The importance of praising ourselves every day

August 25, 2017

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By Brian Maynor


Looking inward for praise, acceptance and appreciation is not something that comes as second nature to most of us, and that’s because as children we are taught to seek validation from others.

External validation is simply the custom of society.  We seek it from parents, teachers, friends, partners, children and even our pets, and those who actually celebrate and praise themselves are deemed arrogant and self-absorbed.

We need to change our society.  Self-empowerment is something everyone should do for themselves every single day.  Another change we need to make is in the idea that self-improvement can only come from a place of lack.

Pursuing a path of self-improvement does not have to happen because we’re missing something, or correcting a wrong turn on the path of life.  That perspective keeps us in the mindset of focusing on our weaknesses.  The same thing happens with feedback.  All too often it is centered on our flaws or deficiencies instead of our strengths.

For those of us who have a hard time breaking the habit of downplaying our accomplishments, and ourselves, it’s worth noting that a study for the Harvard Business Review found recognizing accomplishments of any size releases dopamine in our brains that make us feel good.

Here are a few ways we can recognize ourselves that are quick and easy:

1.   Pick 3.  We can go days without someone recognizing us for an accomplishment we made, even though we accomplish things every day, which can leave us feeling disempowered.  One way to counteract this is by writing down three small achievements every day.  Simply pick three.  This helps re-train our brains to focus on our accomplishments instead of the things we didn’t get done.  An accomplishment I’m particularly proud of is the fact that I ran errands today and didn’t yell at anyone as I was driving.  That has to be a first.

2.    Flip the coin.  It’s easy to dwell on our weaknesses and shortcomings, and when that happens we need to flip the coin and list one strength for every weakness.  This doesn’t change the fact that we still have weaknesses, or help us improve them, but it does show that there are two sides to everything, and what we perceive as a weakness also has a strength.  For example, being a perfectionist also means you take pride in paying attention to detail.

3.    Fill in the blanks.  We are all guilty of envying someone else, but we need to remember we only see half of the picture.  The next time we feel the pang of jealousy take a second and watch this video.  It’s the perfect antidote for when we think someone’s life is perfect, especially on social media.

4.    Remember what opinions are like.  Everyone has an opinion, but luckily we get to decide if it matters to us or not.  That doesn’t mean we have to be rude or ugly when we decide someone’s opinion is useless, we can practice detached listening.  That’s pretty much what we did with our parents as teenagers; smile, nod and fain interest in what they are saying while not letting any of it sink in.

Recognition, praise and validation from others is important, but that shouldn’t be the only way we hear it.  We need to stop downplaying ourselves, especially to ourselves, and start singing our own praises.  We’ve waited long enough for recognition from others; it’s time to celebrate ourselves!


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I am always curious to hear about your weekend wardrobe dilemmas and help make your work wardrobe pull double duty.  Email your questions, quandaries and conundrums to [email protected].  Also find each of these storyboards at with links to purchase each item.



About Brian Maynor

Brian Maynor has built a reputation as one of the leading style coaches in the Southeast and is quickly expanding his eponymous company, BRIAN MAYNOR and his FIND, FLATTER & FLAUNT line of image consulting services. A professional with a fresh, upbeat and down-to-earth personality and boundless creative energy, he works frequently with with local celebrities; Fortune 500 companies and nonprofit organizations; modeling agencies; fashion designers; production companies; record labels; media and individuals. A regular contributor to various fashion blogs and online communities, Brian Maynor is one of the most trusted and recognized style experts in the region, utilizing his education and training as a broadcast journalist to serve as a style lecturer, emcee, and commentator for over a decade. He has appeared at fashion shows, expos, and charity fundraisers, as well as events with big brands like Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Chico’s and Macy’s. His approach is innovative, creative and fashion-forward, balancing fresh, modern styles with classic pieces to keep one’s look grounded. To learn more, visit


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