Success, Failure, Near-Wins, and Mastery
You feel like you’ve given the company everything you have. You are the last person to leave every evening and the first person through the door in the morning. You have given, given, given, and you’ve met impossible deadlines, achieved ambitious goals—but no one else seems to notice.
You aren’t receiving the recognition you deserve.
What about you? Are you giving yourself the recognition you deserve? Are you celebrating each success? Are you acknowledging the effort you’re putting in, whether it is at work or at home or all of the above?
We can’t control others, such as your boss who for some reason that defies logic continues to promote and recognize others who are not as dedicated as you. I know you have heard this sentiment, to learn to let go of what we can’t control. It’s much easier said (or typed) than implemented. What about shifting your focus, though?
Instead of looking for confirmation of your success from others, start celebrating your success on your terms.
The biggest struggle with celebrating our own success involves the how. If an employer was rewarding your success, the how may come in the form of a bonus, a promotion, time off, an award, or something else to mark the occasion. So, how do you celebrate your wins on your own? Do you celebrate?
If you aren’t sure what self-celebration looks like, then let’s go over a few options.
- Tell yourself about your success. Write yourself a letter, say it out loud, or say it silently—but say it!
- Put it on your calendar. Many of us fully intend to celebrate our successes or our wins, but we never find the time to do so. If you can’t celebrate in the moment, then schedule a time to celebrate. You’ll be much more likely to follow through if you’ve consciously set time aside. So, pick a day and time and write it down.
- Do something you like to do. If you are celebrating on your own and you’d like to keep it that way, then pick something you like to do but rarely do. This could be something as simple as taking a walk, or as complex as taking a long weekend away at a spa. The what is completely up to you.
- Tell family and friends. This one can be tough. We like to tell our family or friends of our success, but usually when it is framed by external confirmation of our success, such as a raise or a promotion. Pick a friend or family member who understands how hard you work and tell them first. It isn’t easy to declare yourself a success; so start with someone who is supportive and who knows you well. It will get easier to say it out loud with every person you tell.
- Always acknowledge the effort. Remind yourself of everything you did to achieve a positive outcome.
Throw yourself a party, have a mini-dance party all by yourself, or treat yourself to the beverage of your choice. Whatever it is, just do it! Celebrate you, your hard work, and your success.
There’s something else I would like for you to consider. . .
Celebrate your failures, too.
Sometimes, what we view as a failure isn’t quite a failure, but rather a moment where we have slightly missed the mark. There is still success within each of these moments. These moments mean that you now have a new experience from which to draw and build. Acknowledge the effort you made, and evaluate what you can learn from the experience.
Sarah Lewis says it best when she talks about the beauty of a near-win. It isn’t a failure, and it isn’t a win—it’s a part of our constant pursuit of mastery. Mastery is not about the end result or goal—it is about the journey you live daily in the pursuit of mastery.
Celebrating each success and failure means that you are marking points in your journey as events, moments in time, that will change and direct your overall journey. Celebrating and labeling these moments yourself as a success or near-win means that you are taking your life into your own hands and living on your terms, instead of waiting for others to label the moments of your life.
Once you can view your success as something you own and and only you can define, then you will begin to find satisfaction and fulfillment from unexpected moments and places.
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