Lesson #12: Don't overlook the little wins
I'm notorious both personally and professionally for downplaying my own achievements. I tend to accomplish something, then lament about the next thing I haven't yet accomplished. OR, I finally accomplish something, then lament about how I should have done it earlier or faster.
Therps points out the habit frequently. "You're skipping over something here." She says it in such a way that sometimes I find my head turning to literally check for my blind spot. I try skip over a lot of things in my own life - but those are other lessons for another time.
Skipping over the little wins - and often, even the bigs ones - is sort of a travesty, I've realized. You never get to appreciate all you've done. You never get to relish in what you've accomplished. You take for granted what it took to get to where you are. I sort of mistook skipping over the accomplishments with not getting too caught up in my ego. Instead, I think it erased opportunities for gratitude.
Therps taught me how to slow down and really appreciate what I've done. And I've tried to incorporate that practice into my life more. When my friend Sarah and I do our annual New Years Resolution planning, we now start with an accomplishments exercise. We write down all the things we did - planned or unplanned, that helped us grow in the year. It started as a way of alleviating our guilt for inevitably crashing and burning at some our resolutions. And now I think it's the most important part of that planning process.
I also share my little wins more with friends. I try to be careful about how I talk about the wins. I have a tendency to downplay what's important to me - for fear of sounding silly or arrogant. Luckily, I've chosen friends who help me get excited about things even when I'm scared to be. "This is a big deal!" they shout. And then my little win feels like a big win and I feel more connected to myself and to my loved ones. And then that's a win in itself. And then THAT feeling makes me want to pursue more wins. It's a cycle I'm still getting comfortable with, but I'm glad it's happening.