As we move forward in life, we so often look ahead to what needs to be done. It can often feel like no matter how much we run, the metaphorical finish line never seems to get any closer.
I know this because I can totally relate, and — in the spirit of one of my highest values, transparency — the truth is that sometimes I need the very reminders I’m sharing with all of you.
As I continue to build and grow my coaching practice, I’m regularly making and checking lists of what remains to be done. I’m envisioning the future, dreaming + scheming about what I want my life and business to look like. I’m thinking about what needs shifting, what needs to happen more or less.
To balance this, I’ve developed a wonderful daily practice where I write out what I’m most grateful for, I meditate and pull oracle cards, I exercise lots of emotional awareness in my day-to-day life, I move my body regularly, and I’m not afraid to ask for and give help.
All of these things are fabulous and important, and I don’t intend to stop doing any of it any time soon. However, I’ve recently noticed that I rarely give myself the opportunity to celebrate all of my accomplishments and progress thus far.
A couple of years ago, I would have laughed at the idea of doing that. I probably would’ve thought that, with such little time and so much other *important stuff* to get done, there was no time for such frivolous, self-absorbed exercises.
So instead, I used to white-knuckle through it. I would figure out how to use my time by focusing on what I thought others needed and expected of me and/or where I felt I was lacking, uncertain, incompetent…not good enough.
I would spend my time and energy dwelling on this ‘not good enough-ness’ and any remaining energy would go to ‘fixing’ that.
Why? Quite simply because such thinking would provide evidence for (and thereby support) the deep-seated belief that was buried deep down inside of me and ‘motivating’ me every day: the one reminding me that I’m not good enough and that I need to prove my worthiness to the world around me.
The one that said other people’s approval was the barometer of success and that acceptance of myself as a person by anyone else was unlikely, especially if I didn’t keep working on ‘improving’ myself.
Fortunately, I’ve since learned that this couldn’t be further from the truth – not for me, not for you, not for any of us. However, I’ve realized that knowing my worth and celebrating who I am are not always necessarily one in the same (though there are ways they certainly can overlap).
Last week, a kind soul recognized this in me and offered me a chance to take a step back, rather than scrambling to figure out how to move forward and feeling like there was so much ahead of me, what felt like too much at times.
This woman and a few others who were around held the space for me to list out and be proud of my accomplishments, to celebrate how far I’ve come, to recognize and assert my competency and dedication to my coaching practice and serving the world as well as my dedication and devotion to myself.
To summarize: Yes, I did know that I was a strong, powerful person, but I wasn’t making the time to celebrate how far I had come.
This isn’t to say you should only look back and stop looking forward. Dreaming and planning and being passionate about what lies ahead is a fun, and equally important, part of our lives.
I’m simply here to acknowledge and remind you, just as I was so kindly reminded, that taking the time to pause and celebrate yourself not only continues to enhance your view of yourself and support healthier self-image, but it also fuels you to carry forward!
So that even though it sometimes feels like there’s a long way to go, you can celebrate how far you’ve come and that the very things that are your reality (or even your past) now were likely once far-reaching goals, too.
Doing an exercise like this by yourself is undoubtedly powerful, and a great place to start, might I add. Just writing out a list (it helps to write it out) and reading it back to yourself can be super amazing, and put a huge smile on your face!
And if you feel ready, I recommend you take it a step further and try it with at least one other person as a witness, a person you feel safe and comfortable with. Tell them everything you’re proud of and have them write it and repeat it back to you at the end.
Own it. Don’t apologize – this isn’t bragging – ‘thank you’ is enough. This is being proud of yourself and celebrating that you choose to show up in this world each and every day.
It doesn’t have to be big, and it certainly doesn’t have to be simply ‘achievements’ of things you’ve done. It is just as powerful to celebrate your kindness, courage, love, resilience, or vulnerability as it is to quit your job, get into a graduate school program, or get a promotion at work.
And as a final note. Keep in mind that when times are particularly hard, it can feel nearly impossible to find things to be proud of and celebrate. I know – I’ve been there in those days where simply getting out of bed or showering or interacting with another human being feels damn near impossible.
But my friend, waking up and continuing to face your life despite whatever darkness you feel enshrouded by is one of the most challenging and courageous things we can be asked to do in this lifetime, so celebrate that as long as you need to. I can’t wait to see where your journey takes you.
As always, we’re in this together. Coaching, cultivating, and nurturing this community are my own greatest teachers, so thank you for being here.
You’ve got this. <3
And since we’re on the topic of celebrating shamelessly, today is my half birthday, an occasion I’ve loved acknowledging and celebrating from a young age (you know, back when half-years seemed to make a world of difference in your age ;-P).
So if you’d like to, help me celebrate this day by finding things to celebrate in yourself. I would love to hear from you what you are celebrating and how it goes! And as always, feel free to share this with anyone who may find it helpful.
P.S. If you need some help with this (or other related topics) and are interested in possibly working together, click the ‘Contact’ button above and let’s get talkin’!