The One Sure-fire Gift to Motivate You When You’re Down
It’s Monday morning. The weekend was neither as restful nor as productive as you’d planned. You stare at your computer screen, hoping for inspiration. Coffee #2 is not kicking in. You struggle to push aside the self-doubt and the negative thoughts.
Face it … it looks like the start of a less-than-inspirational day. We all have them. The question is, how do you get motivated when you’re feeling like this?
When you momentarily doubt your abilities, there’s one sure-fire gift to motivate you when you’re down.
In a word, it’s all about compliments — giving and receiving them.
But it’s not just that.
What if you were to assemble a “bouquet file” of compliments to read through to cheer you up and motivate you on a bad day?
The science behind giving and receiving compliments
According to a Japanese study, getting a compliment activates a part of the brain called the striatum, encouraging recipients to perform better. In fact, the study showed receiving a compliment had an effect on the brain similar to receiving cash!
On the other hand, it’s equally good for your brain to praise the performance of others genuinely.
What is a bouquet file?
A bouquet file is a collection of compliments from others. It stores the nice things people have said about you and your abilities.
Sources of bouquets
You may give and receive compliments through any manner of workplace interactions. It might be by email, text, letter, phone call or in person. In fact, it could even be a sticky note.
How to start a bouquet file
Decide whether you want a paper or a digital version or a combination of the two. For example, if you prefer digital, create a folder on your computer desktop or create a file in a program like OneNote.
If you choose paper, print your complimentary emails and screenshots of texts. You can type and print any noteworthy verbal compliments as well, or save them digitally.
What a bouquet file can look like — and how it helps cheer you up when you’re down
Remember the presentation you did a few months ago? You rocked it and people said so. “Hey, Angela, great job on the presentation today! You really inspired me!”
That’s a keeper for your new bouquet file.
Look for examples that are specific and meaningful and consider the source. It’s usually not too difficult to discern between friends and colleagues who are genuinely invested in your development and well-being and those who are not.
Invest in bouquet files of others
Another study has shown that giving compliments to another person benefits the giver as well. However, the study stated people are hesitant to compliment another person because they underestimate the impact their words of kindness can have.
In short, if you’re debating whether to give a compliment to another, the answer is clear. If it’s genuine and meaningful, do it! By giving and receiving compliments, both you and the recipient will benefit from the power of this inspirational gift.
Start today — and add to it for a lifetime
Today is a perfect day to start tracking the kindness of others. It’s also the time to be alert to opportunities to invest in other people’s bouquet files.
With the gift of giving and receiving compliments, the Monday morning thoughts of self-doubt won’t stand a chance.
Resources You’ll Love
- This is what happens to your brain when you give and receive compliments
- This is the right way to give a compliment at work
- A Simple Compliment Can Make a Big Difference
- The Power of Workplace Praise
- The Psychology of Giving and Receiving Compliments (Study)
I originally wrote this article for YourTango. It was published December 3, 2022 as “The Mental Trick That Can Immediately Pull You Out Of A Bad Day” and on MSN and Flipboard.
Brent Roy, PCC, CPLC, CMC, a certified executive, career and personal development coach. I work with men and women who want to increase their confidence and boost their executive presence to prepare them for promotion or a new career. For more ways I can help, please reach out!