Have you ever been complimented but shrugged it off? Have you accomplished a lot but don’t think you are enough?
I did this a few weeks ago. I love making mistakes so YOU can learn from them!
I was sitting around a table of top business owners in the wellness/personal development space. We are in a Mastermind that meets three times a year to support, learn, and grow together.
Some are ‘big names’ with big followings, and others are up-and-coming game changers. We go around the room reporting accomplishments of the last 6 months. Everyone is reporting HUGE wins…
My turn. All eyes on me. Truthfully, I didn’t feel I had accomplished very much. There was one program I had been wanting to launch but I got caught up in speaking and serving my clients. So of course, I focused on what I didn’t do. And that’s what I reported to the group.
I could feel myself go weak. I was tempted to criticize myself. I vowed to myself that I would do better when we meet again. Then there was a revolt in the room:
- “What about the fact you wrote and published a best-selling book on Confidence?”
- “What about all the women you helped get promoted, seats at the table, and raises?”
- “What about the leaders of the group chose YOU to speak at our annual Summit not the rest of us?”
Oh. I didn’t even think of THOSE things. I only focused on what I hadn’t done. And I compared myself to what I SHOULD HAVE DONE and what THEY had done. Do you ever have that disconnect between what you’ve done and how you feel about it? Do you ever compare your private experience to others’ highlight reel? (Research on Facebook users suggests this makes you unhappy…) In that moment I ‘got in my own way’ by criticizing myself. I didn’t see myself as others see me. How? I’ll break it down into 2 thinking errors so you’ll know how to turn it around like I did.
1. Devalue what YOU can do and Value what OTHERS can do
Because I was able to write a book and deliver a results-producing program I devalued the ability to do that. Because it came easy to me it ‘didn’t count’ as worthy (Even though other people think what I did is meaningful. It only means something if we can do what others do or what we think we should do.)
So I reminded myself to enjoy the activities I do everyday. I thought of how I love it when my fingers fly across the keyboard teaching you methods I learned in my medical school research – and being able to sign a book to an audience member who says “I need this!”.
I smiled thinking of all the women who use my ideas to gain responsibility and recognition (or remain calm in a situation that used to suck them under.) It immediately re-energized me. And made want to get out there and do more.
Your takeaway: Build your business or your role around your core strengths and enjoy what you can contribute. Get paid the most for what comes easiest to you. Quantify your value to the organization and to your clients so you appreciate your impact.
2. Measure Forwards rather than Backwards
Ever think you are not doing “enough”? We typically measure our success against an “Ideal” big picture vision of the impact we want on our organization or the world. And when we do that we always fall short – because as soon as we get closer to the horizon line of our ideal, we extend the goal of our “ideal” result further away and bigger. So we are always looking forward toward an unreachable ideal and measuring our success by looking at the gap. I made this mistake, do you?
Instead, measure your success by looking behind you – the distance from where you started to where you are now. Appreciation for results and gratitude for others yield positive motivation and action that creates more success. Most of us are running so fast that we move onto the next thing – we don’t “measure backward” by celebrating successes as we plan forward. Your takeaway: Yes you perfectionists out there (takes one to know one!), listen up:
Instead of only focusing on the gap, be the one on your team to celebrating success. Start your client meetings by asking your clients to share successes. Always appreciate how far you’ve come in order to go farther.
Enjoy your accomplishments!