Coaching Yourself

by Melanie Greene

Appreciate yourself

Girl, you’re going to be all right. You haven’t forgotten the essentials. You know about defending yourself. All you have to do now is to remember... sometimes you have to defend yourself from yourself.

Maya Angelou

Most of us find that from time to time we fall into unhelpful thinking patterns. If you are feeling negative about yourself and under-confident, or when your inner critic kicks in, you will often find that you are unable to appreciate your strengths and the good things you do. In this state of mind, you will tend to indulge in self slander and undermine yourself, rather than think anything good about yourself. This can affect how well you coach and debrief yourself.

How can you start to appreciate yourself?

You can do this by listing what you appreciate about yourself, your strengths, and/or what you do on a daily or weekly basis. This might feel strange, boastful or even impossible at first, especially if your inner critic keeps on interrupting with ‘Yes buts’! Ignore it – listen to your adult self and persevere.

Below is a sample of some of the things people write.

I appreciate myself for

  • Getting started on writing the report
  • Running a great meeting on Monday
  • Handling difficult questions during the presentation on Friday
  • Listening to my team when they were in a really negative mood about the new IT systems
  • My patience with X
  • Eating sensibly (most of the time!)
  • Exercising three times this week
  • Making this list.

It does not matter what form or structure your appreciations list takes, as long as it is positive and affirms who you are and what you do. Think about the last month and complete the following list with at least ten appreciations.

I appreciate myself for:

Whenever you find your inner critic starting to undermine you, carry out this exercise, so that you start to appreciate yourself, your strengths and achievements. Eventually, you will find this becomes second nature to you as you gradually master your inner critic.