to a shop today and the woman who served me was SO helpful and lovely that I had to say to her, not only ‘thankyou’ which I’d have said even if she wasn’t helpful (it’s a British thing, I don’t understand it either) but also ‘I really appreciate your helpfulness and brilliance’. To be honest, I think she found this praise slightly OTT but it did bring a smile to her face!
Anyway, to finish, thank you. I really appreciate that you read, comment, enjoy and visit my humble blog and I congratulate you on your wisdom and good taste! ;-D
- A note from Donna -
Apparently there might be a recession coming in the UK in 3 months time. And there might not. I get really irate with the media, because they sensationalise EVERYTHING, and their stories seem to me designed to frighten people and bring about the very conditions they are scare-mongering about. Guesses about the future of the economy aren’t news, they’re guesses about the future…funny that they’re not getting Mystic Meg to predict the FTSE eh? Bah humbug. As I recall, a recession has been promised every year since the last one, so if you’ll forgive me, I’m not going to give an arse just yet.
- Let’s see What you’re doing Wrong -
So, what did you do wrong today? What did you do wrong this week? Where are you busy cocking up life left, right and centre? Well, if I were to answer these questions, I would say 1. Not writing this at 2 this afternoon cos it’s 8 o’clock at night and I just started; 2. I over-reacted about something with my mom, and 3. Well, where do I start????
Ok, no I’m not serious about this. I’m just demonstrating something. If you start to look for what you’re doing wrong, you’ll find it. Even I, who am utterly magnificent and a wonderful person, can find things I am doing wrong. Easily. And boy, does it make me feel GREAT?! No. No, it doesn’t. It feels horrible. So why would we focus so much on what we’re doing wrong?
First of all, I think it’s a largely unconscious thing – we don’t wake up in the morning and say ‘hey, I’m going to find all the things I’m doing wrong today and make myself feel like crap’. Well, at least I hope you don’t! But unconsciously we are our own worst critic – take all the people who’ve ever pointed out the error of your ways, multiply them by 10 and you have your inner critic. An expert in telling you why you are useless.
Every part of every body has a positive intention – the intention of your inner critic is usually to motivate you to do better. After all, that’s why people have criticised us all our lives – parents, teachers, partners…so that we can do better. Unfortunately it is not particularly motivating to be told what you are doing wrong all the time! So it’s a great intention, just a lousy method of achieving the desired aim!
Here’s the thing though – most of us are brilliant at finding our weakest points, superb at pointing out our shortcomings, fabulous at making ourselves feel bad. Imagine if we focused on finding our strengths; pointing out our brilliance; and making ourselves feel good? The tools are the same, it’s just a slightly different perspective! This new perspective might feel like new shoes for a while – a little odd and not quite comfortable – but soon, you will wake up every morning to the thought “hey, I’m going to find all the things I’m doing right today and make myself feel WONDERFUL!”
- Something To Play With -
Go on, I know you are dying to exercise that inner critic. Come up with 10 things you are doing wrong at the moment. See how easy that was?? Now come up with 20 things you are doing RIGHT (reading this newsletter counts as it is a very wise and caring thing to do for yourself). Every time you notice your inner critic at work, ask him/her to use that razor sharp observation to be your inner cheerleader – pom-poms and all. Ready “Gooooooooooo ME!” Want to share your thoughts on this article? Leave me a comment below.