Where in your life can you celebrate you?
a little: “Hip, hip, Hooray for ME!”
A lot of my time as a coach is spent focused on the future as clients come to me unhappy with some aspect of their life. I teach them skills and tools to use for growth and then keep them accountable. We look at what they want and what action they will take to get there. This week, I’d like to hit the pause button and celebrate where we are right now. Pausing to say: “Yay Me” is an important tool to help raise our overall level of content with life. What have you accomplished? How far have you come? Which of your actions can you celebrate?
For most of us, when we begin to answer “What have I accomplished” our brain first points out what we haven’t accomplished or what we’re not good at. We are really good at beating ourselves up and pointing out where we haven’t grown and what we haven’t done. We spend so much energy beating ourselves up and pointing out how we’re not good enough.
We are exceptionally good at UN-celebrating ourself and our gifts. Listen to yourself the next time someone tries to compliment you. If someone says: “that shirt looks good on you” or “you did a nice job organizing that event”, you probably do one of two things: deflect or deny.
-Deflect-> You deflect the compliment by saying something like: “This old thing? I got it at Target on the clearance rack” or “I couldn’t have done it without Sally’s help”
-Deny-> You deny the compliment by saying something like: “That event? You must not have seen how the kids ate the snacks before the activity” (pointing out all the ways the event wasn’t what you hoped for) or “This shirt? But look at how it hugs my big belly!”
We are skilled at deflecting and denying compliments to avoid any sort of celebration of ourselves. Why? Two main reasons:
1. We tell ourselves it’s presumptuous, even (gasp!) conceited, to acknowledge our greatness.
2. We tell ourselves that if we take a break from beating ourselves up we will never be motivated to make a change. As if, by reminding ourselves how big our thighs are or how much we suck as a housekeeper, we will be more inspired to make changes.
These are two faulty reasons to not celebrate ourselves because of the following:
- When we don’t pause to celebrate ourselves or to acknowledge an accomplishment, we send a message to ourself that we actually aren’t that great.
- When we don’t pause to celebrate how far we’ve come and what we’ve accomplished, we keep ourselves in a state of discontent. We continue on the treadmill of life without pausing to look at the view. We tell ourselves things like:
“I’ll be happy when….” or “It’ll be easier when…” or “I’ll do that when….”.
The problem is, by not taking time to celebrate what we’ve accomplished, we focus on all the things that are wrong in our lives and all the things we still need to do. If all we do is measure where we need to go, instead of pausing to feel grateful for where we’ve come, we set ourselves up for sadness. Why? Because there is no magical ‘there’. We will never get to a place where we just sit, smile, and coast. That’s called death. Life is about evolving and becoming that next best version of ourselves. We are never done. Take the time to pause along the way. Yes you can stop and smell those roses. The day we stop evolving is the day we die inside. Since there will always be a way for us to evolve to the next best version of ourself, we must pause to celebrate where we are and what we have.
How do we do this? Start with two small ways:
1) Accept a Compliment: The next time someone compliments you, say “thank you”. That’s it. Two words. Think of it as a gift they’re giving you and choose not to throw the gift back in their face.
2) Compliment Yourself: Think of something you did in the last 24 hours and pause to compliment yourself for doing it. Did you just complete a load of laundry? Finish a blog post (yay me!)? Make a difficult call? Stop what you’re doing and acknowledge that you did what you did. Don’t deflect or deny your compliment. Accept your compliment as the gift it is.