It’s a common mistake that can take a big toll. I see it over and over again with my friends and clients, and yes, with me too. We may be smart, we may be strong, we may be very comfortable (or think we are) doing a million things at once, but most of us aren’t very good at giving ourselves credit and celebrating our own accomplishments (dare I say, indulging in our just desserts?).
I’ll bet that right now you can easily come up with six things that you need to do or that are bugging you because they are undone. How long does it take you to come up with six recent accomplishments you are proud of? I’ll guarantee you that there are six accomplishments. But it’s likely that that isn’t where you are focusing your attention.
So many of us are great at being tireless, at always being poised to do “one more thing,” that we don’t really absorb the thing we just did and the goal we just accomplished.
We don’t take credit. Often we’ve been taught not to toot our own horn. Many women I know are masters of the “yes-but” that diminishes whatever it is that they just completed and prevents any compliment from really soaking in. Don’t get me wrong. Some of us are great at tooting our horn for anybody else. I know lots of great party throwers. But how many of us really regularly take a bow or reward ourselves for what we’ve done?
Do you know the price that we pay? Not celebrating and not recognizing our milestones diminishes our success. When we skip our own curtain call, we miss out on a great opportunity for rejuvenation. When we don’t give ourselves credit and the celebration we deserve, we are much more likely to burn out or to fall off track. If it’s all work and no play, we’re going to end up feeling deprived and when that happens, we often turn to “vices” (like overeating) because we feel tired and we know we deserve something for all the effort we’ve expended (is that an unjust dessert?). These vices may provide short term relief, but they never really satisfy our craving.
Even the savviest women have trouble with celebrating. Knowing everything I’ve just said, it can still be tempting to skip the step of giving credit, tempting to tell ourselves that the accomplishment is its own reward and that we’ll celebrate next time “because we’re really too busy right now”. I know. I’m there too. But more and more I realize that I’m too busy not to celebrate.
This busy holiday season, don’t forget to celebrate you. Try taking credit for your accomplishments on a daily basis. List them to yourself at the end of the day. Plan rewards and celebrations for the tough or unpleasant stuff you may have to endure—and block out some time so that you can follow through on your plans. Go ahead—indulge!
Take good care,