Others work is great not ours

If another person, say in your team, company, in a group or within your community does a piece of work, maybe some art, a poem, a song, a piece of writing or whatever it is, we are most often kind, thoughtful in our feedback and we would certainly speak kindly to the person who had created it. We may offer some feedback, some may even be critical, but the default is to say the good first and if anything bad, afterwards.

We see others work and only look for what is good and often think ‘wow, that’s better than my work’ or ‘I could never do that’.

When we come to ourselves and our own work, we are unable to immediately praise ourselves for the good points, we often are unable to see them, blind to anything good. We go straight to the unkind, critical, unhelpful feedback. We are only looking for what we could do better rather than saying what was great about it.

This is born out of the conditioning that society imposes on us to always do better and this keeps us all working harder and harder. It leads to perfectionism and that, in turn, leads to an unrealistic expectation of our work and therefore disappointment if it is not entirely perfect.

We need to be our number one fan and not be our biggest critic. We need to change the habits and almost look at our work and think, if this was someone else’s work, what would I say to them?

Perfectionism is not only futile and dull, it leads to certain disappointment and a never ending downward spiral of lessening confidence.

Be kind to you and love your work, why wouldn’t you?

Don’t blame apathy.

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All too often people seeking to bring about change use apathy as an excuse for people not taking action or not being outraged by something. I have uttered many times ‘no one cares’ or ‘I can’t believe there aren’t riots in the street about this’.

The truth is people are focused on what affects them and their lives, also, if people are going to take action, it has to be something that is easy to do, appealing and will generally be about something that inspires them.

Moaning, outrage about injustices, and criticising a system without offering an alternative attractive and inspiring solution, will always result in apathy. Guilting people into action is a failure and most often has the opposite effect to the desired outcome, no one responds to their opinions, choices and actions questioned by others and being made to feel guilty for them.

No one cares until they are inspired into action by something that has an outcome that is appealing to the person expected to take action.

Inspire, be the leader you want to see, be the change you want to see and do something appealing and others will always follow. Offer a solution that is worth taking action to achieve and gives a result others will truly care about.

Finally, make the change exciting, fun, appealing, rewarding and worthwhile. After all, we’re looking to make a change.