Can you think of five challenges you faced

You're more successful than you think.

We’ve been saying it for months now: 2020 has been one of the hardest years in memory. Can you think of five challenges you faced this year? They probably spring to mind quickly. Can you think of five things you’re proud of? Chances are, that list didn’t come as easily. If you have a hard time recognizing your accomplishments, that could be a sign that you’re not regularly reflecting on them. And you’re not alone.

The Curse of Knowledge

One of my clients is a senior executive preparing for a meeting with the CEO of her company for a year-end performance review. Even though she is a well-respected leader, she lacked clarity on her accomplishments or most meaningful achievements to share. Together, we reflected on her struggles and wins and discovered that she had the “curse of knowledge” – the things she did so well didn’t register as wins and accomplishments, since they had become second nature to her. By the end of the reflection, she had shifted her mindset to embrace a player mindset and reveal the successes the curse of knowledge had hidden from her before.

Don’t Keep Your Accomplishments to Yourself

In my many years of coaching, I’ve found that most people don’t celebrate themselves until I ask them to! Maybe it feels like you haven’t done anything “big” enough to share, or maybe it feels like you’re bragging or self-promoting. Maybe it just seems your achievements should be obvious to those around you. Whatever it is that keeps you from sharing your wins, you’re actually doing yourself a disservice by keeping them to yourself.

Celebrating Accomplishments Helps You and Your Team

Being able to celebrate your wins and share them with others builds confidence and increases happiness. It’s also a key strategy for career success. If you had trouble coming up with 5 achievements, imagine how hard it is for someone else! While it would be nice for the leaders at your company to keep track of your successes, it’s your job to bring visibility to your achievements. Especially now that we’re remote, it’s harder than ever for leaders to see your work, so highlighting it for them is actually a great help.

Reflect and Celebrate Regularly

Reflection gives you clarity – it helps you quantify success, identify gaps, drive action, and pinpoint future goals. Encouraging your team to practice reflection themselves will 10x the impact.

I work closely with my clients to turn this reflection into a habit. Put time on your calendar each week to ask yourself the same reflective questions, write them down, and soon you’ll easily be able to list those five things you’re proud of. It might feel uncomfortable at first, but regularly celebrating wins – big, small, things you’ve done for yourself, things you’ve done for others – will have a positive impact in all areas of your life.

This has been such a difficult year for everyone, so it’s important to be kind to yourself and celebrate the amazing things you’ve done. You’ve survived 2020! Now it’s time to thrive.

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