Don’t Forget to Applaud Yourself

From the Succeed Speaking “Ideas & Inspiration” Newsletter:

This week’s message comes courtesy of our 15-month old son and I won’t be offended if you tell me it’s better than the stuff I come up with on my own!

B’s new thing is clapping. Sometimes he does it just because he’s happy. Often he does it when he knows he did a “good job” at something… even if the good job is stopping something he shouldn’t have been doing in the first place. (For example, when he closes the dog food container — when he wasn’t supposed to have it open! — he claps.)

One of the things that’s always sure to inspire B to clap is getting his blocks stacked up just right. Or better yet, managing to balance a ball on top of a block (there’s a little groove there — he’s not magical or anything).

And here’s the funny thing (at least it makes us laugh): It doesn’t matter if B knows we’re watching him or not — he just applauds himself… which made me think…

Do you applaud yourself?

When you put a letter in the mailbox, do walk back to the house clapping in approval? (Or do you take it up a notch and throw your fist in the air while exclaiming, “Yes!!”?)

Okay, maybe that’s silly.

How about when you book a new date, though?

Or when you update your blog?

Or when you finish your new product?

You work hard — I know you do. And not just when you’re on stage.

When you’re in the spotlight, you have plenty of people reminding you that you’re doing good work. Imagine if you didn’t — would you go out there day after day and speak if you got no applause? Maybe you would, but would it be as much fun? Would it drain you over time?

So then why is it any wonder that we get drained while working in the vacuum of our office? Would it give you a little boost to hear some applause from time to time? Of course it would!

You do good work — and perhaps some of the hardest work — when you’re not on stage. During those times, no one is watching. And that’s exactly why you need to applaud yourself.

Obviously it’s really special when the applause comes from someone else — we need that affirmation. But we also need to affirm ourselves. It’s a good thing, I think. And so does B.

[Hey, I sent out another newsletter! I’m clapping for myself now.]



photo credit TheGiantVermin


2 Comments on “Don’t Forget to Applaud Yourself

Fred E. Miller
June 10, 2011 at 7:28 pm

Excellent suggestion!

Too many times we beat ourselves up over things that go wrong, but don’t applaud ourselves for all we do right.

I’ll pull up garageband right now and turn on the “Applause!” for commenting on your Post!


June 15, 2011 at 9:35 am

That’s a very good point — we don’t hesitate to criticize ourselves, but applauding ourselves doesn’t come so easily. And I like the garageband idea! 🙂

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