Would you like to set yourself up for success today?

The kind of success that makes people want to work with (and for) you and leads to more opportunities in your career?

The good news is it’s totally possible. In fact, you can set yourself up for success right now and do it with ease. It takes just one simple shift in your thinking.

But first, let’s talk about the starting point that blocks us from success. 

The Tendency to Judge and Blame

We’ve all done our share of judging and blaming. It’s only human. But instead of preparing you for success, judging and blaming pulls you in the opposite direction.

For some, it’s about finding fault with others. Like thinking “I can’t believe how incompetent these people are … can’t he do anything right? … none of this would have happened if they hadn’t cut corners.” Or worse yet, saying these things out loud, which puts people in a defensive “threat state”. This makes it hard for anyone to think clearly and perform at their best.

For others, it’s being hyper-critical about yourself. I’ve often woken up in the morning to my inner critic lecturing me on of all the “to do’s” I failed to get done the day before and the dire consequences if I don’t get my act together today. It’s a negative way to start the day and hardly the way to set yourself up for success.

There are many ways judging and blaming can take place in your life without your realizing it because they’ve become longstanding habits that you don’t notice anymore.

However it shows up for you, judging and blaming can hurt your chances of success and dull the joy of your achievements. Like making a great presentation but feeling like a failure because of the one thing you forgot to say (which the audience won’t have noticed!).

Instead, you can set yourself up for success by giving yourself the gift of appreciation.

Give Yourself the Gift of Appreciation

Whenever you find yourself judging and blaming, the shift in thinking you need to make is to appreciating.

When you focus on appreciating, you tap into the power of positive energy and generate forward momentum. People want to be appreciated by you, and when you appreciate others, it puts you in a positive state of mind. It’s a win-win!

And if you’re starting from the negative energy of “judging and blaming”, flipping into the positive energy of appreciating has the potential to create even more dramatic results.

I rediscovered the beauty of appreciation last month when I was on the way to a meeting with a colleague I’ve been struggling with – let’s call him John. He’s quick to judge others and constantly sharing “constructive criticism”. Every time I thought of John, it put me in a bad mood. If only I could avoid him, but we’re both integral to the project.

As I walked to the meeting, I had the insight that I was judging him! And it was getting in the way of a good working relationship. That’s when I challenged myself to make the shift from judging to appreciating.

So I made a mental list of all the things I appreciated about John. It started small (“he dresses well, he doesn’t jingle coins in his pocket”) but led to something more substantial (“he’s loyal, he wants to do the right thing”).

Making that list changed my attitude toward John so much that by the time we met, I was able to experience him in a different, more positive way. And when I noticed him displaying one of the traits on my “what I appreciate about John” list, I told him that “I appreciate how much you want to do the right thing, even when it’s unpopular.”

Simply using the words “I appreciate…” put us both in a more positive state of mind and started improving our relationship immediately. After all, we all want to be seen, heard and valued.

The shift in our relationship has led to the entire project team being able to focus on producing results without the distraction of the conflict between me and John. And it’s made me a more respected leader for the team.

Appreciation is a gift. It shifts the center of gravity in your life into a positive zone that attracts possibilities and draws people to you.

Stop Judging and Start Appreciating

So stop judging and blaming, whether it’s yourself or others. Criticizing and finding fault puts people on the defensive and into fear mode where they can’t be at their best.

Instead, when you find yourself judging yourself or others, remind yourself that you’re human and forgive yourself. Then make the conscious choice to shift to appreciation, whether that’s appreciating yourself, others or the situation you find yourself in.

You’ll be happier, others will appreciate you even more, and this will help you attract opportunities and greater success.

What could you do to express appreciation and make today a more successful day?

Leave a comment and let me know.