Some American motivational speakers have a phrase. They refer to their “warm fuzzy file”. This may seem a trifle unacceptable to our ears but the philosophy behind it is certainly sound.
As a professional coach I have learnt that it seems to be human nature to dwell on mistakes, failures and the negative aspects of life. This is really sad because we all, without exception, have some really good achievements for which it is worth rewarding ourselves.
In a few conversations, at regular intervals, I invite clients to review where they are now and where they want to be in the future. Together, we create a strategy for getting to where they want to be and define the actions that will produce the desired results. It is important to remember that the coach is simply the catalyst; it is the client who makes the decisions and the commitment. For a great many, the regular reporting back of progress is the spur that keeps them on target. For others, even small achievements can create their motivation to widen their personal goals and to aim higher.
It seems to be a natural reaction for many people to focus on what they have not done rather than on what they have done. This is enough to prevent some of them even attempting anything new if it is allowed to pass unchallenged.
I frequently get a laugh when you refer to an individual’s ‘warm, fuzzy file’. This is simply a list of all the good things that you have done since your last review. These may be as simple as having a daily ‘to do list’ and then actually doing everything that is on it. They can be as simple as spending some time with someone who is lonely – or smiling at a shop assistant. This approach doesn’t exclude the big things but, if you focus on these, it is all too easy to lose sight of those little things that make a big difference to someone else.
As this year draws to a close, I suggest that now is the ideal time to undertake your own ‘warm fuzzy list’. You will be surprised how helpful it can be when you are having a day when things seem out of kilter. If you maintain your list regularly, you will be amazed at what you have achieved and this will spur you on to do even more.
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