Telling Yourself Good Job

When was the last time you told yourself that you had done a good job?  The specific topic doesn't really matter, does it?  It could be a good job at cooking. Or raising kids. Or work. Or life.

The reason I ask is because I'm not so great at it.  If you could take a peek behind the curtains of my mind, I'm actually pretty hard on myself. And I have a hunch that some of you are too. 

Good Job Friends

I started thinking about this last weekend. I was on a little day excursion with two friends celebrating a birthday. My one friend was driving and before we knew it we were driving through downtown Minneapolis to avoid the crazy construction cones. 

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As we listened to her phone spouting which way to turn, Beth, our driver, needed to get over. She performed the zipper merge (only Minnesotans get this - trust me it's a thing up here in the north) and got in her needed turn lane quickly. Just after she completed her gold medal lane change, she said something I've never heard before while driving with someone. "Good job Beth!"

Stopping to listen to What you say to yourself

I couldn't resist a little brevity and questioned that. Her response was fascinating for me as a life coach. She hadn't even realized she had said it. She decided she liked it. 

On the other hand, I informed my friends I never say that to myself. To which they both replied that I should. Ouch!  Be gentle friends, be gentle. 

The reality of that conversation has stuck with me. We need to tell ourselves that we've done a good job more. And I wonder if you're anything like me quickly finding the flaws or ways you could improve instead of appreciating how well you've done, how you've shown up with your skills and gifts and how 90% (or somewhere in there) you are doing a good job. 

I realized in that short conversation that I don't even realize how hard I am on myself and that, unlike my friend Beth, telling myself I've done a good job is a rare occurrence.  

How about you?  Do you happily discover that you tell yourself you've done a good job? Or do you spend more time finding ways you could have done better? If you're anything like me, you may find you need an intervention when it comes to the simple phrase, "Good job". 

So, how do we go about remaking our own thoughts? 

Evaluate where you are

To be honest, I don't think about it much. And this idea of telling myself that I've done a good job wouldn't have crossed my mind had I not seen the humor in hearing Beth tell herself she'd done a good job switching lanes. 

You and I can start with taking the time to listen to what we actually say to ourselves. When your work day is done or you're tucking the kids into bed or making lunches for tomorrow, what are you really saying as you review your day. Be brutally honest. Write it in a journal each day. Record your thoughts for a week. Get clear on whether your own voice is the one holding you back. 

Choose to show up with grace

To be honest, we can drift a long way from home when it comes to this. We can drift into becoming hard on ourselves and focusing on improvements instead of how far we've come. The secret sauce in changing how we feel and showing up with grace is not found in drifting back. 

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
— Romans 12:2

The secret sauce in remaking your thoughts is allowing God to change the way you think. You and I can choose how we show up in the world and that includes what you think about you. We can start to be intentional with the words we want to say to ourselves after finishing a project or a parenting milestone or working on conflict resolving in a relationship. 

How do you get started? Take that journal list of the things you say to yourself. You know, the one I had write down above. Now, think of what you want to say to yourself instead.

Good job. You are enough. You are a good parent or spouse or employee. Stop yourself in the middle of a negative thought and renew your mind with what God would say instead. 

An anchor for your soul

We talk about anchors in life coaching. Anchors are a visual reminder of the goal you've set or something you want to accomplish.  What would it look like for you to have a visual reminder to speak God's words instead of your own over your soul? Maybe your anchor is as simple as writing GOOD JOB on a piece of paper.  Or maybe it's writing out a verse that reminds you of the words that God speaks over your life. Or even a symbol that reminds you that you're on a journey. 

Your anchor should be specific to your journey and how God is speaking to you. In the end, it's just a reminder to keep learning to say GOOD JOB to yourself in the midst of your everyday life.  So the next time you switch lanes in traffic, I give you permission to tell yourself you've done a good job - no matter how small the lane change actually was. 

In what areas is God asking you to slow down and tell yourself you've done a good job?  I'd love to hear from you. Simply comment below or contact me directly.