One of the things I like to do with my clients is to check in at the start of our weekly calls around what we are celebrating that week. It’s a small part of the call but one I feel can have great impact. Sometimes we are celebrating completion of a “homework” task or progress toward a goal. Other times, this is an opportunity for a client to reflect and see that “You know, I didn’t get to that thing I was going to do, but I did these 3 awesome things instead!” Celebrating ourselves regularly not only allows us to feel good about ourselves; it also shows us what things are making us feel good and what we are prioritizing, which can be even more powerful and surprising.
Unfortunately, it’s something we don’t do often enough!
I started my work as a coach in the world of academia, and one thing I have believed for years is that teachers are their own worst critics. Often if you ask a teacher to reflect on a lesson and “what went well,” they will very quickly begin to highlight things that didn’t go as planned, that they want to improve next time, etc. And while I respect the desire to grow and improve, it taught me something I believe to be a universal truth: Most humans are hard-wired to focus on their failures or the areas in which they believe they need to grow. And this is the reason I see celebrating successes as a difficult thing for many people, especially women.
I too am often my own worst critic when it comes to my goals. As someone who has been super-driven throughout her life, I tend to default to seeing “not there yet” as “not there” rather than remembering that EVERYTHING is a process. The result? I often focus so much on the work that’s left to do that I forget to acknowledge how far I’ve actually come. And let me tell you, focusing on the road of undones ahead of you and forgetting to celebrate all the successes behind you is a GREAT way to feel terrible about both yourself and your goals.
So what is one strategy that I use to help overcome this habit? BECKY’S BOOK OF WINS. That’s right. I actually have a small journal that I keep on my desk and in it I write down any wins that come up for me. These can be big or small, professional or personal. The purpose? First, it’s to make sure I am stopping to appreciate all I’m accomplishing and give myself kudos. This motivates me to want to do more and to keep going! Second, this is a great resource I can turn to on days where I’m feeling not-so-successful to remind myself how awesome I am😊
So if you don’t have a book of wins, I suggest starting one today. And if you do? Take a few minutes today to read through it and remember how awesome YOU are!