How To Be Happy at Work? Acknowledge Yourself

Making a list of your accomplishments at work for the year is a way to acknowledge yourself and your work.  Parker’s Points this month gave you some questions to ask yourself to uncover your accomplishments.

In 1997 when I had just started my coaching practice another coach sent out a newsletter suggesting that her readers make a list of 100 accomplishments for the year in their personal and work life that they would like to acknowledge themselves for.

The task seemed overwhelming to me.  My business was just beginning. I had no idea if it would be successful or not.  Leaving the corporate world and its secure salary to be out on my own was just plain scary.  It felt like I would have trouble finding 10 accomplishments for the year never mind 100.

As a new business owner I was very good at identifying the problems.  My inner critic was alive and well.  She was busy telling me I could never make it.  How many of us are more in tune with what is wrong with what we do than with what is right?

The exercise of finding 100 accomplishments challenged me.  I was certainly conscious of my inner critic and eager to gain my power back by proving to myself that I had done quite a bit.

My list included things that made me proud. Hey having the courage to start a business was huge. Some of my items might have seemed insignificant to others but I was proud of each and this was my list.  In the end I found many more than the 100 accomplishments.  (Try it!  You will probably surprise yourself too.)

While it felt good to acknowledge myself in this way, my critic has a habit of “but”ing in with a “yah but” and then a list of reasons why I still might not be successful even with all these accomplishments.

It seems to me important to go one step further with this exercise.  I’d call this step “Bask in the glory”!  By that I mean sit with the list so that you have the luxury of feeling proud of yourself for an hour or so.  Come back to the list several times during the day, week, and month to really feel your successes.

Allow your past successes to boost your confidence for the future.  If you have overcome some obstacles in the past, then you will be able to do the same in the future.  In our busy lives today we don’t take nearly enough time to celebrate and acknowledge ourselves.

Now how can you appease that critic in you that bugs you at the most inopportune times?  The doubting part of you is there for your own safety and security so your critic warns you to play it safe at all times.

There is risk to almost anything you do.  Even if you are not a huge risk taker you have probably taken a calculated risk at times.  Sometimes you can quiet your critic by controlling most of the risky parts and sometimes you have to block out the noise of the critic knowing that you have been as careful as possible and the risk is worth it.

So what did you do this year that were achievements for you?  Make your list of 100 or however many you think is impressive.  Sit with your list and acknowledge yourself for all that you have achieved.  To be happy at work it is important to celebrate your successes.


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