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Monday, August 27, 2012

How to Treat Yourself

“We've all heard the notion that we're our own harshest critic.” Why is that?

“Possibly it's because we grow up in an academic setting that emphasizes critique over admiration. Perhaps it feels arrogant — unseemly even — to speak to ourselves with effusive praise and positivity […]”

It seems more often than not we opt to punish for mistakes rather than forgive and focus that energy on coming up with solutions. We see this in the workplace and we even do it to ourselves.

This is where we can cue Lean thinking. Besides the methodologies and tools, a Lean culture and way of life creates a harmonious and supportive atmosphere-the perfect environment for continuous improvement to become second nature.

Celebrate small successes and recognize when you (or your colleagues or your employees) do something well. You will feel good about yourself and will be motivated to go for another success, then another and another. You will be actually be applying continuous improvment to your life.

“[I]t's not simply nice to treat ourselves nicely, it's strategic.”

How to do it: love and respect yourself. This may sound over simplified and maybe a bit fluffy but it is that simple.

“Think about it: When you love someone, you don't dwell on their mistakes, you move past them. If they don't know something, you don't make a big deal about it, you find the answer somewhere else. And when they succeed, you feel great about congratulating them. You encourage them when they're struggling, you try to catch them doing things right, and, maybe, if you have the nerve, you sing with them as you go about your day.”

Focus limited time and energy on paying attention to what you did right and repeat that. Practice makes perfect, so repeatedly think about what you did well and do it again. Ruminating on what you did wrong is essentially practicing that mistake-you want to practice the behaviour you want to repeat. “Think[ing] about what you did that led to the success [will give you] a better chance of repeating it. Laugh with yourself. Enjoy yourself. Notice how cool you are.

At first, it might feel awkward. But feelings follow actions — once you get the hang of it, you'll gain more confidence in yourself. You'll start to take more pleasure in yourself […].

At that point, what you find won't look like arrogance. Arrogance is thinking you're better than everyone else, which is often a protective mechanism born from insecurity when you don't feel good about yourself. When you love yourself, you won't need to feel better than anyone else, you'll simply feel good about yourself.”

Once respecting yourself becomes a habit, you will naturally be more respectful to those around you too. The positivity you exude will inspire those around you and you will transform your world.

Credit and full article: Harvard Business Review

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