Whether or not you find yourself regularly on the receiving end of criticism from others, most would agree that the old adage that we are our own toughest critics is true. Even when we manage to accomplish one of the many goals we set out for ourselves, it typically doesn’t take our mind very long to find something within it to criticise.
A common reason for this is that the subjective expectation that so many of us set for ourselves, both consciously and subconsciously, is perfection. And while this frame of mind may seem both ambitious and healthy, as Tony Robbins infamously reminds us:
Perfection is the lowest standard in the world. Because if you’re trying to be perfect, you know you can’t be. So what you really have is a standard you can never achieve.
While there are plenty of tools, such as affirmations, meditation and the emotional freedom technique, designed to help us cut back on negative thought–which has been found to take up upwards of 70% of our mental chatter–I’ve found that one of the strongest antidotes is concrete evidence of the opposite.
Start Giving Yourself Credit for Your Successes
To assist in creating this, I’ve put together a list of six signs of growth that we all need to start giving ourselves credit for:
- You’re Less Impacted by the Opinions of Others
While part of this certainly comes naturally with age, the ability to genuinely be YOU regardless of what others may think, say or do about it deserves plenty of recognition. This is especially true in the social media driven world that so many of us are entrenched in, where sending and receiving criticism has never been easier.
So even if there are only certain areas of your life where you can confidently say you are not impacted by the opinions of others, each of those areas is a great accomplishment to celebrate.
- You’re Not Afraid to Say ‘No’
To some of us, it comes naturally, while to others it’s one of the toughest words to say despite being only two letters and one syllable. This is especially true when it comes to situations in which it must be said to either a loved one or figure of authority.
The ability to say ‘no’ to situations you would genuinely not be comfortable in, tasks that you do not have the capacity for, and ideas you don’t believe in, is a superpower that if you are lucky enough to boast, is worth giving yourself credit for.
- You’re Grateful for Your Past
Whether or not a substantial portion of your past has been riddled in hardship, everything that you’ve experienced in life thus far has played a role in making you into who you are today. The ability to recognize that, by seeing the bigger picture to even the most unfortunate of situations, rather than opting to forever dwell in fear, blame or regret is quite the accomplishment.
- You Trust the Process
One thing is for certain: no matter our age, body of experience, or list of accomplishments in life, we are all consistently a work-in-progress. The ability to recognize that and know that even a rougher today is paving the way for a smoother tomorrow, rather than overreacting to any and all hardship that comes your way is a rare trait to behold and appreciate.
- You’re Willing to Genuinely Listen
Despite how seemingly natural listening is, it’s amazing how few of us can genuinely classify ourselves as an effective listener. Unsure as to whether or not you are? Think back on the last non-drama filled conversation that you had with a friend or colleague. When not speaking, did you actually pay attention to and process everything that was said to you? Or did you either find your mind drifting to something unrelated or consistently formulating your next response?
If you not only know how to effectively listen, but you recognize the importance to it and how much can be given and gained from it, give yourself credit for that rare skill.
- You Celebrate Rather than Compare Yourself to Others
No matter how accomplished you are in life, you will never be the only one to attain goals similar to those that you are striving for–thankfully! And one of the clearest indicators of growth is gauging your reaction when you first discover the successes of others.
Do you choose to be genuinely happy for them and further inspired by their feat? Or do you find yourself riddled in envy? If you are best described by the first option, then be uplifted by your ability to be a true team player.