By Gillian Fox

When was the last time you felt incredibly proud of yourself?

You know, the kind of pride makes you feel warm inside and brings a smile. A feeling that is so lovely it makes you feel delighted.

Women are notoriously tough on themselves, and the idea of celebrating themselves and their successes often doesn’t come naturally. Yet making the time to celebrate small achievements makes us feel more confident, grateful, and proud. In fact, it can propel us to achieve even more success in our careers.

Where to start

I’m a big believer in journaling. The process of writing has helped me resolve some of my biggest work challenges over the years, and it has helped me come up with some of my best business ideas. It also is a place where I reflect on my successes and what I’m proud about. This part doesn’t always come naturally to me as I’d prefer to write about other things… but I do it. I am committed to doing it because it teaches me to be proud.

I appreciate journaling isn’t for everyone, and that’s okay. Maybe you capture some of your big accomplishments in the notes section of your phone. In the RISE Program, our public women’s leadership program, we have the ‘TA-DA’ list, a simple and fun way to capture your achievements, remind yourself of your value and enable you to demonstrate it to others.

It doesn’t matter the methodology. It just makes sense to do it because we all need to be intentional and disciplined if we want to build that muscle where we get excited about our successes.

Here is the best part of being a little bit proud

It is not a crime to be proud of yourself. It isn’t cocky or conceited to celebrate yourself. In fact, it feels awesome!

There are real benefits to celebrating yourself and celebrating often. Life is too short not to celebrate YOU!

When we recognise our successes, we:

  • Boost our self-confidence, and this, in turn, can motivate us to achieve more
  • Reinforce what is working for us
  • We don’t need to wait for others to clap us on. We have our own back and take massive action.
  • Acquire a deep sense of fulfilment, and this reinforces that who we are is great!

Most of us are kind enough to recognise other people’s accomplishments and pay them compliments. Not only does it make that person feel great, but it can also spur them on to achieve more.

So here is my question: Why wouldn’t you do that yourself?

Don’t wait for someone else to do it!

Waiting for someone else to clap for us and cheers us on is risky business because what if it doesn’t happen? Then how will you feel?

I remember being very disappointed one day at work when I was not acknowledged for my contribution to an award the business won. I felt so deflated that no one had complimented me on my efforts. I was visibly sad and moved through the motions at work for days.

It’s easy to see now that I denied myself any pleasure and in fact, created real pain for myself. Consider if I had chosen to be proud of myself in that moment, even without the acknowledgement of others. I believe people would have observed my positivity, my energy and passion for the business. They would have been attracted to my positive vibe and maybe even complimented me!

3 simple ways to celebrate yourself

Celebrate the small stuff: Celebrate getting through your priorities for the day, the conversations you had, the work you produced, and the courage you demonstrated in that meeting. They count!

Make it an occasion: When we celebrate the big milestones in life, we pop the champagne, go out for a meal, or maybe do a happy dance in the kitchen. We take time, time to celebrate. We can apply this same principle to smaller events. One of my favourite things is buying beautiful flowers for my desk after a great day. It’s my reward and reminds me of my success.

Share the success and let it sink in: I have realised from coaching thousands of talented women that there is a common tendency to overlook positive feedback. In the RISE Program, participants complete a survey to help them understand their reputation, strengths, influence and future potential. In many instances, the responses are impressive. Yet the women want to focus on the future development opportunities immediately. Of course, this makes sense, but we don’t wish to dismiss the good stuff. Often I suggest that coaching participants sit with their partner, parents or a friend and share their positive feedback. I want them to say it out loud, to see the other person’s reaction and let it sink in. I want them to bathe in the good news, so they own and celebrate it.

The best part of celebrating and being proud of yourself is that it builds momentum.

Imagine how great your life could be if you constantly encouraged yourself. If you could show greater appreciation for all the things you were doing daily. How would that feel?

Have fun with this, and let me know how you go on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn. I always enjoy receiving your messages.

If you’d like more detail on creating your own ‘TA-DA’ list, take a listen to my conversation with Briony Benjamin in Episode 9 of the Your Brilliant Career podcast – Careers are tough… but so are you!