Stop saying these negative things about yourself. Look in the mirror and find something about yourself that’s positive and celebrate that!Tyra Banks
The tendency to be hard on ourselves.
Does this sound familiar? You look at the goal you set on January 1st and recognize that you haven’t attained it yet. You buckle down, tell yourself that it’s going to take a lot of effort and sacrifice to get there, but that it is still possible, and you better get moving because otherwise you still might fail.
Or maybe it wasn’t a new years resolution, but just the deep-seated knowledge that you ‘should’ lose those couple pounds, start that project, clean the garage, etc etc etc. You are overwhelmed by the desire not to let your self down yet again.
Then an internal dialog kicks off in your mind. Perhaps you feel it as a little anxiety about whether or not you will be able to get it done, or maybe a twinge of fear about whether or not the people around you will judge you for NOT having done it yet, or a confusion about whether you are good enough to actually do it at all.
This is totally natural, but it isn’t very pleasant. We end up creating a negative emotional state in an attempt to motivate ourselves towards the things we want. We are working so hard to avoid the fear, guilt, and shame of not accomplishing that we end up tired, worn out, and beat up at the end – whether we accomplish our goals or not!
What about a different way?
What if you didn’t have to go through that process though? Would you be interested in a different approach that would end up with you feeling like you are drawn forward into success naturally? If so, celebration might be the answer you are looking for.
Celebration can mean a lot of different things, and we don’t want to get too bogged down in defining what constitutes a celebration and what doesn’t. There is one important aspect of celebration though:
It makes you feel good when you celebrate.
This feels like a silly thing to say, right? Of COURSE celebrating makes us feel good, but there is some depth here that will help guide us to identifying the celebrations that work best for us.
So, write down the ways that you would like to celebrate success in your different projects and ventures. It might be grabbing a beer with friends, doing a happy dance, going on that vacation you’ve always wanted, or taking a day to sit in meditation for yourself. Whatever YOUR celebrations are we want them on the paper.
Then write down
Now – Identify which celebrations make logical sense for each milestone. Does it make sense to go buy your favorite box of cookies when you finally lose those 5 pounds? Probably not since the product works agains the goal. Maybe that’s a good time for a happy dance, or buying a new outfit. Does a high end vacation make sense after hitting your goal to have that hard conversation with your employee? Probably not, since the vacation is too big of a celebration for the effort invested.
Go through and see what would be meaningful and logical celebrations for each of them.
Now the hard part
Now is the point which it gets a little more difficult – choosing celebration and allowing it to draw you forward. Let the anticipation of getting that reward to help you accomplish the goal. It won’t feel natural at first. The voice in your head will tell you to be more negative, to be fearful, to be anxious. That’s normal but put it on pause as much as you can for the time being.
Don’t beat yourself up in order to hit the deadline, get excited about the reward.
Why is this important?
So, why does this matter? Why is it worth putting your energy
It’s also important to know that this isn’t a quick-fix kind of scenario. While it’s great to do in the moment, the real power of celebration comes from regularly building it into your life. This ends up building an internal trigger that naturally makes us more excited to accomplish our BIG goals in life. It makes us more fun to be around, and allows us the opportunity to feel more balanced in our daily lives. And it takes practice. The more we do it, the more pronounced the positive emotional state is, and the less likely you are to fall back into fear, anxiety, and shame.
Start today, and see where you are at in a year.
What do you want to celebrate today?