Pause and appreciate how awesome you are
One of my favorite questions to ask is, “Imagine that you just completed a huge project and the press came to write about it. Nine of the stories raved about how great you and your work is, while one wrote that it sucked. Which would you think about more?”
Every person I’ve asked said that they would think more about the negative piece than the positive pieces. I believe them. I would focus on the negative piece too, even though it was heavily outweighed by the positive ones.
A weird quirk in human thinking –especially among leaders – is that we tend to focus on our failures and our negative attributes more than we focus on our strengths and successes. This is not merely an inaccurate representation of what we have accomplished and who we are, it’s dangerous.
A focus on shortcomings, detractors, and failures often overshadows all the awesome things that you’ve accomplished and paints an unnecessarily dreary picture of yourself.
If you are the type of person, like me, who is wired to largely ignore the nine stories saying I’m awesome and obsess over the one that says I suck, then here is what I suggest you do: carve out a bit of time to appreciate yourself. Pour yourself a glass of red wine, turn on your favorite music, and reflect on all the things you’ve accomplished, the people you’ve helped, and the things you’re really good at.
Take time to feel good about what you’ve done.
Without any help at all, your mind will do a magnificent job of showing you your shortcomings. To have a complete picture of your work and your life, it’s important to counteract this. Create space in your day, week, month, or year to kick back and spend time reminding yourself of just how awesome you really are.