Do you find it's easier to notice other people's successes than it is to acknowledge your own? Do you even acknowledge your accomplishments before you raise the bar even higher for yourself and set another goal to achieve? By neglecting to acknowledge your accomplishments, you may be missing an opportunity not only to increase your happiness and self-satisfaction but also to fuel your motivation for future achievements.
Why is it that we have such difficulty in identifying and acknowledging our successes and our strengths? There are a number of reasons for this:
繚 Some of this may trace its roots to an upbringing where bragging was discouraged. Carried to an extreme, many are uncomfortable identifying their successes even to themselves. Those who do this miss the happiness and joy of taking ownership for something well done.
繚 Another reason some may be reluctant to acknowledge their successes rests with their belief that their achievements pale in comparison to those of others. Many people have a perfectionism complex and feel that anything less than perfection does not merit mention. The problem with this is that perfection is ultimately unattainable for anyone.
繚 Some people may be unaware of their own greatness and they don't appreciate their own courage, bravery, or kindness. They take it for granted that everyone does the same, when in truth, many people don't.
繚 A key factor in people not taking ownership for their successes is that our society does not encourage us to stop and take stock of what we have achieved. In the work world, the resume can fulfill this function but there are many other, and usually more important, personal successes that will never be featured on a resume.
Why is it even important that we acknowledge our successes? Our past successes can give us a clear sense of our ability to overcome obstacles. Knowing that we have succeeded before can give us the motivation we need to persevere when we are faced with new challenges.
I would encourage you to perform an annual inventory of your large and small successes. Identify those things that you feel good about either starting or finishing. Don't measure your successes against those of anyone else. This is only for you. This is your chance to see what you have done and to acknowledge your efforts and personal successes.
Are you finding it difficult? If so, look at yourself with the same loving perspective of a friend. What have others complimented you on or praised you for? When did you notice yourself brushing aside compliments or claiming that what you did was nothing special? Allow yourself to own each and every one of those achievements.
Acknowledge and celebrate your successes! Be a friend to yourself and give yourself a pat on the back!