This article is for you if...
...sometimes you lose assertiveness, feel discouraged and doubt yourself. You will learn a quick way to:
- Understand how your brain works and why you feel this way
- Get back on your feet when you lose confidence
- Recharge your battery with an evidence-based surge of dopamine
The problem: feeling low.
If a meeting doesn't go as planned, you receive unkind criticism, or you simply feel under the weather, the last thing you should do in that moment is to make crucial decisions or have key conversations with others. Such a low emotional state, in fact, reduces your brain functions and you operate below your thinking potential.
But what if you cannot avoid it? How could you quickly get back on your feet when feeling low? How to reactivate your brain functions?
There's an evidence-based, rather pleasant and quick way to boost your self-esteem and it can be found… in a folder! More specifically, the "PrideFolder".
The solution: a quick surge of dopamine.
The PrideFolder is a specific place (it could be digital – easily accessible anytime from your smartphone or real – at home) where you collect ALL the great feedback, emails, compliments, testimonials and praises you have received so far.
Why you should do it? How does it impact the brain?
The "brain reason" why you should do it is that...
...positive praises trigger the production of the dopamine hormone, creating a positive, rewarding mental state that automatically enhances brain functions such as perception, sense of collaboration, working memory and cognitive functions.
That is the internal condition in which you should be when making important decisions or having vital conversations. The PrideFolder makes it available for you anytime.
The problem with the surge of dopamine we feel when we receive praise/testimonial/compliment is that it fades away pretty quickly. Instead, have you noticed that when you receive criticism or rejection, the negative feeling tends to feel stronger and last longer?
That has nothing to do with your level of confidence or your assertiveness, it's simply the effect of two hormones that work in different ways. If dopamine fades away quickly from your body, the stress hormon called cortisol produced in response to criticism or rejection (or perceived as such) tends to stay within the body much longer. Realising that feeling low after criticism or a disappointment has nothing to do with you but it's a physicial mechanism in your body can help you take the right actions to get back on track quickly. The PrideFolder helps you do just that.
So here's how you can make a source of dopamine available when you need it:
1 - Look for praises/empowering messages you received in the past, for example:
- LinkedIn recommendations
- Whatsapp messages with compliments
- Reviews on Google or Trustpilot if any
- Email announcing a promotion
- Feedback received after a presentation/speech
- Positive annual reviews
- Facebook meaningful birthday wishes
- Emails from colleagues/team members
- ...anything else that comes to mind.
2 - Collect them all together (screenshots are great too) in a quickly-to-access folder you're going to call PrideFolder or whatever suits you (on your laptop, in your email system etc. – I created mine in Outlook and everytime I receive a great feedback I move it there or, if it’s not via email, I take a screenshot and copy into an email I send to myself so that I can move it in the PrideFolder).
3 - While adding them to that folder, savour the memories and the sensations that arise and keep them alive.
4 - From now on, everytime you receive a praise/testimonial/review/compliment add it to your folder.
The result: feeling immediately more positive.
Keeping this folder handy ensures that when you need a genuine source of self-esteem you can tap into your PrideFolder and produce the level of dopamine you need to think straight, make important decisions and relate to others in a positive manner.
If it's that easy, why we didn't do it before?
It couldn't be easier, and yet it's astonishing how we tend to forget how much we’ve been appreciated in the past when we’re feeling low. Keeping this phenomenal source of confidence hidden and scattered in our computers/phones is a huge waste of evidence-based positivity.
On top of that, research* shows that after thinking about happy events for just 12 minutes, people feel better about themselves and more positive in general, developing higher confidence in what they can achieve in the future (on the flip-side, those who think about adverse events for about 12 minutes rate themselves as less-confident, friendly, popular and intelligent).
In short, positive mood leads to inspired actions.
Positive memories have the power to make the future seem brighter, triggering a proactive behavior. Use them.
Ideally, you want to dive into your PrideFolder everytime you’re starting a new challenge or taking a relevant decision to ensure your brain works at optimal capacity.
Keep those gratifications alive, and they will serve you as a solid ground for your self-esteem.
*Influence of affect on cognitive social learning person variables" – Wright & Mischel
Your emotions highly impacts the quality of your life. Regularly tapping into your PrideFolder will ensure you trigger postive emotions that will boost your brain functions, such as working memory, reasoning, collaboration and intuition, which, in return, will make you perform better and feel alive.
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And now let us know: how are you currently coming back to your feet when life hits you hard?