I guarantee you know someone who looks at you and wishes they could do that thing you do as awesome as you do. If you’re like most people, you probably don’t realize how amazingly well you do that thing you do. I’m a huge fan of humility but I’m tired of watching amazing people sell themselves short by not acknowledging how awesome they are by celebrating their accomplishments.
Last week I was talking to a friend about a project he wants to launch. As we talked, he questioned whether he had the talent to succeed. I pointed out how he has excelled at everything he’s tried in the past and questioned why he didn’t believe in himself. He responded, “Pride cometh before the fall.”
Why We Question Our Abilities
The answer to this question is complicated. So I’ll focus on my own experience.
Growing up in small-town Minnesota, part of our culture was learning to be “Minnesota Nice.” To ensure we didn’t become arrogant animals, our parents and teachers taught us not to think too highly of ourselves. But for many of us, we interpreted that it was wrong to have a healthy sense of accomplishment.
This belief is evident in the response from my friend, “pride cometh before the fall.” This made me wonder, does taking pride in our accomplishments imply that we lack humility? How do we interpret others who are too modest about their work?
I don’t think that taking pride in our accomplishments implies a lack of humility. Nobody likes a braggart, but if you just published a book, earned a promotion, or won an award, I would expect you to exude some sense of accomplishment. When someone downplays their work (which I’m equally guilty of) it can be a bit of a turnoff. Don’t you agree?
Why We Must Recognize Our Accomplishments
As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned that we can’t gauge our value based on what others think. We must believe in ourselves before we can expect the same from others.
In order to give our best, we must acknowledge and make the most of our greatest strengths. If we want to leave a legacy, we need to believe in our capabilities and actions.
We cannot depend on anyone else for our confidence and self-worth. It’s essential that we learn to recognize our accomplishments and celebrate how far we’ve come.
Recognizing Your Awesome
Just like anything worth having, it takes time to build confidence. Becoming more confident in your abilities is a skill that you can practice and master. Here are some tips to help you get started.
1 – Let go of past failures and circumstances. Identify what they make possible.
It’s not that we need to forget the past. Our mistakes can be wonderful learning experiences. The goal is to quit dwelling on past mistakes and circumstances that are out of your control.
Maybe you had a difficult childhood or screwed up big time at your first job. What’s done is done, you can’t change it. Focus your attention on the lessons you learned. Ask yourself, “What is possible today because of these experiences?”
2 – Believe that you deserve it.
Fact: If you don’t believe you deserve to accomplish your goal, you won’t. In order to win, you must believe that you deserve it.
You were not put on this earth to be miserable. You were put here to share your unique gifts and talents. You’re here to do that joyfully and to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
3 – Start a Smile File.
Keep your big wins easily accessible by starting a Smile File. It can be as simple as an email folder where you store nice notes and compliments. Maybe you start a journal where you keep track of your accomplishments and kudos. Or you could buy an expandable folder to store your awards and work you’re proud of.
4 – Use your greatest gifts to serve others.
There’s no better way to increase your confidence than by using your unique skills to serve others. I have been gifted with a high level of organization and attention to detail. It’s not as exciting as being gifted musically or artistically. But when I use this gift to serve others, I am rewarded with a sense of joy and accomplishment.
Tony Robbins said, “Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfillment.” Think about the gifts you can use to serve others and find a way to give without expecting anything in return.Those who learn the power of selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy: true fulfillment. - Tony Robbins Click To Tweet
5 – Meditate and come back to the present moment.
I’d be lying if I told you that I don’t have a minor freakout DAILY! As I write this, I’m finishing up the first draft of a book I’ve been working on for close to six months. I’ve never done this before and I have no clue what I’m doing. Each new step brings varying degrees of panic.
In those moments I find that I’m months ahead of what I need to be focusing on. I use meditation to bring myself back to the present and focus on what I need to do next.
Measuring Your Accomplishments
I’m sure you’ve done a dozen things today that were amazing. But that’s not up to me to decide. How you measure the value of your accomplishments is up to you.
We each live our lives based and a distinct set of values. How we measure our accomplishments should be in line with those values. We should never measure ourselves based on what we think others or society expect of us.
Taking time to recognize how far you’ve come will inspire you to keep moving forward. I do this formally at the end of each year as I’m recapping and setting goals for the upcoming year. I’m trying to be more intentional about stopping to notice the little accomplishments along the way.
I try to give myself little kudos or share my progress with my husband. Sometimes I’ll make a special meal or open some sparkling wine.
Think of things that are fun and meaningful to you. Maybe you could spend time on a favorite activity when you reach your goal. You could write yourself notes that highlight you accomplishment and tape them to your bathroom mirror. Maybe you reward yourself with a special night out or a mini vacation.
The simple act of recognizing your progress will make a huge difference in how you feel about your efforts. It’ll help you stay motivated to achieve your big, long-term goals.
Incorporating these small practices into your daily life will have you believing in your abilities in no time. You deserve the happiness and satisfaction that comes from a higher level of self-confidence.
You’re awesome and it’s about time you believe it so that you can share your awesome with the world!