Today’s guest post is by Peppercommer Kristina Corso.
Have you ever experienced a time when you wanted someone to reinforce the great work you’re doing? I have.
But the addiction to the high we get from praise can negatively impact the way we conduct ourselves in both our personal and professional lives. When we don’t receive praise, it can mean spiraling into self-doubt.
As someone who has always been a perfectionist, I experienced this doubt quite often in my first year on the job. I often found myself questioning my value – until I found something that made me feel like an all-around stronger person: spinning.
When I started spinning, I realized I could motivate myself at work in the same way I did in my spin classes. If I felt like I didn’t have to stare at my computer for another second, or that I was out of my depth on an assignment, I could be my own spin instructor.
That’s only one of a few lessons I’ve learned in from spinning.
The most important one: Sometimes only you know how hard you’re working. I grew up in the generation of participation medals, where affirmation is expected but not always earned. Spin has taught me that I can give a class 100%. But it doesn’t mean the instructor is going to tell me I did great. It can be the same in an office setting. Just because a co-worker didn’t tell you how amazing you are doesn’t mean you didn’t work hard. If you can look in the mirror and answer the instructor’s (or manager’s) cry of “Did you give it your all??” With a resounding “Yes!” then you don’t need anybody else to tell you it’s true.
The second lesson: Comparing yourself to other people gets you nowhere. Looking at the girl sprinting next to you and wishing you had her speed doesn’t make you faster. Judging someone who’s moving slower than you doesn’t make you stronger. The only thing that improves you is putting in the time it takes to be better.
When I joined a gym that had spinning, I never thought I’d last a whole class. When I showed up and saw that every girl around me looked like members of the US women’s gymnastics team, I thought I was in over my head. But here’s the thing; I didn’t give up. That sense of accomplishment made me want to keep showing up. I’d listen to the instructor screaming words of encouragement and I found myself answering those calls internally. “I can do this.” “Mind over matter.” And my personal favorite, “if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”
This isn’t meant to be an advertisement for SoulCycle. The point I’m trying to make is that you never know where you’ll find inspiration. Find something that makes you feel great, whether it’s writing, riding a bike, or drawing. Think about how good you feel when you’re doing it – and remember that confidence. You’ll be surprised at how good you are at being your own cheerleader.