In my sessions with clients, we often make time to write down achievements or what is going well for them. This at first seems antithetical to them as they are there to talk about their problems right? But often one of the best ways to unravel a problem and put it in perspective is to shift the focus and think about what is actually going well. It is not a skill most people, especially women, exercise frequently. We tend to focus on our weaknesses and the challenges ahead rather than give ourselves credit for what we are actually good at or what is working well for us. At a recent speech I gave at Microsoft, I asked the audience to name their key strength…the silence was deafening Hence, I knew that getting them to stretch themselves and write down a strength was the first step towards a more positive outlook.
- Write down ten strengths you possess. If you get stuck, think about the positive feedback you get from others in your team or friends… you know the compliments you have previously disregarded as false or ignored altogether? What are they? What are some of your best qualities.
- Write down ten successes you have achieved in the last year. It may be that you were given a direct report to manage, submitted a project on time or under budget, took a belly dancing class, climbed Ben Nevis, started investing in an ISA, threw a fabulous party for some girlfriends, started a book club, created a website….okay now I am starting to talk about me. Just write yours down!
- Record 5 good things that happened today. People who focus on the good aspects of any given day, even if they are relatively small (got a compliment on my shirt) or out of our control (enjoyed the first sunny day of spring) are much more likely to be happier overall and bounce back from negatives.