Maria Connolly, LPC

Be Proud of Yourself and Unleash the Power of Small Wins

If you find it hard to be proud of yourself, learn how to complete your past, which includes intentionally noticing and celebrating the power of small wins.“Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. Stop turning on your emotional television to watch the same program over and over again, the one that shows how much you suffered from a certain loss: that is only poisoning you, nothing else.” ~ Paulo Coelho

This may be a very uncomfortable question, but I’ve got to ask it…are you proud of the person you are today? Surprisingly many people think they’ll be proud of themselves only when they accomplish or achieve something in the future. Maybe you even think it’s wrong to be proud of yourself, because of the culture you’ve grown up in.

On a related note, have you noticed how many goals, resolutions, and aspirations are based on not liking yourself? Most New Year’s Resolutions are approached from a scarcity or lack mentality based upon negative thinking…”I’m not skinny enough; I’m not smart enough; I don’t have enough money; I don’t have the life I want to live.” This can be so discouraging! The thing you dislike about yourself can easily become an obsession that overshadows all of the wonderful things you are.

Think about this: Is there more power in 1) beating yourself up, because you haven’t achieved what you want, or in 2) celebrating your wins, no matter how small, and being proud of yourself for accomplishing as much as you have? If you picked self-acknowledgement over self-condemnation, you’re well on your way to greater success.

In my coaching practice, I’ve been amazed to see how my clients move forward so much faster when they look back at where they’ve been and how far they’ve come. Why does it work that way? This approach helps a person complete the past, which is a very important step toward removing obstacles, getting unstuck and moving forward.

How do you complete the past? There are two major areas to address when completing your past.

The first one has to do with identifying what stories you’re telling about yourself. What have you heard from others that you have adopted as your own point of view, either consciously or subconsciously? How are you perpetuating disconnects between all of your Parts? A very helpful, self assessment and self-balancing technique is my Tea Time Exercise.

The second and more powerful one is that you intentionally notice and celebrate the progress you’ve already made and use it as a foundation for accomplishing more.

Celebrating the small wins will boost your confidence. Each obstacle you overcome and each problem you solve makes you realize that you have the skills to assess a situation, regroup and achieve. In fact, I get really excited and see these as challenges. I love to ask myself, “How am I going to get past this one?” I know I have all of the resources I need. No matter what I don’t know, there’s someone out there who does know it, and I can learn or delegate what needs to be done. With their help, I make it happen. That’s power!

Celebrating your wins may take more effort than you expect, because we’ve been taught that self-deprecation and self-effacing thoughts are valuable, but, in reality, they foster either low self-esteem or false modesty. And of course, the haters will frown upon you when you’re proud of yourself. Add to that the busyness of life and it can be a struggle to slow down and mindfully appreciate what you’ve done. Please take the time and effort to do this.

It’s also important to mindfully notice and express appreciation for what others have accomplished. Try it! You’ll be amazed at how this makes you more proficient at internalizing your own accomplishments.

When you enjoy life’s journey, you won’t give up on attaining your goals, dreams and life vision. I encourage you to list your accomplishments for the past year. You don’t have to wait until you achieve X, Y, Z, to be proud of yourself. Be proud of yourself TODAY!  Please connect with me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype). I’ll help you discover a system that keeps you excited about who you are today and who you will be tomorrow.

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