I’m sure like a lot of you reading this, I am my own worse critic. Rather than congratulating myself, I tell myself I could’ve done better – the classic glass half full or glass half empty – in this instance, I’m definitely the latter.
Recently, I got a grade for an assignment at university. I set myself a high target which I didn’t meet. Instead I was just slightly under and realistically I should’ve been proud of what I got. However, I was disheartened and decided not to tell some of my closest friends; mainly because I thought they’d think I was silly (who could blame them – looking back now, I have been silly). Instead of congratulating myself, I told myself I could’ve done a lot better and mentally beat myself up.
Unfortunately with live in a world where being proud of what you have done is seen as bragging or ‘bigging yourself up’. Thus we are often afraid to phone up a friend and rave about our achievement, and sometimes even afraid to give ourselves a pat on the back and say ‘well done’. But surely we should live in a world where this fear doesn’t exist; a place we can show ourselves (and others) how proud we are?
To become happier mentally I feel as though this is something that I need to personally tackle and therefore I have set myself 4 habits I hope to adopt.
Don’t compare yourself to others:
Grades, decisions, body image and so on – we have all compared ourselves to others at some stage in our lives. It’s how we know whether we are doing well or what we can do to improve. I’m an expert at this, but reflecting these comparisons onto yourself isn’t healthy. What happened to self-confidence and self-belief? If you are happy then why should you have ‘done a little bit better like so and so did‘ – so and so doesn’t define your success, you do.
Think about it realistically
I’m always realistic me, I’ve always got my feet on the ground thinking things through logically. HAH who am I trying to kid? If a close friend achieved something, you would think they had done amazingly well and they should be proud of themselves, right? We need to start thinking of ourselves this way.
Being a perfectionist doesn’t mean beating yourself up.
Of course, making things the best they can be is positive. It shows determination and dedication. But sometimes we get so wrapped up with things being the best version of themselves, we become disappointed or even numb with any small bit of progress, and criticise our own ability. These little achievements or even fallbacks, allow for further growth and they are something we should embrace. Is there any such thing as perfection?
After every achievement, stop, count to 5 and congratulate yourself. Jump in the air, have a night off, treat yourself; do something to show yourself that you are proud. We often achieve something and then just plod along with the rest of our day. Congratulating ourselves is something we should all do more!
A motivation for me writing this post was to tell you all these steps to make sure I stick to them (because I know what I’m like) but I also hope you have got something out of this too!
If you have any other tips or experiences where you haven’t given yourself credit where it’s due, please leave them in the comments!