A little practice I’ve been trying out lately is Jo Pillmore’s Give Me Five exercise. All you have to do is take a moment every night and write down five things you did right that day. They can be as small as not spilling your coffee.
The goal is to focus on all the things you do right every day and train your mind not to focus only on your mistakes. Jo says,
This exercise may appear trivial at first.
But consider this.
Self-criticism is a habit we train our minds to support.
Yes. We are actually choosing to train our minds to beat us up.
Sorta creepy and sad, isn’t it?
We do this by giving importance to the self-deprecating thought as it arises.
When we focus on any thought – even a negative one – our mind thinks it’s important,
so it keeps bringing information to back up what we’re thinking.
The first few days it was like pulling teeth to find even five tiny things I’d done right, but now it’s my favorite moment of the day. I’ve got a little notebook beside my bed where I jot down these lists.
Here’s my list for today:
- Did not spill my coffee.
- Complimented a stranger on her outfit.
- Didn’t procrastinate about making a doctor’s appointment (ugh).
- Went to bed right on time last night.
- Wrote a blog post. 😉
(The very first day I did this practice, I DID spill my coffee!)
You can download the Give Me Five practice for free from Jo’s website. It’s a nice little packet that talks about how to do the exercise, why to focus on small things instead of large ones, and why writing them down is essential.
Let me know how it goes, okay?