Giving Yourself Credit


It’s a super busy time of year for everyone! Teens are wrapping up the school year with plenty of tests and projects, young adults are graduating and applying for jobs, and parents are managing work while coordinating summer plans. With so much going on, it's no wonder you may be feeling exhausted or overwhelmed by stress.

There are many ways to deal with distressing situations. Often times, your mindset is crucial to managing distress effectively. Do you criticize yourself for not getting enough done at the end of the day? Or are you hard on yourself when things don’t go as planned? No matter what your goal is, a negative state of mind—one that’s pessimistic, self-critical, or discouraging—won’t do you any good.

There’s a great DBT skill that you can apply to improve your mindset, feel less stressed, and reach your goals: “Give Myself Credit.”

The idea with this technique is to appreciate every step, no matter how small, that you take towards your goal. When you practice “Give Myself Credit,” you essentially become your own cheerleader. You focus on praising yourself instead of putting yourself down. By being mindful of your daily achievements, you can appreciate the progress you’ve made and recognize how far you’ve come. Even if a step doesn’t go exactly as you wanted, “Give Myself Credit” encourages you to celebrate and acknowledge the fact that you tried.

It can be easy to focus on the negatives, rather than the bright side of what you’ve done. Especially when life is chaotic, it’s easy to forget to recognize what you’ve accomplished. That’s why it’s so important to give yourself a pat on the back every so often. Congratulate yourself for passing a tough test. Cheer yourself on as you finish your chores. Recognize your efforts at work and honor them with a good dinner. Celebrate your successes and keep pushing forward.

Change doesn’t happen overnight; but with practice, you’ll notice a difference in your mindset and your mood. Tell yourself that you can do this—that you can face the challenge you're currently dealing with.  Give yourself credit for your successes, no matter how small. If progress is slow, don’t be discouraged.

Give yourself credit for your achievements. With the right attitude, you can be successful!