Last year I achieved a major accomplishment. I trained hard for several months and competed in a Jiu Jitsu competition I had wanted to compete in for years. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and forced myself to out in front of hundreds of strangers, my team and my coaches and compete. And you know what? It was great! I came in second place, I felt good about myself, and I was proud of having put myself out there to compete with some younger guys. That whole night felt magical… until I got home.
When I got home it was like someone had let all of the air out of my balloon. My significant other didn’t even ask me how it went and when I told her, she didn’t seem to care. There was no celebration. I felt heartbroken. Although she knew how hard I trained and how nervous I was for this particular event, she did not acknowledge it at all once I got home. I felt a little defeated. I realized that something that meant a lot to me meant absolutely nothing to her and while ideally, our friends, family and significant others would want to celebrate our accomplishments, at the end of the day they may not totally understand what it means to us, so we have to be able to celebrate ourselves regardless of if others want to celebrate with us or not.
How Do You Learn To Celebrate Yourself
Unfortunately, many of us do not know how to celebrate ourselves. Some of us don’t do it out of fear of appearing conceited or boastful. Many of us have even been taught to not celebrate ourselves, but it’s important to recognize and celebrate our achievements, especially for ourselves, but it may even encourage or inspire others as well.
You can start by celebrating small achievements. Many of us like to wait until we accomplish a big goal before we celebrate, but often times those big goals take along time to achieve and we can get discouraged along the way. That’s why it’s important to celebrate the small accomplishments as well. Let’s say that your New Years resolution is to lose 50 pounds. You don’t have to wait until you lose all 50 to celebrate. You can celebrate losing five pounds, then ten or even celebrate when you make it through a whole week sticking to your diet and/or exercise plan. Those little celebrations can help motivate you to keep going and accomplishing your goal.
Even if you don’t have any big goals coming up, it is good to get into the habit of reflecting back on your accomplishments at the end of the week. Did you clean that garage? Did you meet your steps goals more days than not? Did you cut back on sugar like you had planned? Sometimes you have to celebrate things such as just making it to the gym on a day when you really didn’t want to go, or writing a few sentences on a day when writers block felt particularly crippling.
Ways to Celebrate Yourself
- Give yourself a break. Take a day off work and do something special just for yourself. That may mean lying in bed binge watching your favorite TV show, hanging out with a friend you haven’t seen in a while, enjoying a nature walk or all three. Just make sure whatever you do is for you. If you can’t carve out a whole day, carve out a couple of hours. Get a babysitter and give yourself some “me time” or turn off all of your electronic devices and enjoy an hour to yourself.
- Share your success with others. You can celebrate privately or you can share your accomplishments with others. Yes, some of your friends may not care that you lost 5 pounds this week, but I am willing to bet that many more of your family and friends would love to hear about your accomplishments and are willing to be supportive. Share your accomplishments rather it’s privately with a few close friends and family or on social media and accept the compliments. Remember, sharing an accomplishment you’re proud of is not bragging or boasting.
- Dress up to celebrate yourself. You don’t have to be going anywhere special, but the way we dress can influence the way we feel. If we want to celebrate ourselves, sometimes it’s good to dress the part. You don’t have to save your fancy clothes or the clothes that make you feel special for those special occasions when celebrating yourself is a special occasion. This is one way I used to privately celebrate myself and yet everyone I came in contact with would notice and some would even ask what the special occasion was.
- Buy yourself something special. I’m a big proponent on buying gifts for myself. Celebrate yourself by buying yourself something you want and if it’s something that may cost a lot of money, celebrate yourself buy saving towards it. It could be a new pair of shoes, a trip to Vegas or something as simple as a book you’ve been wanting to read. I celebrated myself last month by buying myself a watch I really wanted but knew no one else would ever by me.
I really hope this year is full of joy, love, good health and many celebrations for you!