Resource Centre Life At Work Start Patting Yourself On The Back

Start Patting Yourself On The Back

Most of the time, people depend on external validation to know that they are doing a good job. But picture this, you are working for a boss who is such a perfectionist that even if you go to the end of the world to deliver, he/she will still look for that insignificant fault. Of course, […]

Rewarding yourself

Most of the time, people depend on external validation to know that they are doing a good job. But picture this, you are working for a boss who is such a perfectionist that even if you go to the end of the world to deliver, he/she will still look for that insignificant fault. Of course, working for such a boss is not healthy but since you don’t have many options, you must learn how to congratulate yourself to stay motivated. Moreover, there are people who simply don’t give compliments no matter how good your performance is.

One key motivating factor is receiving compliments when you do a good job and so for you to stay motivated, you have to learn to give yourself a thumbs up. In some instances, you may be self-employed and your clients will hardly congratulate you but you know you have to stay motivated for you to keep growing. Whenever you do a good job, make sure you congratulate and reward yourself because internal motivation is better than any external validation.

Why you should congratulate yourself

  • To stay motivated

self motivation

Internal motivation is better than external validation. Imagine this, you have been putting so much time and effort into a project and finally, it has successfully taken off. However, no one has congratulated you for a job well-done. Of course, it is your job and you must always deliver the best but wouldn’t it be nice to hear someone saying, “Good job Zawadi!” Well, it is completely fine to pop a bottle for a job well-done because by acknowledging your own greatness, you keep yourself motivated for the next challenge.

  • It’s good for your confidence


Everyone becomes more confident in their abilities when they are congratulated. It is an indication that you are doing the right thing and doing it well. If you get into the habit of congratulating yourself when you do a good job, you will increasingly become confident in your abilities and taking up new challenges will not be hard. This is definitely great for career growth.

  • To learn how to objectively evaluate yourself

We all have different goals and targets, whether personal or work-related. The goals set for you by the company are often based on your strengths and capabilities. Additionally, when you set personal goals, you do so after a realistic self-evaluation. When you learn how to congratulate yourself, you will also learn how to set realistic personal goals and evaluate yourself objectively. In the end, you will make incremental gains, which lead to growth and remarkable improvement.

  • To learn your strengths and weaknesses

Personal strengths and weaknesses

A key rule to achieving your goals is to learn how to set the right goals by realistically evaluating your strengths and weaknesses. Everyone wants to do a good job and win. For you to be able to set the right goals, you have to have to be cognizant of what resources you have and your capabilities. As you keep winning, you will learn what comes easily for you; your strengths, and what you need to put an effort into, which ultimately defines your success.

  • To stay positive


Let’s say you have been working so hard to get something done or a project has really taken a toll on you because things are just not running smoothly. You sometimes feel like completing the project is not even possible. In this case, you need a lot of mental strength to stay positive and keep going so that you can complete the project. To keep pushing yourself, you need to learn how to identify small wins and congratulate yourself even if no one else notices them. Some goals seem unattainable and for you to keep going, you need to see the good in your efforts.

That said, you should be careful not to fall into the trap of congratulating yourself for every small thing you do as this can lead to mediocrity. Furthermore, it can lead to an egomaniac trait, which is not helpful in the long run. Here are instances when you can congratulate yourself.

  1. When you are the runner-up

You have probably heard that the winner takes it all and that has always been true. However, there can only be one winner but this does not mean that even those who were second best were not good enough. This can be demotivating for those who do not get to be the first. Just because you were not the very best does not mean that you are not good enough so while no one else may notice your input and congratulate you, you know what part you have played. So, learn to give yourself credit because as much as you may not have ticked all the boxes, you were still good enough.

  1. When you show up

Think about that challenging task that came to your department once and no one wanted to touch it with a ten-foot pole. Not because it was unattractive, but because it was tough and chances of failure were higher than chances of success. The truth is, you will hardly ever be fully confident in your abilities but that does not mean you should not try. By taking up a challenge you are not fully-equipped for, you learn something new and even if your job may not be perfect, at least you tried. In some instances, showing up is better than not doing anything at all. So, congratulate yourself for trying because it is better than being crippled by your own insecurities.

  1. When you don’t give up

The budget was slashed, the contractors did not deliver on time, in fact, your boss is hardly giving you another chance to explain yourself and you have severally considered throwing in the towel and moving on to something less stressful. But, you stuck to your guys and against all odds, you managed to deliver marginally. Things will not always be smooth but that does not mean that you should give up and walk away. When things get tough but you still keep going to the end, you surely deserve a pat on the back and a bottle of wine where possible.


Rewarding yourself sets you on the path to success. It means that you can take up challenges and are willing to stretch yourself a little, even when success is not guaranteed. It also means that you recognise your own efforts and are not afraid of patting yourself on the back even when no one else sees your effort. So, get into the effort of being your own biggest fan when you are the runner-up, when you don’t give up, and when you show up because greatness requires internal toughness and motivation.

Njeri Karanja
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