The importance of acknowledging and celebrating your achievements
- Why it is important to acknowledge and celebrate your achievements
- Which goals and achievements should be celebrated?
- Internal locus of evaluation vs external locus of evaluation
- Warning, personal anecdote ahead!
- What if I don’t reach my goal?
- How to celebrate your achievements
- Final few words about acknowledging and celebrating your achievements
Why it is important to acknowledge and celebrate your achievements
Acknowledging your achievements and celebrating when you reach your goals is a way of providing feedback to yourself. It can be a way of motivating yourself to complete a task and it may provide you with something to look forward to after your hard work. Acknowledging your achievements, even if only to yourself, is not only affirming for you it can assist in building and strengthening helpful pathways in your brain. It assists in building self-esteem and confidence. It is important to celebrate achievements big or small. No matter how easy or how challenging the achievement or goal was to reach. There is value in learning to pause and appreciate yourself and your achievements.
Which goals and achievements should be celebrated?
It is important to acknowledge and celebrate every time you reach a goal. It can be easy to celebrate the bigger events, achievements and goals in life. However, sometimes we forget about the little achievements along the way. The goal doesn’t need to be big, but then neither does your celebration. For example, you finally clean out the shed, perhaps this is something you have been putting off for a while. Acknowledging achieving this type of goal may be more about enjoying a cup of coffee and allowing yourself a few personal moments to enjoy a sense of completion. If you achieve a bigger goal, perhaps something that was challenging for you your celebration may be bigger. It is the recognition of the achievement that matters, not how much money you spend on it. It is important that you celebrate your goals, not someone else’s goals, not society goals. Acknowledge the goals that matter to you. An internal locus of evaluation is important and acknowledging when you achieve your own goals is healthy. What is an internal locus of evaluation? Glad you asked!
Internal locus of evaluation vs external locus of evaluation
An external locus of evaluation occurs when we look for appraisal outside of ourselves. An internal locus evaluation occurs when appraisal comes from within us. For example, if you post good news or a picture of yourself on social media and are relying on achieving a certain number of “likes” to feel good, you are experiencing an external locus of evaluation. You are looking for others to validate you or your achievement. If you can appreciate yourself and feel proud of your achievements without relying only on feedback from others you are experiencing an internal locus of evaluation.
Warning, personal anecdote ahead!
When I finish writing a blog, I like to enjoy my favourite meal. I enjoy a sense of completion. When I reflect on my achievement, I may think that this has been my best blog yet or, perhaps I believe that a previous blog is better. Regardless, I always allow myself some time to appreciate the work I put into the blog, and that I have finished something that I set out to do. I know that the more we do something the better we may get at it. So, I celebrate my effort as well as the completion of my work. I endeavour to let go of that perfectionist part of me that could edit a blog for 20 years and never be satisfied. I choose to hold onto the that part of me that believes I have done my best in this moment. Anyone reading this who has written anything (assignments, thesis, blog, novel, short story, anything!) knows that sometimes writing can flow and sometimes… well it just doesn’t. For me, acknowledging that I have finished writing and can now offer it to others is important. I also acknowledge what I have learned during the process. This encourages me to keep writing. For me, it is not about being the best, it is about achieving my own goals and it is about doing the best that I can.
What if I don’t reach my goal?
There may be times when you don’t reach your goal. Perhaps the goal was no longer important to you and you made the decision to no longer pursue it. Maybe at the time of working towards your goal you didn’t have all the information you needed or, the skills to achieve your goal. This is a part of being human. When you don’t reach your goal, you can still acknowledge the effort you put into attempting it. Reflect on the things that went right, acknowledge any lessons that you learned. These lessons are important too and they may come in useful at another time, perhaps when you set another goal.
How to celebrate your achievements
How do you want to celebrate? What does celebrating feel and look like to you? There are no rules around how you can celebrate your achievements and it doesn’t need to cost money. You can celebrate by yourself or invite supportive people to celebrate with you. Sometimes acknowledgement comes from allowing yourself to feel proud and satisfied with achieving a result. Celebrating may be resting in your favourite chair with a cup of coffee while you reflect on your achievement. Maybe it is doing something to pamper yourself. Maybe it is going out to dinner or throwing a party for friends and family. It really is up to you and what feels right.
Final few words about acknowledging and celebrating your achievements
There may be times as you strive to achieve something that it feels like it would be easier to give up. Along the way there may be a few tears or a meltdown or two (I have been there and done that, the thesis now sits on my bookshelf!). Some achievements seem effortless, some can be especially challenging. During these times it can be difficult to know if it is part of the process or, is it time to stop pursuing this goal? This is a question that only you can answer. It can be helpful to reflect on the things you have achieved before and acknowledge those goals you have reached in the past (big or small!) and know that you will achieve again. It can be easy to be down on ourselves when things go wrong. For some, allowing yourself to feel pride, happiness or excitement when things go well can be more challenging. The reasons for this may be varied. Fear of appearing boastful, a habit of downplaying our gifts, and imposter syndrome are just a few of the reasons we may do this. Even if you begin small, with time and practice you may find it becomes a healthy new habit as your brain starts to rewire and adapt. Over time this can assist in building your self-esteem and confidence. It can also be helpful to reach out to someone to assist you through this process. This may be talking with a trusted and supporting person in your life or, reaching out to a counsellor or life coach.
I am a counsellor, hypnotherapist, life coach, yoga and meditation teacher. Please contact me for an obligation free, confidential discussion as to how I may be able to assist you. Skype, WhatsApp, Messenger sessions and personalised Hypnotherapy MP3’s available.
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