Power of Self-Praise
Updated: Oct 25, 2021
If your feelings and actions are influenced by your thoughts, it shouldn’t be a surprise that to change your habits and behaviours you must start by changing your beliefs. When you understand how the mind works, building self-esteem will be natural.
How your mind works
Your mind has one job, to protect you by avoiding pain. And the need for this hasn't changed in thousands of years.
Your mind always does what it thinks you want.
Your mind is built to resist what's unfamiliar and return to what's familiar.
Your mind is influenced by the things you visualize and say to yourself.
You mind does not distinguish between good, bad, true, false, healthy unhealthy, or right or wrong. It takes everything at face value.
Your mind creates emotional discomfort when faced with conflicting beliefs.
Your mind is like any muscle, it strengthens with training.
Your mind operates in the present and understands "I am", "I do", rather than “I may”, “Maybe later”, “tomorrow”.
Your mind is like an algorithm that gives you more of what you focus on.
When your faced with something you something less than desirable, or uncomfortable, you might say “This traffic jam is so awful", "I'll die if I have to speak on stage", “I’m just not a sales person”, "I hate going to gym" etc. You mind will interpret this as instructions and decide “"Okay no more pain. Let's not do this" and the sabotaging will take place.
To make positive change, start by asking yourself whether you associate success with pain. For example, do you believe that being successful means having to be ruthless, or do you believe that when you receive recognition in the workspace your colleagues start to dislike you, and you will be the subject of their jealousy.
Such thoughts will keep you stuck and prevent you from becoming the person you want to be.
This in turns discourages your from excelling because you want to fit in and avoid being hurt.
But what does this have to do with self-praise?
A new born is nurtured within the womb, where it enjoys a safe environment. As soon as it, the parents will attend to every need unconditionally. A baby doesn't worry about self-esteem or worry about how it looks.
The child will learn from what people tell them constantly say things like “Don’t do this”, “Don’t do that”, “That’s really bad”, “Don’t be naughty”, “her sister is the pretty or “You’re not cleaver enough”. These words will create issues with self-esteem that will take root and continue to manifest in adulthood if left unchallenged.
Low self-esteem can make you very hard on yourself and damage your confidence. You would never imagine telling your friend how stupid they are, how ugly they look, why would anyone want to be friends with the, or work with them, who would pay them so much etc. So why on earth would say such harsh hurtful words to yourself?
The next time you're feeling down, be honest with yourself, and acknowledge your accomplishments. Words of self-praise are more powerful than the words anyone else can say to you and will lead to a virtuous cycle of positive thinking and further success.