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When was the last time…

You celebrated your achievements?

Working with a client recently, I was again reminded of how so many people never celebrate their achievements or success.  They power on to the next project without taking a moment to step back and congratulate themselves.  They might even go as far as congratulating their team, or those involved in the success, but seem to overlook actually giving themselves a pat on the back.

As a coach, I work with many people who are pretty driven and have high expectations.  They often expect more from themselves than they would ever dream of asking of others.  If they let themselves down, they berate themselves and continue cracking the whip. If you recognise this pattern as something you do, then you will know that it is pretty relentless, and enormously exhausting. No matter how successful you are, you rarely feel accomplished or successful.  Your mind just focuses on the negatives, the failings, and criticism.

Stop for a moment!

Ask yourself if this cycle is beneficial to you or those around you. If the answer is yes, then by all means, continue.  However, if there is even a tiny part of you that feels there must be another way, then take a break and think what you can do to change this behaviour. Continuing with this cycle can lead to burn out and stress, which is not something to head for lightly.

Starter for ten…

Here are three simple ways to take a moment to focus on your successes.

When did you last tell someone about your achievements? If you don’t feel comfortable about this, why not write some down. Be kind to yourself and realise that self-flagellation is not necessarily the only way to succeed. If you take a moment to focus on what you have achieved, it’s a moment to down tools, get some perspective, let some positive feelings flood your brain.  “But I may never get back to being a high achiever again – I might start slacking” is a response I often hear. Ask yourself ‘who is in control?’ Are you likely to suddenly change a lifetime of hard working to become switched off? Challenge that belief, and know that you can take a break without the fear of losing your drive for ever. It’s highly likely that after a moment of self congratulation, you will approach the next project with renewed enthusiasm and greater energy levels.

Imagine yourself at the age of 85, looking back on your life. How will it feel if you realise you never stopped to look at what you’d accomplished? Take 20 minutes to ask yourself this question, as see where it takes you.

If you struggle to take a break and notice your achievements, you might benefit from looking into methods of achieving mindfulness, of increasing your ability to focus on now instead of pushing on to the future. There is plenty available online to inspire you.

Try the above, and let me know how it goes.