When was the last time you congratulated yourself? As in really saying ‘well done’ or ‘that’s amazing’ or ‘wow, you’re so good at that’ and so on.

Say, like you would to your partner, kids, a good friend or a work colleague.

The fact is we can be super kind, appreciative and complementary to others, yet harsh on ourselves.

Try it, become your No 1 biggest fan.

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?