Taking inventory of accomplishments helps to recognize strengths
For many of us an achievement is barely a cause for celebration; we just move on to the next challenge. As a coach, I find many of my clients are unable to enjoy their accomplishments and they spend way too much time bemoaning what they have not yet done. When this happens, I find people not only diminish themselves and their capabilities, but also don’t use the success experience to build the foundation for further challenges or even mistakes. Being able to recognize and appreciate your strengths and accomplishments is key to having a good self-image.
Some of the ways I help clients celebrate their successes is to create a visual representation of their accomplishments. For some, this is a collage where they tear pictures and words from magazines and paste them on poster board. Another process is to use poster board to create a time line, with key accomplishments identified. Another way is to have a trophy wall where you can hang your diplomas, certificates, photos and shelves for trophies and remembrances of accomplishments.
I use another process of creating a ceremony or ritual to acknowledge the success. Many indigenous tribes have coming of age rituals and other rituals to mark out key events. Similarly, I create a ritual that matches the person’s interests and accomplishments. For example, one client had come to me feeling very dissatisfied with her job and wanting to do something different but not sure what that would be. Over the course of five months, she explored her interests, took stock of what mattered, and had to let go of beliefs that were standing in the way of her moving forward. At the end of the coaching she knew what she wanted to do (write a historical novel), had saved enough money to do so, and had put a plan in place to write every day. This was a huge step from working in a traditional job! To celebrate the achievement, I created a ritual that took her back through the process she went through, reminded her of how she was in the beginning, the steps she took, and validated her new steps. She was surprised to see how far she had come. To her, the steps seemed small, yet when reflected upon in the ritual, she realized what a huge step she had taken. This further increased her self-esteem and confidence that her next task – writing the novel- was within her grasp.
Think about what you have done and take time to acknowledge it. Far from being a braggart, appreciating and recognizing your strengths helps you make use of your gifts and enables you to contribute to the world.