“I feel like I’m so behind,” I confided to a friend over a cup of tea. “I thought by now I’d be married with two kids, living in my own three-bedroom flat in Central London, be a famous published author…”
“Instead, I’m still living in a flatshare. Business is going well but I can’t afford to live where I want yet. And my first book is taking so long to complete. Editing is a b*tch.”
“You’re too hard on yourself, Giorgia,” my friend said. “You’ve accomplished more in these past two years than more people do in a lifetime.
“You had the guts to start a new life in a country where you didn’t know anyone. In two years, you’ve managed to make a comfortable living from blogging and writing. You know how rare that is? Most writers and bloggers can’t pay their bills. They have to get a ‘real job’.
“Ok, so your book isn’t finished yet. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore your accomplishments.”
*pep talk over*
I’m not sharing this conversation to toot my own horn and tell the world how awesome I am and how much I’ve accomplished. I’m not special – everything I’ve achieved comes down to hard work, sheer determination and dogged persistence (some would say stubborness…).
I’m sharing it because my friend’s right. We’re so focusing on ticking the next box on our goal list that we forget everything that we’ve accomplished so far.
Graduating from school. Getting your first job. Landing a new client. Starting a business. Solving a work crisis. These are all huge accomplishments.
And yet you never stop a moment to reflect on them and use them as fuel to motivate yourself to reach your next goal. Because if you did something once, you can do that – and plenty more – again.
The Power Of Celebrating Your Accomplishments
We’re all guilty of this. Whenever we think of a new idea – whether it’s writing a book, starting a blog or asking for a promotion – our first thought is “I CAN’T do this”
“I’m not pretty/smart/good/whatever enough for this,” or “I don’t have enough time/money/resources/fill-in-the-blanks for this.”
Your Inner Mean Girl is scared of anything remotely new and will throw any negative thought at you in the hope you will give up your idea and go back to your – her – comfort zone.
That’s when you need to remind her of your past accomplishments. They’re proof you can do this.
Want to write a book? Remind her that books are just a collection of articles. If you can write articles for your blog, you can write a book too.
Want that promotion? Remind her of all the projects you’ve successful completed at work and everything you did to benefit the company you’re working for.
Want to start an online shop? Remind her of your experience in retail, your degree in marketing or whatever else you did that you can apply to your business to make it a hit.
Reflecting on your past accomplishments helps you realise what your strengths are, the skills you’ve acquired and the knowledge you’ve accumulated. You know, all those things you take for granted.
When you’re going through a difficult time or think you can’t do something, just think back at everything you’ve done until now. It’ll give you the big confidence boost you need to get through any challenge in your path.
Are you in? Great! Here’s how to celebrate your accomplishment the right way to keep you motivated on the road to your dream:
1. Keep An Accomplishment Journal
Or if that sounds like bragging to you, create a separate section in your morning/evening journal for your accomplishments.
The point here is to have all your accomplishments in one place for quick reference. It doesn’t matter how big or small your success is – write it down!
But don’t just write “landed the promotion” or “finished the book.” Think back to your journey and write down what challenges you’ve had to overcome to reach your goals. what skills you used and what you’ve learned from your experience.
For example, if you’ve just started freelancing and have landed your first client, write down how many potential clients you’ve approached before one said yes, how you’ve modified your pitch/tactics based on the feedback you’ve received, what skills you’ve relied on to get that one client and what the whole experience taught you.
When I first came to London, I’d offer my writing services to every company I could think of and reply to every freelancing job ad I found on the internet. I met a lot of potential clients for coffee but could tell that something was off. They liked my writing but when we met in person, something didn’t click.
Maybe it was the cultural differences – British people tend to be more stiff than Italians. Maybe it was nerves – I felt like I was going to job interviews again and my nervousness showed. And I guess some clients were just looking for something totally different than what I could offer them.
Instead than letting it beat me, I tweaked my approach after every meeting. Quickly, my confidence grew to the point where people only saw how excited I was at the prospect of working with them – not the nerves that were twisting my stomach into knots. I ended up landing three clients in one week!
Of course, I wrote it in my accomplishment journal. Every time I was afraid to contact a new client or had a new meeting, I read about that experience to motivate me – works like a charm every time!
P.S. This doesn’t apply only to your job. Improving your relationship with your significant other, making healthier changes to your lifestyle or overcoming spiritual issues count too. ANYTHING you’ve accomplished in EVERY area of your life matters.
2. Treat Yourself
Visual reminders can be as powerful as the written word. Every time you reach a goal, treat yourself to a nice piece of jewelry, a new pair of shoes or a new lipstick.
Every time you see that particular item, you’ll instantly be reminded of a challenge or hurdle you were able to overcome. I don’t know about you but I find there’s something really powerful and uplifting in literally wearing your inspiration.
You don’t have to spend a fortune either. One of the my fave ways to celebrate my accomplishments is with a charm bracelet. Every time I accomplish a goal, I add a new charm to the bracelet. Then, you can wear them all at the same time and realise just how much you’ve achieved so far.
You can also start a collection. Maybe you don’t care about jewelry or clothes but are into stamps, teddy bears or ceramic owls. Whatever it is, every time you reach a goal, add one to your collection.
It’s not the size of the celebration that counts. It’s acknowledging your accomplishments that matter. There’s nothing like it to propel you forward to your next dream.
Over to you, now. Do you ever stop to celebrate your accomplishments and, if so, how? Share your experience in the comments below.