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THE TRAP OF "NOT ENOUGH" - The science of celebrating achievements

Your house will never fully be in order.

- Nathaniel Drew


Hand Holding Sparkler Celebrating Achievements

Image Via Oscar Swylan for UNSPLASH


If you were to look at my vision board from 2016 you might be amazed that I have created everything I wanted. Not everything is in the form, or timeline that I pictured it, but if I actually look at my life, everything is there. Although I do coach people on goal setting and manifesting that is not what this email is about. This blog is about the importance of celebrating yourself, and how we squander our lives when we don’t.


The other day at work I was talking to a drop dead gorgeous scientist that had honours in all her classes, a great social circle, and seemingly good relationships with her family. She mentioned that she was anticipating burnout and felt like she was never doing enough. As an entrepreneur that juggles many projects, and put’s unnecessary pressure on myself, I related to this. However I find making an effort to look at my vision board and honoring that I have what I previously wanted helps me feel grounded.


Walking later that day, I thought of a few clients I know that have reached some of our societies most sought after “achievements” - million dollar bank balances, picture perfect families, attractive physical features and I noticed pattern in which ones were actually happy. The big difference was that those who actually took time to enjoy and appreciate what they had were able to feel happiness and contentment.


There is science behind this: any accomplishment, no matter how small, releases the neurotransmitter dopamine which boosts your mood, motivation and attention. It also signals you to keep doing the activity again and again. The simple practice of celebrating your progress helps you to appreciate your small wins which in turn boosts your sense of confidence. I recently read that in order to rewire a habit our brain we must do something 400 times, unless we do it with joy - which would then only take 20 repetitions.


I want you to think about when is the last time you really celebrated where you are and what you have? It’s so easy to give into the negative voice that says your “not good enough” or “should be better” - that voice can only exist if we are stuck in the past, or worrying about the future. The point is to create landmarks of achievement so we can feel joy within the present, and it will ripple out in all directions.


Homework:

Step 1: Appreciation Think about what you wanted 10 years ago, 5 years ago, and 1 year ago. If you haven’t taken time to celebrate those achievements take time to celebrate what you achieved.


Step 2: Motivation - Think about what you would like in the future, and how it would feel to achieve those goals. Give yourself an incentive to reach them.




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