Credit Where Credit’s Due

I never really gave myself credit for walking the marathon that could have killed me. Maybe it’s the Englishman in me, always wanting to remain stoic in the face of success, maybe it’s because I was steeling myself for the payback, or maybe it’s just because it feels too self-indulgent.

I think many of us find it hard to give ourselves credit for the things we’ve done, right? You gloss over something a fraction of a second after you’ve done it, not celebrating your wins even though you’d be first in line to celebrate someone else’s.

Recently though, I’ve deliberately given myself a pat on the back for the marathon, not out of vanity or self-importance, but because of 2 reasons:

  1. To give myself credit for it is simply about recognising that my actions can sometimes bring about something pretty good.
  2. To not give myself credit for it feels like I’m sidestepping responsibility simply because it feels a little awkward.

So now, it’s your turn.

  1. Look at something you’ve done over the last week or month that you helped to bring about; something that you haven’t given yourself credit for. A great result at work, in a personal project, through helping a friend or loved one, or simply being there for someone. Write down something specific that you did.
  2. What’s the reason you haven’t given yourself credit for the effort you put in or the achievement itself? What belief does it help to support? What’s the pay-off in not giving yourself credit?
  3. What would giving yourself credit mean? What does it make you confront? What awkwardness needs to be crossed in order to honestly and graciously give yourself some credit?
  4. Take the thought “I did that. Good job” and take 5 minutes to give yourself credit for what you’ve done. Don’t push it aside, don’t resist it, don’t diminish it. Own it. Celebrate it. You deserve it.

Let me know in the comments how it feels.

  • Steve, thanks for recognition [That note is for me, right?] and the exercise. As a connector, I usually fail to give myself recognition for the ripples I start. Both because it’s what I do all of the time and because is supports my belief that I don’t deserve help.

    Thanks for helping me work on this issure.

    Best wishes, Michael

    • Right – it’s easy to just keep on going, doing what we’re doing isn’t it? I think it’s so important to stop and pause every now and then, and give ourselves credit for the things we’ve done and how far we’ve come.

      It’s not about being self-obsessed or big-headed, it’s simply being open to all parts of your journey.

  • This is a great post, Steve. I found it difficult to be satisfied about myself and havent thought about celebrating nor giving credit to myself of what have I done. This actions can be definately helpful for me to see the progress I am making not only focusing on what I still couldnt accomplish. Thanks for uplifting article.

    • You can certainly claim credit for the design of this site Yena! You did a great job, particularly as I’m pretty fussy!

      It’s so easy to look at what you haven’t accomplished rather than the things you have accomplished – big yourself up!

    • what you speak of is certainly awesome but what if one gives themselves credit and the others in the office (females) just do not like you for that? Then what!!!?

      • I think these may be 2 separate issues Julia. Giving yourself credit is really a question of feeling worthy enough to acknowledge value you’ve created, whereas dealing with how others perceive you is a many-layered beast.

        I’d start by looking at what stories you might be making up around what’s happening, and then look for what you can let go of. There might also be something useful in here – What to Do When Someone Doesn’t Like You

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