Why You Should Celebrate Your Successes
(and Especially Your Failures)
By: Sheri and Derek Green
May 23, 2021
Welcome, we’re so glad you’re here! What do you consider to be something worth celebrating? ‘Worth’ is an interesting word. The definition of worth from the Oxford dictionary is simply: “The level at which something or someone deserves to be valued.” And their definition of ‘Value’ is “One’s judgement of what is important in life.” So, think about it. What in your life deserves to be valued? How do you judge yourself and what you do, or are too scared to do, or not good enough to do? We are definitely our own toughest critics. For most of us, our self-judgement is ruthless, heartless and is always ready and willing to remind us we’re not enough. It’s like the children’s story about the troll who lived under the bridge. It was there to scare us, and keep us in our place for fear of being. We would think to ourselves, ‘I wish I had a superpower to zap that troll, or fly over the bridge to get to the other side!’ Our imaginations would run wild with plans to destroy the troll, or run so fast across the bridge that it couldn’t catch us. The funny thing about our thoughts is, there’s no running away, no matter how fast we go. Wherever we head, they’re with us… always. As adults, we’ve gotten so darn good at listening to our self-judging thoughts and believing them, truly accepting the conclusions we’ve made as our truth and our story. What if we came up with a NEW story? What if we DID actually have a superpower that could kill the troll? Kill the self-judgement. Kill the doubt. What if, instead, we felt valuable, important and worthy of all the good stuff in life? We felt encouraged, joyful and light. And what if we were fearless to TRY… try anything our hearts desired. To be visionaries of our own lives. To be action-takers, planners and doers.
We wish it was just a snap of the fingers to change our mindset, but it’s not. Changing mindset takes practice and patience. We have to retrain our minds and bodies to think, and feel differently, which then will impact what we do. What works best for creating change, and we’re talking about SUSTAINABLE change, within ourselves and others? Positive reinforcement, fun and feeling good! Who doesn’t want that?!
Celebration is our superpower!!! When we celebrate something, we’re rejoicing in its value. We are giving it worth. It was a job well done, acknowledging the hard work involved, and the time taken to achieve it. We celebrate the big stuff like weddings, graduations, work promotions, buying a new house, having a baby, retirement and so on. We celebrate by having parties, dancing, eating decadent cake and giving recognition to these monumental achievements, and life changing experiences. Celebrations make us feel happy and hopeful, and they are so incredibly mood-lifting!
So what would happen if we also celebrated all the little things? Let’s go one step further. What if we celebrated ALL the things? All of our progressions and our failures (we like to call them OFA’s - opportunities for awareness). If we tried and were not successful, we still tried and learned. We had a client, who was a pro in sales, earning upwards of $100k per month, but he was miserable and always felt he was not doing enough, making enough and succeeding enough. As a result, he was constantly living in fear that he would ‘lose it all and be left with nothing.’ His real dream was to become an entrepreneur, and go out on his own, but his negative self-judgement around not being good enough, kept him stuck. Sure, he was making buckets of money, but he wasn’t happy and he was stagnating. Trapped in his over-thinking and his cycle of self-doubt. We also discovered he was having no fun in his life, and celebrating none of his achievements. He thought fun was frivolous and celebrations should be reserved for when he retires and moves to the beach. That change in his mindset was the key to turning his life around, and transforming it into the life he had been dreaming of, but never thought could be a reality.
We began by having him visualize his dream life, though our sessions and in daily morning meditations. His dream was to quit his sales job and start his own business. It was to sell his house and move to the beach. It was to have more time to spend with his kids, his wife and his aging parents. It was to learn to surf and golf. The journey to getting there looked so daunting and overwhelming to him, and so out of reach. But, guess what? It wasn’t.
We had him create a morning ‘brain dump’, where we asked him to write down absolutely everything he had to do. It was a massive list, covering daily tasks, as well as those that had to be done in a year’s time. From simple things, like feeding the dogs that morning, to larger tasks like setting up his LLC and all the pieces that go into the start of a new business. We covered looking for a realtor to list his house, setting up date nights with his wife, family dinners with his kids, and golf lessons. Once he had this brain dump down on paper, this would be a living, breathing list for him to revise, check off and add to daily. Once he had it all in front of him, we asked him to pick the top 3 priorities. From that list, he had to then pick the top one priority for the day, and create numbered action steps underneath it. The final number would read, “YOU’RE DONE, CELEBRATE!” Regardless of the outcome, celebrate! We asked him to think about how it would feel to have completed this top priority, and then write those feelings next to that goal as a reminder. Every time he felt discouraged, or bogged down by the task, that statement would be there to remind him WHY he’s doing this, and how great it will feel once completed. We had him design some sort of celebration to have afterwards. He chose many things to do throughout this action-step process. Some of which were 5-min dance parties with his kids or wife, shooting 10 baskets out back, eating 2 chocolate-covered cherries (his favorite!), 10 minutes in the foot massager his wife got him for Christmas. You get the point. It will be different for everyone, but the bottom line was, it made him feel great. He was re-teaching himself that feeling good, and having fun, could always be a part of the most boring, scary or overwhelming missions on his to-do lists.
If the outcome leaves you flat on your face, you celebrate the move regardless. You celebrate the trying. You celebrate the lesson. You celebrate the fact that you’re still here, and ready to try again. You reward yourself every, single time!! You celebrate the journey. You celebrate the little steps, ALONG with the finish line, but you must celebrate. It teaches your mind and body that good feelings come from trying, and you are always worth it every time!