Celebration is an essential element of creating success. However, from what I’ve experienced it’s often forgotten and left on the shelf in pursuit of ticking off the next to-do item or moving straight onto the next project. Some view celebration as soft or slacking off – like we aren’t really doing anything. Nothing could be further from the truth. Celebration is a pivotal stage in the productivity process because it allows us to commemorate all the good that we do.
As kids we often get certifications that say 'congratulations' or 'well done'. But when was the last time you received a certificate that said ‘great job’. Has anyone even said those words to you recently? Sometimes, it’s easy to feel that our work goes unnoticed. We’re working alone or we’re the CEO of our company and there’s no one to give us feedback to praise our achievements.
What happens when we don’t celebrate our achievements? There is no reward. There is no recognition. The even bigger trap here though is not that others don’t recognise our achievements, but that we ourselves don’t. We expect ourselves to just keep going, slogging away at it as we strive for success. There is no warm, fuzzy feeling that inspires us to do more of the things we love. This lack or total absence of celebration translates in the impression or belief that we’re not yet worthy of acknowledging our own success or how far we’ve come.
Allowing ourselves to celebrate our achievements gives us the opportunity to be grateful for what we’ve been able to accomplish and recognize every small step. I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal for the past few years, a simple Evernote note and every time someone writes me an email or tells me what I’m doing is making a difference to them I put it in there. It’s made a huge difference to me in pausing, even for just a few seconds to reflect on what’s working and how far I’ve come.
Have I convinced you yet? If not, here are 5 good reasons to celebrate more often:
- Celebration recognizes that you’re good enough and you’ve done enough – as an entrepreneur there is always more things to do. It’s important to pause often to recognize how far you’ve come even if you haven’t completed your biggest goal just yet.
- Celebration helps you stay motivated and moving forward – if you never celebrate success life ends up feeling like an endless to-do list. While it seems counter intuitive to pause when you have so much to do, this time for reflection will keep you motivated and allow you to create sustainable success.
- Celebration builds self-respect – we can show ourselves that we’ve done enough and are worthy of celebrating. Others treat us according to how we treat ourselves so it’s critical we are good to ourselves and treat ourselves with respect.
- Celebration feeds our basic human need for self-acceptance and love – celebration is emotional nourishment, a reprieve from the harsh environment where we don’t often acknowledge and praise ourselves for all we do.
- Celebration shifts our focus to the positive – rather than focusing on what we haven’t done, shifting our focus to what we have done magnifies our self-belief. As Oprah says – “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”
What do you think? Are you celebrating enough? What have you accomplished recently that is reason to celebrate? How could you celebrate that would feel really good to you?