How many times a day does your mind wander to fixate on something you could have done better? Many of us will often have that experience of doubting ourselves and our capabilities. So, what’s the solution? Well, that’s actually a deep question and I’m not going to address the entirety of it here… but I’ll present a band-aid that can still work wonders.
Ladies and gentleman: THE KUDOS FOLDER!
Many years ago, a wise colleague said to me, “start a ‘kudos folder’ in your inbox at work. Whenever you get a thoughtful email from someone who says you made a difference, or someone praises your work in a meaningful way, file it there.”
Sure, some may be thinking this exercise is totally ego-driven and narcissistic. Maybe it is! Don’t care… why? Because we’re human here, not zombies (see what I did there) and sometimes we all just need a little pick-me-up. There are so many blah days or moments of uncertainty in this life. Why not make space for preserving little thoughtful reminders of things you’re doing well?!
While I don’t check my kudos very often, I did recently go back into it and was so delighted with the memories that emerged. There were notes thanking me for contributions on projects, emails from youth who said I really helped them, and survey results from workshops that commended me as a great speaker (despite my own insecurity in this area). Instantly, I felt a little rush and was reminded that even on those days where I think I can do better, I’m still usually doing okay in life, and I make a difference in some small ways to other people.
Try it out! And while you’re at it, maybe give someone else some kudos too – you never know if it’ll give them something special to store away, as well.