This week, there’s been an unexpected theme running through my sessions with clients; the benefits of noticing successes, wins or achievements. I’m intentionally using three different words there because I know each one can bring up different thoughts or feelings for different people.
What comes to mind when I ask ‘What successes have you had this week?’.
Perhaps you think that ‘success’ feels too grand. You wait to celebrate extremely large milestones which can be few and far between.
You may shy away from talking, or even thinking about, ‘success’ because you don’t want to be boastful / arrogant / showing off.
Do you worry that your successes aren’t ‘successes’ in other people’s eyes?
You may diminish your wins and achievements because ‘well, they’re not THAT good anyway are they!?’.
YOU define your success. No one else. ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’.
Let’s get comfortable talking about the positive things in our lives. Here’s the reasons why you should be reflecting on your successes:
You start to notice a lot - By intentionally looking for your achievements, you see what you otherwise wouldn’t have. Day to day, it is so easy to get carried away with the overwhelm and everything that there is to do. Without being conscious about your successes, you may not think you’ve achieved much. When you pause to look, you see there is a lot.
It builds confidence and self belief - When you focus on what you’ve achieved, rather than what you haven’t, you begin to believe in yourself. Recalling your wins, no matter how small, helps to reframe the negative inner voice. This small but important practice helps you see yourself in a more positive light.
It increases motivation - When you look, you see the progress you’re making and that in turn gives you a boost to keep going. The more you see what you do, the more you actually want to do! This makes more goals seem within reach.
It feels good! - How much energy and brain power do you spend focusing on what you haven’t done? Those positive endorphins you get by switching your focus from ‘Ergh I have so much to do’ to ‘Yes! I’ve done that’, gives you energy and makes you feel good.
It’s infectious - The act of acknowledging yourself for all the things you’re achieving (big and small) makes for a positive mindset. You’ll be putting that positivity out for all to see - whether that’s generally being in a good mood and saying ‘hi’ to strangers on your morning walk, more patience for friends and family, or encouraging others to ‘go for it’. Those positive vibes will ooze out into the world around you.
Looking for your successes makes sense. You can start small by recalling what’s happened in your day that went well or that you’re proud of. Put comparisons to one side and be a cheerleader for yourself. Why not start sharing your successes with a colleague, WhatsApp group of friends or at the dinner table with your kids?
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