ENCOURAGE YOURSELF: forget the nag of resolutions and cheer yourself on instead!

“NO ONE IS PERFECT… that’s why pencils have erasers”.*
BALANCE YOUR VISION FOR 2011: Christmas is the perfect time for reflection

How often do you cheer yourself on? My guess is that it is not as frequent as the times you berate and tell yourself off. Forget having endless negative lists of resolutions, ‘shoulds’, ‘musts’ and ‘oughts’ that you actually do not want to do, so you do not do them, then feel bad about not achieving them, so that you start scolding yourself… and horrors of horrors… constantly end up finding your inner parent!

What about making 2011 the year that you give yourself the regular positive feedback, praise and encouragement that you deserve instead?

Far from being merely a positive thinking type of technique, hearing specific, genuine acknowledgment is brilliant for your brain! Research shows that when the brain has experienced positive feedback it is more likely to achieve insight. As such your brain will make new neural connections and therefore find solutions to challenges, be creative and have ideas etc. This can obviously be applied to your interactions with teams, direct reports and children too. Helping them to feel good about themselves and their achievements will promote their brain to be in what is known as a ‘towards state’ rather than the closed, stressed one of ‘threat’ e.g. from feeling put down and not good enough.

“The finest gift you can give anyone is encouragement. Yet, almost no one gets the encouragement they need to grow to their full potential. If everyone received the encouragement they need to grow, the genius in most everyone would blossom and the world would produce abundance beyond the wildest dreams. We would have more than one Einstein, Edison, Schweitzer, Mother Theresa, Dr. Salk

and other great minds in a century.” – Sidney Madwed