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Mar 14, 2010

Make Your “Reasons I Kick” List

Self-doubt sucks.  Yet it chases you daily, looking to tear down whatever good feelings you have about yourself.  Some days you keep ahead of it, and you feel great and kick the world’s ass.  Other days, it’s your ass that’s taking a beating – and hard.

I can’t tell you how many times people have told me they know what to do – and even know how to do it – but they just can’t get it done because of the paralyzing, depressing effects of self-doubt.  And when I say “people” I’m not talking about chronic procrastinators or no-account layabouts … I’m talking about people all the way up the spectrum, from mildly successful to seven-figure earners.

Self-doubt can take the wind out of anyone’s sails.  And it does.  Frequently.

Here’s how to put the wind back in those sails no matter how you’re feeling today.

Today’s kick in the ass is a simple one – make a quick list of reasons you kick ass at whatever it is you’re about to do.   Just take a moment – right now – and think about the last few times you felt good about your abilities, and really pull those memories back up.

Maybe you received a really encouraging email or tweet from someone saying you did a great job, or you really made a difference in their life.  Maybe you passed a touch certification, or practiced hard to gain a new skill.  Maybe you won an award, or fixed a high-profile problem, or maybe it’s as simple as you being there when someone needed you.

Whatever it is, that’s relevant to your struggle, think back to the victories and relive the emotion … and put down the reasons you rocked on a short list.  An index card you can carry with you.  A post-it you stick to your monitor.  A text file on your desktop you can open any time.

Lists prevent you from taking yourself for granted

When you’re good at something, it’s generally something that’s important to you.  Because it’s important to you, it’s likely you have mentors or “heroes” that you look up to – and since they’re so much “better” than you are, you downplay your skills and talents and think they’re nothing special.

But they are.  Those skills and talents can make things happen in your life and the lives of others, and if you take them for granted, you’re going to take weak action and doubt your abilities.

You’re going to compare yourselves to others and think you’re not good enough.  You’re going to think about your past successes and tell yourself that it was just a fluke, or that you don’t have it in you for a repeat performance.

I strongly urge you to call bullshit on yourself by putting into words all the reasons you should be proud of yourself.  Make a list of the reasons you’re really good at what you do.  And if you’re only kind of good, make a list of all the reasons you’re at least “good enough.”  And if you’re just getting started, just make a list of all the progress you’ve made.

Your Assignment:  Tell Me 3 Reasons You Rock At What You Do

You’re better at this stuff than you give yourself credit for.  Start giving yourself credit and make your own “Reasons I Kick Ass” list.  And when you start losing steam and doubting yourself, come back to this list for some encouragement.

For now, leave a comment and tell me 3 reasons you should be proud of yourself / your skills / your progress.  If you’re not comfortable putting your name, just put “Ass-Kicker” in the name field and no one will know who you are. :-)   Just put it in writing, and get it done today.

Then write this list down for yourself, and put it somewhere handy.

Do it now – you’ll thank yourself for it.

That is all -


P.S. – Once you’re done, hit that “retweet” button below & spread the word so others can make their own “Reasons I Kick” list.  (And if you’ve come to this post via my Stop Settling newsletter, please forward it to at least one person today who needs this kick!)

39 Responses to “Make Your “Reasons I Kick” List”

  • Mar 14, 2010 Sid Savara

    Hey Dave!

    1) I’m super thorough. I don’t just rehash or BS – I dig in deep (following some of your example) and give thorough treatments of subjects
    2) I write succinctly and with clarity. I may not have as warm a tone, or write with as much personality as some people – but my writing is clear and gets the point across.
    3) I do the work. I got your ebook, and every week I follow through on the worksheets, the exercises – even when I’m not motivated to do it.

    Thanks for the ass kicking ;)
    Sid Savara´s last blog ..Conversation Hacking – How To Make Small Talk Work For You My ComLuv Profile

  • Mar 15, 2010 Jade Craven

    1) I suffered from an extreme anxiety disorder but I don’t let the fear take over anymore. I now make it work around me. I tell people ‘I can’t eat in public, I struggle with eye contact and I’m only just starting a business after a nervous breakdown’ They are really supportive and I’ve met some fabulous people.

    2) I offer to help without expecting anything back. Last year I had to hustle to get stuff done but now I rely on authentic, organic networking. Things are still speeding along without much effort.

    Um,… a third.

    3) I’m presenting my business plan tomorrow. I bloody kick arse for that – its the first type of formal education i’ve gotten post breakdown and it was SO challenging and I rocked it anyway. Well, I will when the final three parts of the biz plan are done.

  • Mar 15, 2010 Adam King

    1.) I live with passion that makes other people envious. I know how to pour my whole self into a design, a piece, or in helping a person find their passionate “sweet spot,”

    2.) I inspire others with the way I communicate my own inspirations. It infects the minds and hearts of others to the point that they can’t help but be inspired.

    3.) I design, build, write, speak, and live in love. Without love and the ability to communicate it, I wouldn’t be here doing what I do. I’m a damned good craftsman, and it’s all because of love. I love the work and the finished piece enough to pour my whole self into it. My work literally will heal your home, and that’s all due to absolute love.
    Adam King´s last blog ..What Happens When You Tell it All Yourself? My ComLuv Profile

  • Mar 15, 2010 AronSora

    1) One of the seniors at my college told me I was far ahead of all other freshmen

    2)I have and read google alerts relating to the field I want to work in

    3) I’m going to a great college.
    AronSora´s last blog ..Down for 72 Hours My ComLuv Profile

  • Mar 15, 2010 Ashleylynne

    1) I took a plunge and wrote a blog article about my life that has inspired others to achieve their goals. It. feels. awesome.

    2) I was asked to be in a friend’s wedding party this weekend. I love her and can’t wait. I will fly over the Atlantic ocean to be there.

    3) I am totally, utterly, madly in love… my boyfriend is hilarious and my best friend. I am so lucky.

  • Mar 15, 2010 Bullwinkle

    Good Morning, Dave! Thanks for Monday Morning Kick!

    1. I did something on Saturday that I did not want to do and I was fabulous, surprisingly extroverted (and I’m Not caveating that by saying that I was only ‘good’ because the field of comparison was ‘bad’), I learned tons and it was fun.

    2. I am (finally) committing to participating here. (Great start for a Monday!)

    3. I have a plan. (And its a good one.)

  • Mar 15, 2010 amibelle

    Thank for today’s kick Dave!

    1) I have incredible passion and positive drive
    2) I am quick to put ideas into solid action
    3) I am encouraging to others & help them reach their performance
    amibelle´s last blog ..amibelle: The future is not some place we are going to but one we are creating. The paths to it are not found but made. ~John Schaar#quote My ComLuv Profile

  • Mar 15, 2010 John WIlliams

    Thanks, Dave, for every Monday’s kick.

    1. I think creatively to solve “insurmountable” problems that frequently pop up within my organization. I’m the go-to guy.

    2. Others find my calm demeanor encouraging and my relentlessness inspiring.

    3. The number of soups I can prepare from scratch is staggering.

  • Mar 15, 2010 Adam Teece

    Great article Dave

    1) I care about my clients and listen to where they are an help them create a plan based on both what will be effective for them and they will enjoy and actually do.

    2) I bring a culture of fun to every business and person I work with.

    3) I know quite a bit and anything I don’t know, I most likely know the people that will so I can find out.
    Adam Teece´s last blog ..1/18/10 My ComLuv Profile

  • Mar 15, 2010 Valerie

    1. I am a quick thinker and comprehend how to do new things much more quickly than most people. This makes me adaptable and able to help people get things done.

    2. I am organized. I can break a chaotic project down into a straightforward and achievable plan.

    3. I am motivated to improve my life. Despite obstacles and setbacks, I continue to forge ahead.
    Valerie´s last blog ..Case Study: Use Author Websites to Create a Book Buzz My ComLuv Profile

  • Mar 15, 2010 Rebecca

    1. I am reaching out and making an effort to make job into what I want, instead of just what it was when I took it.

    2. I work efficiently, giving myself extra time for item #1.

    3. I am a strong writer and I catch important formatting details.

  • Mar 15, 2010 Project Site Flip 2.0

    Seriously, Dave, how do you *keep on* coming up with such kick *ss posts? Every time you pop up in my feed reader I leap on your latest post and I am *never* disappointed!

    My 3 reasons:

    1) I am a genuinely good person. I want to *help* people not just make money. Cheesy, but true.

    2) I have finally decided on a medium to long-term plan that I love and I am working hard towards it.

    3) I am launching a new product soon and donating some of the profits to a charity I am passionate about – simply because I want to, not because I am seeking positive PR.
    Project Site Flip 2.0´s last blog ..What Is So Great About Site Flipping? My ComLuv Profile

  • Mar 15, 2010 Deb


    I really appreciate your newsletters and “Tough Love” tactics! You always have great topics, but this morning’s newsletter really hit home. I was in a “why-ning” mode until I opened your newsletter.

    I am NOT where I want to be, but my attitude isn’t to blame (at least, that is MY story, and I am sticking to it for today).

    The reasons I give below have been expressed in job interviews in the past, and I am certain that they cost me the jobs I hoped to win. I console myself in saying that if an employer doesn’t want these qualities in an employee, they probably aren’t worth my effort.

    My three reasons to be proud of myself today:

    1 – I am passionate about my work.

    2 – I keep digging and working until I find the answer.

    3 – I am generous in sharing my hard-won knowledge, which sometimes works against me…

    My goals after today are: work harder, dig deeper, and hopefully get into Dave’s Group Mentorship workshop.

  • Mar 15, 2010 Maria

    1. I have made a huge amount of progress over the past year in developing my own business. Sometimes I am frustrated that the money isn’t coming in as fast as I need it to, but then I look at my emails and work folders from a year ago and I feel great.

    2. I have a lot of love in my life. An amazing boyfriend, great friends, wonderful siblings and very sweet pets.

    3. I am a self-employed person, and will never go back to being someone else’s employee.

  • Mar 15, 2010 Joy

    I made a decision to become a top producer in my company. This means doing the work that it takes to get there. The real reason I kick-ass is because I am embracing the fact that I BELONG in that group of like minded women. I’m not counting myself out by saying I’m not good enough. I have something of value to offer them as they also have for me.

    I Kick-Ass Because :

    1. I’m a good coach and have a great service to offer my team.
    2. I set a huge goal that will stretch me and cause me to grow.
    3. I am focused and determined to accomplish my goal of 49 new reps this month.

  • Mar 15, 2010 Scott

    I Kick-Ass Because:
    1) I put people first and they appreciate it.
    2) I have great friends and family!
    3) I am in business with my wife. We get to spend every day together building great things for ourselves and clients.

  • Mar 15, 2010 patrick

    I have a simple set of tools that I carry in my creativity bag:

    a positive perspective, just short of donning the rose-colored glasses,
    a sponge-like thirst for knowledge,
    an open-mindedness that produces wonderful, obscure connections.

    Thank you, Dave.
    patrick´s last blog ..I can only imagine…. My ComLuv Profile

  • Mar 15, 2010 Barbara D

    1. My clients trust my ability to know what needs to be done and to get it done for them

    2. I am constantly educating myself, through both paid freelance jobs that stretch my skill set and

    3. by taking advantage of the incredible resources — like Rock Your Day — that are out there for people like me who want to start out and succeed with an independent business

  • Mar 15, 2010 Roberts Web Design

    I Kick-Ass because:

    1. I am a perfectionist and go the extra mile to ‘make it right’ each time.
    2. I never stop learning and apply that knowledge to improve my work each day.
    3. I understand that the concept of paying it forward.

    Bonus 4. I ‘get’ what Dave is saying!

    Love your stuff Dave! Thanks for the Kick in the Ass today!
    Roberts Web Design´s last blog ..Wordpress Blog Package My ComLuv Profile

  • Mar 15, 2010 aileen

    Wow, I’ve been needing to do this for a very long time. I’m in the midst of completing my dissertation, so this is definitely a helpful exercise (and long needed)…

    Reasons I Rock (wow, even feels weird to say that!)

    1. I have an innate sense of when my work is really good, a sense that I can really trust and be confident about. When it happens, I get so happy because I know that if I get this sense, it is good at the level of the “WOW” factor.

    2. I’ve been fairly successful in this PhD endeavor despite years of setbacks and obstancles. I’m a fighter! But a lover too…I’ve helped so many people along the way and they tell me so (I just need to take their words seriously!).

    3. I truly love my work, with an intense passion! It has been hard to find my “calling” but I have definitely found it and for that I am grateful.

    Thanks Dave for the KICK!

  • Mar 15, 2010 shanna

    hey dave,
    thanks for this monday morning ass-kicking–this will help me with my new bio on my website!

    so, three reasons i kick major booty:

    1. i write: with clarity. soul, and a distinct voice;
    2. i inspire others [part of my tag line is muse]
    3. i have vision and can take in seemingly disparate bits of information and synthesize it all into something beautiful.

    that’s me today!

    writer, muse, catalyst

  • Mar 15, 2010 JayBee

    Thanks for the ass kicking! Here are my 3 reasons why I kick it:

    1. I challenged myslef and 3 other people to train to run 22km in less than 7 months. Not only are we on track with our training, but we all ran, and finished our first race yesterday.

    2. I completed a project at work, and KICKED ITS ASS without any formal training or eduation on the topic, and I did it well before the deadline.

    3. I am true to my values and don’t let other people cross my line.

    Have a wonderful day!


  • Mar 15, 2010 tamara


    I love this idea!!! I have been in love with a book called Strengthfinder 2.0 for the same reason- we are all asskickers in very unique ways and comparing ourselves to others is fatal sometimes…so here are my top 5 strengths and reasons I know I rock!

    1 I love to restore things to their original wholeness- I’m great at finding out what’s missing in a relationship and offering help to bring about change.

    2 I see the world as a positive place and put a high value on life in any form- I love taking care of my planet, and smiling at strangers on the street just to lift their spirits.

    3 I am empathetic and really try and see other’s perspectives and help them to feel not alone when they are going through struggles.

    4 I love gathering wisdom and wit to share with my community- I have a magical book shelf that always has something perfect to say to whoever walks in and has a question.

    5 I love to think and write and process events and the future. I love to dream and help other’s dreams come true!

    going out to kick some…

    Tamara Goodrich

    ps that’s so much Dave for the birthday video you sent in January!!! my boyfriend asked you to help out and I was so blown away! Thankyou Thankyou thankyou!!!

  • Mar 15, 2010 Adam

    1. I’ve got over a 3.7 GPA through three semesters of college. These have been probably my toughest semesters as far as hours taken, but I’ve still gotten it done. I’m making up for not ever trying in high school.

    2. I’m probably more athletically fit all-around than anyone else in my ROTC battalion. It was awesome seeing people struggle to climb a rope when I just climbed up it hands-only, or to climb over a wall as I easily pulled myself over. Good stuff.

    3. I am the President of my Fraternity. Whether or not I’m doing as well as I think I could be doing, I stepped up to the plate, and things are at least quite a bit better than when I got here.

    Thanks, Dave. This was great for me to sit back and look at all the things I am good at. I have a much longer list in my personal journal.

  • Mar 15, 2010 Denise Canellos

    3 Reasons I Rock at What I Do: okay, here goes:
    I can use my positive energy to give patients confidence and hope that they can modify their diet to feel better.
    Patients leave my office with a doable plan that breeds success for them.
    My patients are making progress and bettering their lives by implementing my plans.
    I am a nutritionist, and I get this positive feedback every day. It’s the promoting myself part that trips me up.
    Thanks for another great kick in the fanny, Dave.

  • Mar 15, 2010 Ass Kicking Muso

    Thanks for the reminder to remind myself that I kick ass in lots of ways.

    I play a gig about once a week and usually get at least one super positive complement about my set. That means at least one person at every gig gets something out of the music and enjoys it. That’s great!

    I do my aerobics video every day. Which included literal “kicks” and every time I kick I think… yep I can kick ass!!!!

    Just resigned from a part time job to move to an artists’ colony and work more on my music. This is completely radical and brave so even if it’s a crazy life choice I kick ass for trying different things that other people might be too afraid to.

  • Mar 15, 2010 Laura Thomas, MFT

    I kick ass:
    1. As a psychotherapist – sometimes gently, sometimes not so gently, I assist my patients to reach their therapy goals on a regular basis

    2. As a writer – I’m just getting back into it, but I have tons of great ideas and am working on launching a professional blog to tie in with my website – one that will kick mind as well as kick ass

    3. As a mother and wife – I take care of my brood and encourage them to grow and be themselves

    In other words – I kick ass!

    Thanks, Dave – it feels good to just put it out there, you know?

  • Mar 16, 2010 Ass-Kicker

    This was really hard but…I’m proud of yourself because
    1. I am really passionate about my (design) work
    2. As a student I got lots of knowledge in my filed witch will make a great essay
    3. I am supporting my husband with all my heart, so he can make his dream come true, running a small business.

  • Mar 16, 2010 Jim Greenwood

    An assignment … Oh Boy!
    I’m thankful for the blessings I have been given
    One of my skills is helping other people be successful
    I make progress – one step at a time

    P.S. Enjoyed the post … reminded me of ways to use lists:
    Jim Greenwood´s last blog ..You’re Given A Present To Use Everyday My ComLuv Profile

  • Mar 17, 2010 marshall |

    Ok, I’ll give it a try.

    1. I seek to bring out the best in those around me.
    2. I get things started without too much delay.
    3. I do things now, even if imperfectly, and fix them later!
    marshall |´s last blog ..deep cycle batteries [2] retirement data My ComLuv Profile

  • Mar 17, 2010 Joey

    1. I help others see the best of themselves.

    2. I create with passion.

    3. I am a good listener.

  • Mar 20, 2010 Yael Grauer

    1. I can write about anything, brilliantly and effortlessly. (Or at least make it seem like I did so effortlessly). If I can convince an editor I’m an expert in their topic, they’ll be glad I did when they read my submission (even if I knew nothing about the topic before writing it.)

    2. I explore things deeply and express them in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. Whether it’s food politics or environmental issues or health and nutrition, I dig beyond the surface level. My writing/workshops/dinner conversation/thought process is a slow-cooked meal.

    3. I show up and keep trying.
    Yael Grauer´s last blog ..The Sap is Rising! My ComLuv Profile

  • Mar 23, 2010 Danielle

    This was awesome and I’m sharing this with my students.

    Reasons I kick:
    1) I genuinely care about my students and go out of my way to find things that will make their learning better.
    2) I am the least judgmental person I know. I understand that I can never really understand what someone else is going through or where they’ve been so I refuse to make a judgment based on the little info I have.
    3) When I undertake a new project I give it everything I have with passion and gusto!
    Danielle´s last blog ..Hot Organizational Tools for Admins My ComLuv Profile

  • Jun 29, 2010 frank

    I can take on mistakes and feel that they are nothing. Instead I aim for solutions and have the ‘ok, I get it. How do we solve it?’

    In a flash. No second thoughts involved. less drama.

    I am an excellent delegator and also have great ideas i have been able to implement due to the help of the great people around me.

    Lastly, I believe that i should not criticize others, more than I criticize myself. rather use it for improvement and positivity than negativity.

  • Jul 27, 2010 Elaine

    1. I inspire people because I survived a heart transplant, losing a sibling, and physical disability.

    2. I am a teacher

    3. I’m going to write and speak about it all so everyone can be inspired by what is in them.

  • Sep 12, 2010 pennyguin

    1. I have started letting myself pursue singing more seriously

    2. I have volunteered a fair amount of my time to worthy causes and don’t feel like it has been wasted

    3. I might fail frequently, I might stay down for a while in fear of trying, but I am closing the gap on how long it takes for me to get up on my feet again to have another go

  • Sep 15, 2010 Angie

    Thanks Dave!
    1) I’m real good at dancing.
    2) As a student i’m good at whatever subject i do cause i’m real hardworking.
    3) I’m certain that i’ll do really well for my major examinations because failure is never an option!

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