[This is an Occupational Adventure Blast from the Past!]
In a recent post I posted a link to an article talking about personal change styles. Farther down in the article, there is a list of "key points in successful change." Here's one I really liked:
Giving positive strokes to oneself is as important as giving them to others. But self-criticism is easier than self-stroking.
Whew! Isn't that the truth. We're so trained to look at things and say, "How could I do this better? What did I do wrong that I could improve next time?" When that becomes our sole way of viewing our accomplishments (as it often does), it becomes a huge weight.
Think about it. If every time you try something, you get a bonk on the head and hear, "Not good enough," how inspired are you going to be to really put yourself out there and try something new?
How often do you tell yourself, "You did a great job!" without following it up with "...but you could have done this and this better?" For many people, that over-active self-criticism is an obstacle to their dreams they don't even realize is there because it's such an ingrained habit.
Over the next week, try a little experiment. Pay attention to how you talk to yourself. Do you give yourself unconditional positive strokes? Do you always look for the things you could have done better, rather than celebrating the things you did well?
When my clients do this, they consistently find that the simple act of paying attention to the way they talk to themselves makes them more positive in their approach.
If your positive strokes feel few and far between, try creating a new habit to incorporate them. Start small. Every day, sit down and identify one thing you did well that day. One thing about yourself that you're pleased with. Big or small.
Because the first step to building on your greatness (and you DO have it) is noticing that it's there.
Time for a career change? Launch it with...
The Occupational Adventure Guide:
A Travel Guide to the Career of Your Dreams
by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst