If a friend or family member accomplished something they had been working on, would you want to celebrate them? What about the last time you accomplished something or achieved a goal, no matter how large or how small; how did you react when you finished? Did you just shrug your shoulders and move on? Did you tell anyone else about it? If you did, did you talk yourself up, or act like it didn’t really matter?
Now consider, do you feel like you’re worth celebrating? If not, why not? Sometimes it’s because we spend more time focusing on our perceived faults and being self-critical. Or maybe it’s just that we’re so busy that even when we accomplish something momentous, we don’t pause to notice it.
Taking time to celebrate actually increases the likelihood that you will repeat your success in the future! What would it be like to truly accept, appreciate, and celebrate yourself?
And the winner is…
For several moments, close your eyes and pretend that you’ve just won an award. The emcee is reading a glowing account of who you are, all that you have accomplished in your life, and is describing your most admirable traits. What would he or she say? Now take several minutes to make a written list for the emcee to write their script from.
Notice whether it is initially difficult for you to think about yourself in a positive way. Do you immediately discount the possibility that anyone would recognize you for who you are? Do you minimize your accomplishments? Did you forget about all of the little successes over your lifetime in school, sports, work, church, or your community? What have you created or done that is special? Who have you had a positive impact on—your children, your partner, your co-workers, your pets, perhaps someone who doesn’t even know who you are? What do people say they like about you? Your sense of humor, your generosity, your patience, your sense of style…
When you’re finished making your list, pause for a couple of breaths. Notice how you feel when you’re thinking of all the wonderful things about yourself and your life. Take a minute to acknowledge your accomplishments. Appreciate and applaud yourself just as you would celebrate another.
How could you continue this process as you work toward new goals? Here are some ideas:
- Make notes about your progress on a goal to reinforce your small steps and so that you can later revisit all that you did.
- Find a way to reward yourself when you’ve accomplished something – maybe read a favorite book, get a massage, buy yourself some flowers—whatever suits you. Be creative!
- Tell somebody you feel close to about your accomplishment.
- Celebrate with others!
Take time to recognize your self-worth and celebrate you. Remember that you are worth appreciation and celebration as much as anyone else. And to help you hold that thought, I’d like to share a poem I wrote.
by Erica Bartlett
This is not
the childhood dare
to lick an icy metal pole,
eat something disgusting,
or play a prank.
This is much harder.
I dare you –
to accept that you’re fabulous,
to not compare yourself to others,
to rest on your laurels
before charging in a new direction,
to pat yourself on the back,
to proudly share your accomplishments,
to be awed by yourself,
by your strength, courage, tenacity, wit, humor,
loving kindness, dedication,
and everything else
that makes you amazing.
And furthermore, I dare you
to do this not just once
in a blue moon
but every moon,
regularly and unselfconsciously,
not just believing but knowing
that you are wonderful