There are so many times where I wonder if the work that I am doing has any effect. Or if trying so hard is getting me any further. I know there are many goal-orientated people who feel the same way, but I think that this idea of a PRAISE FOLDER is good for anyone, at any age.
There are two aspects to modern culture that have been written about that I think are a big part of this phenomena: over/undermirroring which oddly I could not find a good definition for online so I will attempt one here) is where parts of society are overemphasized and mirrored back to us and other parts that are equally as valid are ignored or not represented. A great example of this is celebrity culture where every offhand remark by Justin Bieber is hashed out in the news, whereas perhaps something that a Nobel prize winning professor is ignored or not given the same amount of cultural currency. The second aspect is the idea of Imposter Syndrome, via Wikipedia “a psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments.”
I started a PRAISE FOLDER (in my GMAIL, and on my desktop) so I could go back and visit the compliments, nice notes, acknowledgments, pleasant surprises, and the moments of being seen.
Honestly, it has been a while since I remembered to put anything in the file, and I hadn’t visited it in a bit. My mind was becoming overgrown with the weeds of self-contempt, negative thinking, powerlessness, and the plain old blahs. I had to revisit it to “take back” my self-dialogue. Like for many people one negative assertion rings loud over many years whereas a positive and honestly beautiful comment can be lost by the end of the day.
I have helped people discover forgotten dreams and changed the course of people’s lives. I have helped people feel unstuck and made them feel better with moving forward. I have helped people get excited about their writing again, and been called astonishing, beautiful and amazing after giving a speech. The encouragement I gave friends years ago has circled back to me when they finally achieved their goal and remind me that I was there supporting them when it seemed so far away.
Ok, so it was uncomfortable for me to write that, but it’s all in my folder. Words from other people I respect. Unsolicited, but captured to shore me up in the future. I am going to make a more concerted to hear the positive and magnify it, and I recommend that you try the same, and share with me if it is effective for you!