I learned something about myself recently. I’m terrible at giving myself credit for the things I do well. During the last couple of weeks, I have been trying (with moderate success) to use the key concepts of the One Minute Manager to improve my self-management. One of the three main components of One Minute Management is the One Minute Praising, an intentional act of recognizing and, well, praising success. It’s (in theory) a simple way to boost my Spiritual Energy and Emotional Mana through the inputs of Confidence and Self-Valuation.
And I’m terrible at it.
Like really, really bad at it. Which is actually kind of ironic because just last week, I had a major success at work. I was asked to speak on behalf of a group of peers, in order to present a group proposal to our management team. While being singled out among a group of talented people (all of whom also do what I do and talk for a living) was cool enough, I did so well at it that both my peers and the managers to whom I presented specifically sought me out to congratulate me. And yet, not once did I congratulate myself!
And it’s not like I didn’t WANT the kudos. I told my friends and family (and anyone else who would listen) all about it! Clearly, I was looking for a Praising. I just wasn’t willing to give it to myself.
Which is odd, because I consider myself a champion of my peers. In my current position, I have mentored four other employees. I make myself accessible to the team at large should anyone need help. I actively try to encourage and support the development of those around me. And when they are successful, I am among the first to congratulate them!
But when it comes to my successes, I am silent.
Fortunately, the whole point of the One Minute Praising is to acknowledge good regardless of whether or not the target does himself. In other words, it doesn’t matter if the target of the Praising (i.e. me) really believes it or feels it. It’s a matter of doing it at all.
Which means that I don’t need to wait for something good to happen and then suddenly praise myself. Rather, I should start looking for the good I’m already doing and get in the habit of acknowledging it. Even if it doesn’t feel momentous. Even if it doesn’t feel good enough.
So I’m going to keep at it. I’m going to challenge myself to find something good about what I’ve done.
Every. Single. Day.
Not just until I believe it. Not just until I’ve “made it.” But from now until forever. Because I am my own best champion. And I’m going to champion the hell out of myself!
See you at the finish line!
-The Jack of Spades