When was the last time you celebrated yourself? When was the last time you gave yourself a “pat on the back” to say well done for what you’ve achieved?
It sounds conceited - but celebrating yourself (and the small wins in life, whatever they may be) is just as important as being self-critical!
We all want to be successful in our goals, but along the journey to reaching them - we can feel demotivated or like we’re never going to get there. It’s human nature. We have some days when we are pumped and feel like we can take over the world - and others where just getting out of bed feels like a chore. This is why celebrating small wins is important along the way, to give us the motivation to push through difficulties and progress!
So how can you embody this and create good habits to support this?
#1 Set time aside to reflect
Whether it’s weekly, monthly, or quarterly (although we recommend monthly at the very least) - set some time aside to reflect on what has and hasn’t gone well. It doesn’t need to be something overtly prescriptive, instead, it could be a quick 10-15 minute “temperature check” with yourself. How are you progressing at work? How do you feel mentally? What is going well?
Additionally, celebrating your progress doesn’t have to be completely work-related, either - and setting time aside to reflect also doesn’t need to be related to work. It could be something you’re working on in your personal life, sport, or even a hobby. The important thing is to create time for positivity as much as you do for self-criticism!
#2 Get comfortable with accepting that you’re good at something
Yes, shock-horror: you’re allowed to be good at something, and you’re also allowed to celebrate it. A lot of us struggle with imposter syndrome: “Overall, more than 1 in 10 (13 percent) employees and 1 in 5 (20 percent) of senior managers admit they 'always' or 'very frequently' feel like a fraud” - and imposter syndrome can get in the way of us celebrating progress, or simply just acknowledging that we’re achieving something.
The bottom line is, if you weren’t good enough to be in the job you’re currently in - you wouldn’t be in it. It’s the same with feeling like a “fraud” when you get a promotion, in organisations, there is usually a framework or criteria that you have to follow, so if you’ve achieved it - it’s not by a fluke or that you’ve “slipped through the cracks” - you’re actually just good at it!
#3 Align your progress to your goals
Sometimes, it can be hard to celebrate progress because you’re not really sure where you’re going - and that’s OK. A lot of us have those moments when we have a “what am I actually doing right now” conversation with ourselves.
Instead of panicking and feeling negative - create goals that are aligned with your progress and vice versa. Not only will it make the celebrations more meaningful (because you know what you’re working towards) but it just makes progressing that little bit easier.
#4 Get feedback along the way
If you still struggle to celebrate the small wins, try and get feedback along the way which gives you the opportunity to celebrate (especially if creating space for yourself to do that is difficult). It could be testimonials, building case studies, or simply conversing with individuals to enable you to celebrate.
This doesn’t necessarily have to be in the professional sense either, look at peers or friends who uplift you and make you feel good - ultimately they should be by your side every step of the way, especially when it comes to celebrating your progress and the small wins.
#5 Invest in resources/look at resources that will boost your confidence
Whether it’s reading books or digesting a weekly podcast, look at resources that are focussed on positive thinking - as well as creating a healthy relationship with yourself. We are our own worst critics, and the way we talk to ourselves out loud (or in our own heads) can have a damaging effect.
Investing in external resources that support you in building confidence and relinquishing the need to be so hard on yourself all the time is a great starting point. It could be reading books on mindset, or it could be following a YouTuber or someone online who makes you feel good.