You are ambitious. You have worked hard to get to your position in life. You got through tons of training programs, conquered your way into the professional world and, yet, do not feel successful. How does this happen?
Many women find themselves unable to recognize their achievements. They may be one of the top people in their chosen field, but only notice their failures. Here are four ways to help yourself realize all of your successes!
1. Make a list. This may seem like a no-brainer, but is an incredibly helpful way to start paying attention to your achievements. By writing these accomplishments down, what you are really doing is giving yourself a permanent record of your work. This can serve as a reminder you can later reference when you may be feeling down or overwhelmed.
Try devoting a small notebook you can easily carry with you to this cause. You can even personalize the outside to encourage yourself to write in it. If you are more of a digital woman, Evernote is great resource. It syncs to both your phone and computer, allowing your list to follow you while you work.
2. Catch negative thoughts and re-orient them positively. We tell ourselves to be kind to others - hold the door open for the next person, volunteer to take the new coworker out to lunch and show them the city – but do we extend this same kindness to ourselves? More often than not, we leave ourselves out of the equation. Though you may be a friendly person outwardly, inwardly you may be quite harsh to yourself.
An example: you labor long into the night and manage to get a project finished early. Great, right? Not always. Instead of focusing on beating your deadline, you might say, ‘Oh, well it was easy anyway. I should have gotten it done yesterday’ and quickly move onto the next assignment. Beating yourself up about your efforts leads to less personal happiness and self-worth. Break the cycle! Being gentle to yourself is just as important as being gentle to your peers. Here’s a healthier way to celebrate finishing a project early, ‘I worked incredibly hard to finish this assignment and finished early. Now, I can take a couple of hours doing something for myself before I start on my next task!’
3. Stop comparing yourself to others. Just stop. No good ever comes from it. This habit causes self-doubt and jealousy, two traits that impede success. An effective way to re-direct this tendency is to find people you admire in your field. See what they have done to reach their position, recognize that they have had challenges along the way and overcame them and emulate some of their habits. Say to yourself, if they can do it, so can I with the knowledge that no-one succeeded over-night.
4. Invite your girlfriends over for a “positivity dish.” If all else fails, gather your girlfriends together for a “positivity dish". Here’s how the “dish” works: sit down in a circle and take turns conversing about how awesome each of you are. This is a great way to feel great about yourself and help your friends improve their self-image. You do not have to limit it to your professional life! One of your friends may be a fantastic snow-boarder or an incredibly resilient woman.
Ladies, get out there and celebrate your amazing selves! After you start celebrating your hard work, check out "3 Reasons We Procrastinate" and "How to Effectively Manage Your Time" for other ways to be kind to yourself and improve your work ethic.