Why it’s Important to Pat Yourself on The Back!


I’m a firm believer that while we can go about things alone, we are always better off when we have a sounding board. My friends and family are a great sounding board but I also have a third party person to bounce things off of (although in the process, she too has become a friend). This is where my coach Debra Russell comes in. She has worked in the personal development field for almost three decades and at one point was the Head Trainer and General Manager of the multi-million dollar training organization, Robbins Research International, Inc.

I have monthly calls with Debra to talk about what’s going on in my life – the good, the bad, the easy, the difficult… You name it, I’m sure we have talked about it! But one of the biggest things Debra does with me is remind me to take the time to celebrate my accomplishments, no matter how big or small they are. Many of us take the time to praise others for their accomplishments but very rarely take any time to praise ourselves…

She has seen this in her years of work with many different clients but there is also scientific evidence about positive reinforcement. According to a decade of scientific study, the ratio of positive-to-negative interactions/experiences/emotions we experience can be used to predict—with remarkable accuracy—everything from workplace performance to divorce. This work began with noted psychologist John Sottman’s exploration of positive-to-negative ratios in marriages. Using a 5:1 ratio, which Sottman dubbed ‘the magic ratio,’ he and his colleague predicted whether 700 newlywed couples would stay together or divorce by measuring their positive and negative interactions in one 15-minute conversation between each husband and wife. Ten years later, the follow-up revealed they had predicted divorce with 94 percent accuracy!

So, Debra is a firm believer that people MUST learn to give themselves positive reinforcement (in at least a 5:1 ration) in order to be happy, strong, confident, successful, and to stay motivated through time. So she developed a way to make a habit of ‘patting yourself on the back’ on a daily basis.



She developed an iPhone app that allows you to give yourself positive reinforcement as quickly as possible. I have been using it and I must say, I’ve realized how little I really do pat myself on the back. So I hope this app will help me (and all of you!) appreciate the hard work you do and take a moment to celebrate it. Oh and it happens to be fun and feels really good! You can find more info here.

I think you deserve a pat on the back just for looking into it :).


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