Imagine this is your first day of kindergarten. You are nervous, excited and curious and energetic.
During the day, your teacher welcomes you and praises what you are doing well …
- What a beautiful picture.
- Thank you for removing the pencils.
- What excellent manners you have.
On the second day of school, you are driving through the doors with enthusiasm.
Now imagine if on that first day your teacher brutally pointed out everything you did WRONGLY …
- You are not well understood? It's horrible.
- Why can't you write your name? What is wrong with you? You're a fool?
- You're not as cute as the other girls in this class.
This is an extreme (and unbelievable) example, but imagine how you would feel at the end of the day.
Would you be glad to learn and grow, improve and return on the second day? Of course not.
However, most of us speak of ourselves as a cruel teacher (day after day) and wonder why we feel stuck and unmotivated.
I recently studied the work of B.J. Fogg, a behavioral researcher and director of the Stanford Behavior Design Laboratory.
The guy knows what he is talking about when it comes to changing behavior.
That's what he has to say (in a nutshell) …
Emotions help us engrave + deepen our behavior. If you want the behavior to follow, mark it as you do it – and right after that.
It is VERY important to celebrate your small victories, no matter how small.
For most of us, it is easy to criticize ourselves and difficult to praise ourselves.
But in order for our brain to learn new behavior, we need to praise + celebration + recognition + positive feedback. NEED TO FEEL GOOD.
Always look for ways you can celebrate your new behavior IMMEDIATELY.
Even if it is …
Hey, I didn't screw up much.
Celebration + compassion + congratulations on every small victory, no matter how small, works better than criticism!
Just ask ANY teacher.
And if you don't believe me, try the experiment …
Five five themselves happily and lovingly for several days for each insignificant achievement. Even such silly things like “I washed my face today” and notice how you feel compared to criticizing shit from yourself for every “failure” or “mistake.”
Be a KIND teacher for yourself – and see what happens.
XO ~ Robyn
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