Do you set goals for yourself, work your tail off, push through the struggle, then simply give yourself a little nod (if that) when you’ve hit your target instead of celebrating your success?

In talking with women, I’m hearing this is an all too common theme.  We set goals (this in itself calls for a celebration much of the time), achieve them, and yet we rarely slow down long enough to acknowledge, feel and CONNECT to the emotion of our successes.  We check it off the list and…on to the next thing.

Most of us are masters at beating ourselves up for not getting to everything on our to-do list or meeting a goal, but the majority of us don’t even think to celebrate when we do meet a goal make a dent in our mile long to-do list.

A coach I met during my coach certification once announced to the class, ‘What we don’t celebrate turns to shit.’  Kind of took the air out of the room for a moment.

Here’s the point he was making- we remember things through emotion.  So, when we need a positive emotion to help us through a tough time, it’s not there to lean on.  We struggle, questioning if we really have what it takes.

For some reason it’s much easier to pull up a negative memory or emotion for us to experience (over and over) like shame, anger, fear, guilt or frustration.  We connect to those negative emotions viscerally, and can recall them in an instant…because we have a stockpile of them to draw from.

We have got to start celebrating our successes so we have an arsenal of positive emotions to draw from when we hit a bump in the road.

As a business owner, having the ability to access positive emotions when that bump is about to throw us off course (full throttle down the rabbit hole of second guessing everything we’re doing) gives us the tools to choose whether we tumble head first down the hole, or whether we choose a different path.

By celebrating, we’re able to say and feel “Ahhh, here is an example of when I succeeded.”  Otherwise, we’re inclined to let our good old friends Self Doubt and Mind Chatter invite themselves over to the party and stay waaayyyy too long.

When we celebrate, we’re giving ourselves more positive emotions to connect with and kicking Self-Doubt and Mind Chatter to the curb.

When we focus on what we haven’t accomplished, we fail to see what we have done.

Celebrating doesn’t have to be dropping a ton of cash, booking an extravagant Caribbean vacation or even involve a great deal of time – though it can be any of those if you want, cuz’, hey, wouldn’t all of those be nice!

It can be as simple as going for a walk, scheduling a Ladies Night,  going out for ice cream or dinner with your family or a friends.  Maybe it’s buying yourself something small, but decadent…something that makes you smile like a new journal, that perfect color lipstick you’ve been coveting for a month now or a new book.

It takes courage to celebrate our successes.

As women, it can feel selfish or even somewhat arrogant to think we should celebrate ourselves, our accomplishments or call attention to our successes.

It can feel like we’re in a foreign land when we start to toot our own horn.  We’ve spent so little time celebrating our Self and discovering our strengths we’re not quite sure how to go about doing it.

We need to toot our own horn loud, long and with gusto when we reach our goals.

Not only does it feed our soul and fill our own bucket, it makes us feel better emotionally, physically and financially.  A win-win-win, wouldn’t you agree?

It also makes us better moms by modeling for our children that we realize we are also worthy of celebration.  It makes us better business partners by filling us with more confidence.  It also makes us better life partners by making us more empowered to walk alongside rather than behind.

Here are three tips for Celebrating Your Successes:

  1. Set your goals so you know when you’ve hit your mark and achieved success.
  2. Decide ahead of time what you’ll do to celebrate when you’ve hit your mark, your goal, or simply crossed a bunch off your to-to list.
  3. Have an accountability partner who makes sure you actually follow through on celebrating – someone who will support you and hold your feet to the fire.

“If you don’t celebrate your success, it won’t celebrate you!” – Julian Hall