This blog introduces you to my special brand of BIKE. I show you how to find your Best self, access your Inner strength, tune in to your Killer instincts, and use your Expressive voice. It's inspiring, spiritual, quirky, and it's all in your head. It's about ATTITUDE, not exercise, though that might be a side benefit.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How to pat yourself on the back

A pile of magazines where my cover stories appear

Everyone needs a pat on the back. No matter who you are, what you do, or wherever you are in your career, all of us need to feel good about what we do.

I'm reminded of this because I just heard a horror story from a friend who is famous for her humor writing. She was talking to one of her long-time editors on the phone, and he's yelling at her, when, all of a sudden, he spits out words that sound something to the effect of, "Nobody likes your column." 

First of all, I want to know why on earth the guy was yelling at his writer. Secondly, I want to know why she didn't just hang up on him (I know. She's too respectful to do that). But third, I can't help but think how rude of him to say something so mean and that obviously isn't true. If it were, why would he hang on to her for the more than 10 years that they'd worked together. None of this makes sense.

But it sure hurt my friend's feelings. Who wouldn't be hurt by such an encounter? I'd probably be shaking in my clothes and so angry. She, of course, told the editor that she would no longer be working with him. Smart move. And then she did something else that was smart. She came to her friends to vent. She knew she had a safe place to go to share this dramatic story, and she high-tailed it over for some chin-up talk and pats on the back.

Now that's she done with that, I hope she'll do one more smart thing. I hope she remembers to pat herself on the back. Ultimately, it cannot matter what other people say about you. What has to matter more is what you're saying about you -- both out loud and in your head. If my friend now goes off to sit in her office by herself and fret over what this guy just did, she's toast. It doesn't even matter what we said to her -- that's she's great, that she's smart, that she's going to sell her work elsewhere. Who cares that we said any of that? She can't. She needs to believe all of that -- and more -- for herself. She needs to be able to find a way to pat herself on the back and move forward. We all do. Ultimately, that's what matters most.

Do you know how to do that for yourself?

One way is to write a love post to yourself to use as your personal reminder. No need to make it lengthy. Just consider the biggest thing you do in life. What is the one thing you accomplish on a regular basis in your work? Write about that.

I challenge you!

This is mine, and with it, I'm going to remember my friend's story. I'm going to remember how it made me feel so sad for her to read it. I'm going to remember that I've experienced similar circumstances. And I'm going to use this post to remind me that it doesn't matter what other people say. I know what I've accomplished. I'm a cover story writer, for goodness sakes. Editors have hired me to write cover stories. These are the stories that they use to sell their magazines. That's a pretty big damn deal. And I'm going to have this post to remind me that I am that good. It doesn't matter what other people might say to me. It doesn't matter what other people might think of me. I know my truth. 

Do you know yours? Do you know your truth?

I challenge you to write a quick post that reminds you of who you are when you're behaving as your very Best self (There that B in B.I.K.E. again). Then, if you are ever in the position that my friend found herself in this morning, click on that post and read it. Sip your water. Take a deep breath. Pat yourself on the back. And get back to work. That's how you can pat yourself on the back.  


Anjuli said...

This is so right on the mark!!! Most of what destroys us or causes us to give up is the 'self talk' which is negative-- we need to know who we are and what we can do! No matter what anyone else says to us (or about us)- we should be able to know ourselves well enough to STAND TALL!!

Julia Munroe Martin said...

This is a great post! And it's so timely! Even though I haven't had something happen like what happened to your friend -- although in the past I have! I was just thinking today that I wanted to write a letter to myself to remind myself of the good things I do, not just the bad. I actually planned on doing it on my blog, too! It's so true that we so willingly say terrible things about ourselves but rarely stand up to ourselves and say the right, good things! My husband always says to our kids: "Words hurt." And it's so true! Great post!

BIKE LADY said...

It's funny Anjuli and Julia, but I do run into very successful business men and women who will suffer from the occasional negative self-talk, when you wouldn't think that would be the case at all. But I do believe we all can experience insecurity at some time or another, perhaps when you're meeting a new client, or you just lost a great gig to someone who was cheaper, or if you've been rejected time and time again for a certain period of time. We need to remind ourselves of the successful moments. It can't hurt.

Thanks so much for stopping by and posting. I hope you'll write your verbal pats on the back. I'd love to read them.