In the social media era, it can always feel like whatever you achieve it is never enough. Sure, you might feel good for a second, but then when you look on social media you seem to see so many other people doing so much more than you. This can often leave people feeling demotivated or inadequate. It is so easy to forget how far you have actually come as a result of this. It is important that you consistently take time to celebrate your own successes as you progress along your personal development journey. This should be true whether the success is large or small, every step along your own journey is important and deserves to be recognised.
Define your own journey
The truth is, that success should be a very personal thing. It should not be defined by anyone except yourself. Therefore, what you choose to celebrate should depend on your own goals and ambitions. If you are 50 years old and have never learned to swim, and you decided that you were going to learn, then celebrate it. If you wanted to earn $1m this year and achieved it, celebrate that too. One achievement is not bigger than the other in the overall view of personal development, they are both milestones on the way to being the best version of yourself. Success is not just about big goals and major achievements. It is about living your life on your own terms, in the way that you want to and taking positive steps towards achieving that regardless of what others think or say.
Celebrating your success has a number of positive benefits. The first is simply that it reinforces a person’s self-belief and gives them more confidence. When a person embarks on a journey of change, it is very rarely easy. It often involves starting a new habit or behaviour that is often the opposite of one a person has had for years, often decades. So, by celebrating even the small steps along the way to changing your behaviour or habits, you make it more likely to stay motivated to carry on with your development journey. The second benefit of celebrating your success. It allows you to sit back and reflect on how far you have come. By regularly taking stock of your achievements, you are actually more likely to set yourself new goals. For example, if your ambition were to lose 10kg and run a 5km race, it is not uncommon that after completing the objectives, the person then sets themselves the goal of running a 10km race. You have realised not only how far you have come but know you can also go further and are confident in setting a new more ambition goal having achieved the last one. Celebrating also causes physical changes to our body and releases endorphins in our brains which make us feel good. This reinforces a desire to continue to achieve new goals in order to gain the same endorphin rush.
How should you celebrate?
Finally, it is important to remember that just as success is very personal to each individual, so is celebration. For one-person celebration is a nice meal and a glass of wine, for another it could be a fancy holiday, someone else a bottle of tequila and hitting the club and yet another perhaps a slice of cake. It is important to not slip back into the habits of focusing on what you think you are supposed to do to celebrate and instead focus on pursuing what you actually want to do. It is important to remember that internal validation is a bigger key to sustainable change than external validation. I know people who have climbed mountains and have never told anyone and simply have a photo on their bookshelf and others who take 45 pictures for Instagram whenever they have breakfast. Its important that the accomplishment and celebration is for you and not to show others and seek their validation.