Give Yourself Credit: How to Recognize What You Do Right

by | Oct 10, 2022 | Counseling, Depression, Highly Sensitive People (HSP), Perfectionism, Self-Esteem

Give Yourself Credit: How to Recognize What You Do Right

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When facing life, it can be hard to see when you’re doing the right thing. Trying to give yourself credit can be hard, but it’s an important thing to do. Giving yourself credit for your effort can be really hard for perfectionists, who often continue to search for ways to be better or do better. It’s easier to continue working towards a goal rather than reflect on all that you’ve done. Within that reflection, though, you are able to see the progress made. Whether it’s physically, emotionally, or mentally, it’s important to give yourself credit along the way. This is easier said than done, but there are a few ways you can help yourself recognize what you do right. 

Giving yourself credit and recognizing what you’re doing right comes with reflecting and letting go of the past. While doing this, take note of the inner dialogue you have while reflecting.

1. Create Empowering Beliefs

While reflecting, if you come across negative self-talk, try to consciously change this narrative. Instead of reflecting on what you could’ve done differently, reflect on what you were able to do. Although this conscious change of inner monologue may feel forced at first, it creates self-empowering beliefs that will come naturally with more practice. Some affirmations you can use while reflecting are: 

  • “That was courageous of me to do.”
  • “I was strong enough to overcome that.” 
  • “I am above the negative self-talk.” 
  • “I choose to be kind to myself today.”

2. Celebrate Your Success 

One way to recognize what you do right is to be able to celebrate when you give yourself credit. Connecting celebration with praising yourself can create a positive correlation that will help shape the way you see yourself in the future and become more likely to notice your successes. A research study has found that there is a link between self-compassion and an increase in motivation for improvement. Meaning, if you start to give yourself more credit, you will end up doing more to improve than if you discredit yourself. This is way more productive than talking to yourself in a negative way that will discourage you from even trying to do better in the future. Next time you achieve a goal, no matter how small, try celebrating it! Consider what your love language is and how you like to be treated, then treat yourself. Here are a few ideas: 

  • Buy yourself your favorite coffee 
  • Watch a new movie you’ve been wanting to see 
  • Put a date in your planner dedicated to doing something kind for yourself 

3. Switch The Way You Journal 

When journaling, we often focus on how we feel, and sometimes we harp on what we have failed at or haven’t done yet. However, journaling can be used for positive and uplifting messages as well. The next time you find yourself journaling about what could’ve been done differently, try focusing on what you did do and what you did right. Harvesting positive energy into what you’ve done increases a more positive outlook on yourself. Write down how it felt to give effort and how it felt to accomplish things, rather than what it feels like to not do something yet or make mistakes. Switching the way you write will help you change the way you view yourself. And, ultimately, you’ll start giving yourself more credit if you consciously search for your successes and efforts. If you’re having trouble thinking of what to write or how to start, here are some journal prompts: 

  • Write about what you’re proud of yourself for doing.
  • Write about something you completed that will help you out in the future.
  • Write about how it feels to put in effort and/or accomplish something.

4. Start Out Small 

We often lose motivation and self-confidence when we expect too much of ourselves. By doing so, we are bound to fail and give up at some point. It’s hard to change from someone who constantly focuses on what they’re doing wrong or not enough to someone who mainly focuses on what they’ve done right. Keep in mind, this kind of change does not happen overnight, even though I sure wish it could! In reality, we must start out small. Try leaving a sticky note with encouraging words on your mirror—you may not believe it now but eventually, it will help! Or if you’re into reading, check out this book on small behavioral changes that lead to self-improvement. When going to bed at night we often rethink our day, try to find at least one thing to give ourselves credit for before going to sleep. Baby steps are still progressing, and in the long run, that is what matters!

Whether it is simply getting out of bed, or rocking a meeting, you are ultimately the only person who can decide what to give yourself credit for. So, why not celebrate the moments you want to be proud of? Giving yourself credit and acknowledging what you’re doing right becomes easier with practice. It may be hard now, but eventually, you will be able to practice it with ease. 

To discuss how therapy could help you during this season of your life, please contact me or schedule your free 15 minute consultation.


Breines, J. G., & Chen, S. (2012). Self-compassion increases self-improvement motivation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38(9), 1133–1143. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167212445599 

Demott, S. (2020, July 6). Giving yourself credit: A key strategy for building and sustaining motivation. Sylvia DeMott. https://sylviademott.com/giving-yourself-credit-a-key-strategy-for-building-and-sustaining-motivation/

Noch, N. (2013, April 7). Give yourself some credit! Tiny Buddha. https://tinybuddha.com/blog/give-yourself-some-credit/

Team Tony. (2022, July 16). How to give yourself credit: Tony Robbins. Tonyrobbins.com. https://www.tonyrobbins.com/mind-meaning/giving-yourself-credit/

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