Give Yourself the Gift of Happiness - Nurture Positive Self-Perception

Updated: Jun 20, 2019

This means emphasizing to ourselves the things we do well and being kind to ourselves. You must learn to forgive yourself when you make mistakes.

Once you have a negative event happen, the language you use when talking to yourself matters. A key to battling negative self talk is the ability to short circuit the loop we tend to spiral into when we make mistakes. Saying things like, "I can't believe i did that." Or saying, "I'm so stupid. Why did I do that?" only create a negative response inside our mind and builds stress.

Instead trying saying something like, "That's not l like me." Or, "I normally get that right." These little adjustments in our inner dialogue can have huge impacts on our emotional health.

I am always amazed at how mean we can be to ourselves. If we talked to our friends the way we talk to ourselves we would be a very lonely person. Study after study shows that self-criticism is consistently associated with less motivation and worse self-control. It is also one of the single biggest predictors of depression, which drains both “I will” power and “I want” power.

In contrast, practicing self-compassion, or being supportive and kind to yourself, especially in the face of stress and failure is associated with more motivation and better self-control.

Here's a little trick I use when I catch myself entering into a negative feedback loop. You can use it also. It's what I call the the “2 minute drill”. If you are an American football fan you know that teams often run a special offense once the clock hits two minutes, so it is easy for me to remember. Here's how it works.

Run the 2-minute drill to help short circuit a negative feedback loop

The moment you realize you are being ugly to yourself:

  1. Pull out your phone and set a two minute timer

  2. Then pretend a good friend just called and hit start on the timer.

  3. Now spend the next two minutes given yourself a pep talk. Give your self encouragement and inspiration to continue.

That's it. Pretty simple right. It will feel silly I guarantee, but that is almost the point. You will find yourself smiling and hopefully begin to feel better. Most importantly you will have short circuited the negative feedback loop.

We would not hesitate to do this for those we love and we must learn to love ourselves. This will help train our minds to encourage ourselves when we need a little motivational pick me up.

Dave Quinn, CEcD is Chief Inspiration Officer for and President of City Services for Day One Experts, an economic development consulting firm specializing in economic development consulting to companies, communities, and organizations. If you'd like to set up a time to visit with Dave about possible speaking engagements or to find out more about becoming a member of the Day One family click here to set up a 30-minute discovery call.

Dave is a passionate keynote speaker and coach, encouraging others to be a positive influence in the world around them. As an economic development mastermind, wellness advocate and vision caster, he loves inspiring others through talks on Leadership, Wellness, Economic Development, and Personal Responsibility. Connect with him in the social media world: TwitterInstagram, and others @DaveQuinn247.