We love to rate things. We rate movies, our pain at the doctor’s office, restaurants, YouTube videos, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, etc. We do this to help us give feedback to the creators. We also do this to ourselves, but we often do it automatically and we do more harm than good.
If we can shift how we talk to ourselves, we will be able to take back control of how we view our lives. You can do this by practicing a simple habit at the end of your day. Before I teach you the routine to build the habit, let me first explain why this practice is so powerful.
We often think a lot about all the things we did wrong. We think about the dumb comment we made to our co-worker. We think about the comment we failed to make when someone asked a question and we knew the answer, but didn’t speak up. We think about how angry we got over a silly comment on social media.
If your inner voice is anything like mine, the inside of your head can be a mini torture chamber. So if you are already doing this to yourself, then why not have a process in place to make it more fair and maybe even build your confidence. This habit that you are about to learn will give you an opportunity to build confidence because you will practice putting your focus on the things you do well, so that you can find the energy to try hard things that will help you grow.
We are wired to worry, but the act of worrying doesn’t help us. The feeling of worry should trigger action. This is where most people get tripped up. We think worry is productive because we are using up our energy on a problem that matters to us. If we make time to worry then we can make time to take a small action to help alleviate this worry.
We have to learn to let go of our worries and use this energy to take action on the things that create positive results. When we view our results as positive we grow our confidence. When we feel confident, we are better able to do the work that we love.
I struggled to reach out to small business owners because I was afraid of rejection. I didn’t want them to think I was stupid.
As I looked back on my day and realized that I didn’t reach out to anyone to see if I could help them become a better leader to their employees, my inner bully beat myself up. This made me sad. I lost motivation to keep taking action. I rationalized my lack of action by telling myself that I wasn’t ready to help them, which was a lie. I’d been getting great results for my clients for years. I’d been hesitating because I wasn’t sure if my system would work as well if they used it with their employees. This was also false because I knew that my clients had already used it with their employees with great results.
I needed a way to be honest with myself to build my confidence and have fun doing it. I love rating things because it helps me process my day. I know that other people love rating things too, so I created this process to help myself and my clients build confidence.
Rate Your Day Routine
Here is how you practice the Rate Your Day routine to improve your inner dialogue.
Just ask yourself:
1. What did I do well today? (List three things and add your why to deepen this positive feeling.)
2. What can I improve and how will I improve it?
Then the final step:
3. How do I rate my day on a scale of 1 - 10? (1 - Terrible to 10 - Amazing)
Two minutes and you are done. The idea is not to over complicate your process. If it’s too difficult you won’t stick with it. I like to write down what I did well and what I could improve, but if I’m tired I’ll just think about my rating to continue the habit and then write my number down. I like to be able to look back and see my average for the week.
Mindset Cheat Code
This is your cheat code. We are all hardwired to fix mistakes so that 2000 years ago we wouldn’t have been thrown out of our village and left to fight the elements on our own.
We need to insert a positive habit to offset this hardwiring. When you take just 2 minutes to process your day by looking at what you did well, you are stacking the deck to give yourself the reward of a higher number. Self validation is one of the best ways to encourage yourseld to keep growing. Most of us are too tough on ourselves. This process helps balance out our self critical wiring, so we see things from a more balanced perspective.
After doing this for 7 days, I started to make a big change in my actions. My first week I ended up averaging a 5.85 for the week. This surprised me because I ended the week well, but then I remembered the beginning was a struggle. I let the news distract me quite a bit instead of focusing on my work.
The next week I saw my rating go up to a 6.28. I limited the news and other distractions. The next week I averaged a 6.57. I could see exactly why I was rating my day higher each week.
My numbers crept up a little until I noticed that I was hovering around an 8.2, which felt good to me. As I’ve practiced this habit, I’m regularly between a 9 - 9.5 now. I added decimals because I wanted to dig a little deeper. I’m happier, more productive and I have the confidence to do the hard tasks that help me do a better job of living my values (here is a list of core values). If I'm not in alignment I see this clearly at the end of the day and figure out how I can improve it tomorrow.
When I’m about to open one of my favorite news sites I ask myself:
What rating do I want to be at today?
This number keeps me focused on doing things that really matter to me. If I want to be at a nine then I have to do things that would help me reach this number. This is the nice part about rating yourself.
After going through the Rate My Day routine, I saw how I could make progress on my goal of reaching out to people. Instead of trying to sell them, I would just be curious about who they are and whether I could help them. If I couldn’t help them I wouldn’t even try to sell them anything. This was a huge shift in my mindset and business. I began making connections with people because I cared about them instead of trying to sell them something they may not need.
When you take time to do the Rate Your Day routine, you become the judge of yourself instead of letting other people (or worse your “inner bully”) rate you. You step back and take an honest look at how your day went. This honesty will help you build confidence and take more consistent action on the things that truly matter to you.
The reason the Rate Your Day routine works so well is because it’s simple. At the end of each day you ask yourself three questions. It’s this repetition that will help you improve your inner voice. The more you can understand what you do well and how you can improve, the easier it will be to clearly see your strengths and passions and improve how you utilize them.
When we put our energy into things that we care about, we are happier, more productive and satisfied with our effort. You can download the “Rate Your Day” one sheet to help you develop this habit. This two minute calibration routine will be two minutes of your day well spent.