Ever have one of those moments when you come out of a meeting or a patient room and you think, “Man, I nailed that!”? No one else around is there to say, “Oh my goodness…what just happened?! Did you see that? You knew exactly what to say and when to say it. Bam!” Okay, maybe I am exaggerating, but sometimes it feels that way, right? Everything flowed. You. Were. On. Point. All you can do at that moment is give yourself a mental high-five, relish the moment, and file it away because let’s face it – you’ll need it tomorrow when it seems like you’re running in place.
Other times, though, the encouragers are right there – either physically or virtually. Someone sees or knows what you’re doing and the great lengths you’re going to in order to make things happen. Someone actually gives you a high-five as you walk out the door, or showers you with verbal encouragement, or sends you an awesome email, or writes you a hand-written note.
Every day is filled with both instances.
I walked out of a meeting last week so proud of myself for the way I conducted the meeting and was preparing for a new program and how I explained everything so clearly and clarified questions people had with the appropriate stakeholders in the room. No one was there giving me a high-five after the meeting. Everyone rushed off to other meetings and duties, which is absolutely okay. I enjoyed the sense of pride as I walked to my next appointment. Later that day, I had a meeting with my team where we shared the highs and lows for the week. I shared many “highs,” including the morning meeting. I told everyone I high-fived myself. At that moment, one hand shot up for a high-five and then another and then another until I literally ran around the table to get ten high-fives, as if I was running a race. It may never happen again, but I’ll remember that forever, and you better believe I will pull that memory out as soon as I feel like failure is knocking on my door.
Whether you give yourself a high-five or there are high-fives all-around, remember your successes. Sometimes you have to encourage yourself and other times the encouragement flows like waterfalls of praise. Both are important. And here’s one more reminder that I’ve learned and try to live by: give your praise away freely. Funny thing, it keeps coming back when you do, and everyone else around seems to start giving more frequent praise, as well. Recognizing one another – even in the “small things” is important.