Positive thinking

A friend told me on Friday about the time when she had an appraisal at work that didn’t go so well. To counteract all the undeserved negativity that resulted, she decided to write about why she deserved a good review and told me that, although it is extremely hard to do, writing 2.5 pages on how great you are is a fantastic feeling and something that everyone should at least try to do. A bit like a spring clean for the mind, focusing only on positive things for a while is bound to do some good so I thought I’d try it and start with something small like a paragraph of a blog post.

However, this really isn’t going to be as easy as I first thought. Right now, all I can think of is two words – friendly and caring – and nothing else springs to mind at all. I really can’t think of anything to say about myself! I suppose it’s a bit like going for an internal job interview as, because I feel you all know me, I reckon you’d see straight away if I was lying or using a bit of marketing speak to make myself sound better. Self promotion has always been a tricky thing for us Brits to do, so any tips on how to manage it effectively would be very much appreciated. How do you write about yourself? What are good things to consider and what sort of language do you use to make it sound sincere? I haven’t even managed to revise my Twitter bio lately, so I think I think I really do need some help with this!

Image of the lovely @PullMyDaisy taken by @settoastonfire

5 thoughts on “Positive thinking

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  1. Were I to write it as a job application I'd focus on all the things I can actually prove, so why not start there? State the things you've achieved first, and then consider what good things about you you must have needed to achieve them!

  2. I wouldn't worry about it sounding insincere, I think that's more to do with our 'Britishness' coming through.

    Even if you keep it to yourself, why not draft one up that uses words like 'awesome', and 'amazing' and suchlike, what's the harm?

  3. I think you're right – it's a very British thing to have modesty drummed into us at birth. Trying to list positive achievements feels way too much like boasting or exaggerating your importance compared to others.

    Had a very meh week myself and could do with some reminders of things I don't suck at. May join you in this exercise.

  4. Oh yes! I think it's not just British modesty- it's self-deprecating because to be proud of accomplishments is to suggest earnestness, which is socially uncouth.

    I think writing positive things falls into at least three categories- reflecting on the positives in your day, which can be the easiest (setting a task like listing three good things that happened or things that perked you up), reflecting on the positives in yourself (things you're good at and things you are), and finding ways to reframe negatives into positives (the “another fucking opportunity for growth” method). It's really good practice, whichever bit you do!

    And it's ok to ask for a bit of help to get going. I can think of at least positives about you, for a start. 🙂

  5. It is a tad British I guess, we are told to be modest, but in the world we live in, a lot of those who like to brag, or think the best of themselves, get quite far. I find it hard too, having to promote myself or say good things about myself, so I always ask someone I love, or who loves me 😉 for their opinion on me, and why the hang around with me, why do they love me… a lot of the time they see things I don't, or appreaciate things I wouldn't consider special or that good.
    Another thing that helps a lot, a bit hard to do at first, it's to write a list, at the end of the day, of the things you have done that are good, whether is going to the shops and buying what you needed, or cooking some really nice potatoes to go with your meal, or a phone call that went especially well… little by little you will have more things to write that will translate in your own positive personal traits, skills, etc.

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