Have you ever had something difficult you’ve been trying to accomplish, and once you have succeeded, the achievement suddenly felt like nothing special? You would justify like “it can’t be hard if even I managed to do that”. It’s nothing to appreciate, nothing to celebrate. You just move on and focus on what else you have not achieved yet.
I’ve been there, I’ve done that. And now, being on the other side of the fence, let me assure you: that approach sucks, and you are worthy of so much more in life than this rat race. It’s your low self-esteem talking. You don’t believe in your worth as a person – without your deeds. And often lack of self-esteem is hiding by high self-confidence. You know you can achieve a lot. Since you don’t believe you are worthy of love and appreciation if you don’t achieve new heights all the time, you keep going, running, doing. Never stopping to look back, celebrate, and reflect.
With many of my coachees, we sooner or later get to work on strengthening their self-esteem. They are high achievers, performing well at work, being appreciated by their family, friends and community. But they don’t appreciate themselves. They never feel like they are enough. It is a lengthy process, but putting it in the perspective of your whole life it’s time and energy well invested! And the good news is: you can start now!
Here are a few practices that will get you going:
1. Create a list of your accomplishments so far. I know, I know, that’s something difficult for you to do. But you don’t have to be alone! Ask your friends and family for input. They can often remember better what have you accomplished that you dreamt of, what has been difficult to get. Collecting their suggestions, you will start coming up with your ones.
2. Think which dream or goal you are working on now. Is there a tangible result with it? Commit to celebrating once that goal is achieved or dream becomes true. It’s up to you what a celebration means: it can be a party with all your friends and dear ones or a day alone. You can treat yourself a nice dinner at a restaurant or go to a spa. Maybe you want to take a day off and go hiking or buy something you have been eyeing for a while. There is no wrong here but one — skipping the celebration at all.
3. Practice on small things. There is no need to wait for that big dream to come true. Whenever you are done with doing sports, finished cleaning your home, after a walk outside, — just pat yourself on the shoulder for that, or say “well done!” It might feel weird in the beginning, but with the time you will get to enjoy those moments of mini-celebrations. And as you go you will find more and more reasons to celebrate.
4. Start reflecting daily on what you have done well. Every evening writes down three things you’ve done well today. Remember: there is something to write down every single day. I know, it can be difficult to find these three points on your bad days, but trust me, it comes with practice. As a self-leadership coach Mia Törnblom gives as her examples, it can be “Didn’t punch the boss in the nose, even though he deserved it” or “Got out of bed this morning”. Keep going with journaling for 2-3 months, and you will notice how your brain starts automatically appreciating your progress and good deeds!
5. Ask someone dear to you to praise you whenever they see your progress or achievement. Make sure to parrot them when they praise you by repeating what they say in the first person. “Yeah, well done to me for going to bed on time consistently for a month!” “I did so great with being attentive and respectful at that tough meeting today!” If you don’t have anyone to ask for such support, the coach can be a very good person to reach out. I love helping my coachees learn to celebrate their wins, and I will be happy to help you as well!
So, what’s your next win and how will you celebrate it?
With all my love and care,