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The best praise you'll ever get

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Imagine, you are standing in front of two lines of people and you run between them. They pat your back and sing your praises..."good on your".."congratulations"..."well done". And the line goes for about 50 metres. At the end of it you turn around and you see in their eyes how proud they all are of you. You take a deep breath. "Made it" you mumble. For this is likely the ultimate joy of praise.

Then there is the opposite- Humility. To do deeds with the full intent of NOT seeking praise.

If you have low self esteem you are likely to enjoy praise to lift your mood and endeavours. And I think those reading these posts are more likely to have low self esteem than not.

The problem with praise is, 1/ others have to notice your good deeds before you'll even look like you'll get any 2/ what if others are not around to see it 3/ some people will never praise anyone.

I like praise. I like being accepted. I seek to be accepted. In fact if I don't get a lot of good vibes from a visitor I say to my wife later "I don't think she likes me". Such is the result of very low self esteem and a BPD mother that I could never please as a child or adult. I accept that. I've moved on. But the fallout stays.

Over recent years I've come to realise my short term memory is failing. So I've resorted to the idea of talking aloud to myself. "Tea, pies, sugar and soap". If said aloud I'll have a better chance of remembering those grocery items. Then it occurred to me to say out loud the praise I would like from others- to myself. Now, this was quite amusing to my good neighbour when he heard "well done Tony, you good man you, make sure you dig that garden like that next time...what a man". I had to assure my neighbour all was well...that it was an experiment I was doing...

Sometimes in life we cant rely on other people to help us. We are born alone and we will die alone. In between we depend on others for a lot of things. With mental illness we depend a lot more. Self praise is one thing we can try to do alone. And with proper technique and consistency we will succeed in at least feeling better and growing our confidence.

Just be wary of your neighbours......

Tony WK

16 Replies 16

I think this is very true.

My suggestion is to consider your goal & then measure your success based on the goal & your knowledge of your challenges, abilities. An example someone just laughed at me typing on the computer with one finger. Rather than getting offended I remembered my failure at learning to touch type despite really trying & practicing. My attitude is Í;m doing very well being able to type on the computer given my lack of talent. I have been able to type all my assignments when I went to uni & can do anything I need on the computer therefore I'm doing very well. I don't need to touch type. In other words I measure my success based on my goal (being able to type what I need) not on other people's abilities.

My psych once told me to stop & look back at what I had achieved. (I still need to work on this) The idea was to consciously recognise how well you've done but not comparing yourself to others

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Thank you Tony & Elizabeth,

I understand the process. However -

1. I never look at myself in a mirror. I don't want to see that awful, bad, ugly person there.

& 2. Even if I said & heard those things, I just don't accept they describe me. I would be listening to myself lie.

Thanks anyway.

Elizabeth CP
Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Hi Lyn, I believe praise needs to be believable whether from yourself or others. Looking at yourself in the mirror & saying you look lovely when you really think you look like you've been dragged through a hedge backwards is not going to work. Recently I was feeling very unfit following an injury. Every time I went for a walk or did something physical I was exhausted & felt like I'd never improve. I set a goal to walk each day. I started with a very short walk which I knew I could manage. Each day I added a very small amount to my walk until I reached an amount I was comfortable with. By telling myself Í did better than yesterday & noting I was sticking to my goal it helped me. I couldn't disagree with myself because I was doing better each day. By choosing something meaningful to you & setting yourself up for success you can then point out to yourself what you have done right. It may be something simple like I will wash the dishes each night. Then when they are done tell yourself that you did well getting the dishes done even when you are feeling depressed & unmotivated. Obviously I am only giving examples you will know what is relavent to you in your circumstances.


Well done Elizabeth, we are engrossed within our own abilities. One finger typing is typing none the less. It might take you longer but the person laughing at you taking more time might waste time in front of a poker machine where you might not ever use one etc. I can recall when I worked for Telstra on a computer. My trainer kept telling me "keep looking a the screen while you type" as I was not spelling words correctly. 26 years alter I still cant look at the screen while typing....it isn't within my ability. Who cares?

Dear Yellownanna, I know where you are at even though I haven't had that low a self esteem. Keep reading, keep going. What ever your reasons for being so low with confidence, keep moving forward even a little bit. I've got a couple of threads I hope they help- (google)

"Topic: motivation, search and rescue it- beyondblue"

"Topic: confidence, how do you get it?- beyondblue"

"Topic: defending yourself, don't be an easy target- beyondblue"

"Topic: your secret for mind control- beyondblue"

Glad you are here yellownanna.

Tony WK

I looked in the mirror this morning and realised I have been telling myself aloud for 20 years than I'm a good person.

It works.

Do you tell yourself you are worthy if happiness?

Tony WK


I think people have different opinions on what defines a good person. In old school methods behaviours defined a person. People would say for example "you're clever" or "you're smart" and a child would grow up believing that is an integral part of who they are. Then if they failed at a job how are they meant to feel because they are smart. The more modern day thinking says that instead of saying that we should say "you work hard therefore you're achieving great results". Later if things don't go so well we can say well perhaps you need to work harder or work differently.

So too we now talk about the behaviour being bad not the child. We don't say "you're a naughty girl", we say "I love you, you are a good girl but I don't like this behaviour". It allows us to focus on the behaviour not the person.

In Lyn's example of her mother saying, "If there's a right way or a wrong way to do something I'll always do the wrong way first". Lyn should have been encouraged because one of the best ways to learn is from mistakes and from taking risks.

My point. I have come across a lot of people in the threads who are letting a behaviour they had in the past define who they are now. They label themselves as bad when in fact it may just be they made some wrong choices. It doesn't define who you are now. I made mistakes in the past but I know they are in the past and my behaviour then doesn't define me now.

I don't tell myself I deserve happiness everyday but I do seek it out.

I tell myself that I am kind and caring and I try to live by that by being that way to people at every opportunity. Then at the end of the day I can ask myself, "have I been kind and caring?" I can answer yes to that. I ask my kids the same question. Happiness seems to befall kind and caring people.

Since I have become ill I have had so many people caring for me, sending gifts, checking in regularly, offering to help. It was amazing to see all the kindness.

Perhaps Lyn you could start fresh. Be kind and caring and ask that of yourself each night to build up confidence. It wouldn't be a lie then.

"Have I been kind and caring today? Yes. Kind and caring people deserve happiness".

Forget the past. It is how you act today and every day after that counts.


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Thanks TonyWK


Great post, going to give self praise a go today