Musings Wellbeing

Give Yourself a Pat on the Back

Reading time: 3 mins

As human beings—we can be funny creatures. We have a tendency to ignore all that we have going for us—while others see qualities in us that we neglect to stop and acknowledge.

At times, those very same people—whether they be work colleagues, family members or friends, will tell you all that you have going for you. However, upon hearing those compliments, many respond with self-denigration.

Due to society’s perceptions of ‘success’ and what we must have in order to be deemed to be successful, we chastise ourselves for what we feel we do not have and for the milestones that we feel we haven’t reached.

Could it be that the reality is everyone has their own idea of ‘success’ but strives to reach somebody else’s definition?

For some ‘success’ could be simply getting up three mornings in a row and being able to have a shower and brush their teeth.

For others it could be witnessing their child defy medical odds or overcome a fear of public speaking.

What may be viewed as the pinnacle of success to one, may not be seen as success or even a priority to another.

It is said that those who are deemed as ‘successful’ often carry imposter syndrome. They have the qualities and accomplishments to match who they are, but somehow think of themselves as a fraud.

The syndrome is reinforced by negative self-talk—talk which involves chastising themselves for past mistakes and comparing their lives, achievements and personal qualities to that of others—including strangers they do not know.

“Why is she so confident?”

“We’re about the same age – they’ve achieved a lot more than I have.”

“I don’t think I have what it takes to reach that level of success.”

“She’s a lot more prettier and skinnier than me – she can get away with wearing that.”

“I need to be more like her—she’s more friendly and outgoing.”

“He’s got a major recording contract and I’m just singing at club events – I’m not a real singer.”

“He is so much more clever than me—he has two degrees.”

“We were in the same class at school. He’s now living the life, drives a sports car and has a career, wife and family. I haven’t got any of that.”

And so the comparisons continue.

As the saying goes, “comparison is the thief of all joy” as it stops us from focusing on what we do have and appreciating all that we have accomplished.

Think of all the things you’ve achieved this week; think of all the obstacles you have overcome. Think of all the progress you’ve made so far. Progression is progression—it doesn’t matter how small those steps may seem.

Don’t wait for anyone else to notice and congratulate you. Congratulate yourself. Write down a list of this week’s accomplishments, and write your positive traits. Once you have read the list to yourself—smile and give yourself a pat on the back.

Aisha A. Phipps
Musings of Ms. Phipps

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© Musings Of Ms Phipps and Aisha Phipps (www.msphipps.co.uk) 2018. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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