Over the past few years I’ve had the privilege of coaching more than 100 different clients in over 500 hours of coaching sessions. Pausing to celebrate an accomplishment is a topic that almost always emerges with every one, however it is never the client that brings it up. The conversation typically begins when the client reports a recent success and I ask, “How would you like to celebrate?”
We exert tremendous time and energy setting, planning, and working towards our goals, yet when we finally achieve them, we often move immediately on to the next “to do.” When confronted, clients often discover it’s their inner critic (saboteur) who crash the party (or prevent the planning). The saboteur says things like, “who do you think you are to celebrate your own success? You don’t deserve that – get over yourself!” Or “You shouldn’t waste time celebrating – there is important work to do.” Sound familiar?
Celebrate is defined as “to observe (a day) or commemorate (an event) with ceremonies or festivities.” Said another way, it is a designated time to acknowledge and appreciate yourself and your colleagues for your efforts and hard work, and to take pleasure in what you achieved. If you can stay separate from any judgements you may have, observing and commemorating yourself for your wins can be tremendously fulfilling, fun, and rejuvenating.
As you reflect on your successes and failures for 2012, here are a few questions to consider:
- What stops you from celebrating your accomplishments?
- Where did you fail? What new skill did you gain in the process? Celebrate it!
- What did you achieve? Give yourself permission to feel proud.
- What did this accomplishment require from you or your team (i.e. learning a new skill, overcoming fear, working extra hours, sacrificing time and energy from other important activities)?
- How would you like to celebrate your success? Let this be a personal expression – it can be simple (taking a celebratory walk in the woods), or more extravagant (weekend getaway). Keep the saboteur out of the planning.
- Is there anyone you would like to acknowledge and thank for their contribution? Be sure to acknowledge and thank them.
- By when will you celebrate? Mark the date in your calendar.
So how will you celebrate your achievements from this past year? Please let me know – I would love to hear. And going forward, look for opportunities to celebrate often – don’t let them pass you by.