Episode 7: The Little Victories

Have you ever reached a milestone but it didn’t feel as good as you thought it would?

Have you felt like you’ve been working so hard but end the day with no real feeling of actually accomplishing anything?

So often we become so obsessed with continually moving forward that we don’t allow ourselves to actually appreciate the victories along the way.

If you don’t allow yourself to relish the successes and victories along the way, you won’t know how to process and accept the big things that happen.

I see this in every client I work with. They go through the day rushing through, and by the time they put their head on the pillow they feel like they haven’t actually accomplished much.

One of the biggest hits to your confidence will be feeling unproductive and unsuccessful.

This only makes you feel worse, and you end up just saying screw it because you feel like you’re on a hamster wheel – always moving but never going anywhere.

When I have this conversation with clients, they don’t realize everything they actually get done in a day. Then I mention the word ‘victories’ and they just about lose their mind.

When I say ‘victories,’ what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Is it something massive and monumental like slaying a dragon or completing a huge project?

What if I told you that while those are pretty awesome victories, those aren’t the only victories worth noting?

What if I told you that the most important victories in your life right now are the little ones?

I’m talking about the things that you don’t realize you do, the things you consider insignificant.

Laundry. Dishes. Cooking. Eating. Showering.

Oh yea. Freaking gold stars for all of those things.

From the moment you wake up in the morning to the time you go to bed, you do a lot more than you think you do.

Even if all you did was stay huddled in bed all day, that’s a victory. Why? Because if that’s what you did, you’re probably really struggling right now. The fact that you chose to wake up today is freaking MONUMENTAL. 

This isn’t a free pass to do nothing all day.

That is acknowledging the facts of the matter.

But what you need to do is see the things that you do regularly that you don’t even see.

Finding these victories takes a lot of conscious effort, and it isn’t easy at first.

But where do you start?

For the next 21 days, before you go to bed every night, I want you to write down 5 victories from that day.

5 things that you did that was a win.

This is exactly what I have my clients do. And at the beginning, they struggle. They don’t see anything that they did that was productive or a win. They still see ‘victory’ as climbing the mountain, not the training it takes to make it happen.

But then they tell me about their day, and I’m able to list at least 15 things that stood out to me that they did.

They did the dishes. They got out of bed. They put the laundry in the washer. They fed the dog. They made dinner. And the list goes on.

They’re always so reluctant to accept that these are victories because we’ve told ourselves for so long that we’re lazy and don’t do anything that our brains fully believe that we are lazy and don’t do anything.

But once you break past that initial barrier, it becomes easier and easier.

Seeing someone’s face light up because they couldn’t stop at 5 victories for a certain day is one of the most beautiful sights to see.

Do this consistently every night before bed for 21 days. Don’t allow yourself to miss a night. Set a timer on your phone if you must.

Rewiring your brain takes consistency. You can’t do it twice and expect it to work.

Your life won’t be flawless after 21 days (spoiler alert: it never will be), but you’ll have a whole new awareness and appreciation for everything it is you do.

Step two is to continue this practice, but amplify it. Congratulate yourself throughout the day. Acknowledge that you did a dang good job and you’re allowed to be proud.

To help, in the show notes I’ve included a link to my downloadable Victory Journal. It lays out the template I use that will help you track your victories. You can make several copies or you can use it as a template for your own journal. Either works.

If you can get yourself to make it a habit to see all you do in a day, you’re going to have so much more energy.

You’re going to feel so much more productive and feel so rejuvenated. You’re going to realize that you’re capable of a whole lot more than you were giving yourself credit for and then some.

When this happens, your confidence will skyrocket. Because the more you see you do regularly, the more successes you celebrate, the more you see that you not only have the ability to figure it out, but you believe in that ability. You believe in it so strongly that you go out and try new things more often.

This is a beautiful cycle that has completely changed my outlook.

Today I got home from work and I felt like a complete failure. I didn’t have dinner figured out for Axel before I left that afternoon, so he still hadn’t eaten dinner. This meant that he was going to bed late. Then I saw the laundry that needed to go in the washer, I saw the laundry that needed to be put away (how do we have so much laundry in QUARANTINE?!). I saw dates on my content calendar coming up, I saw a long to do list sitting on my desk and I felt like I completely and utterly failed.

I felt that, and I sat in that, for over an hour. But when I finally got my son to sleep and I looked around, I realized everything I had done that day. Did I get my entire to do list done? No. But I spent the morning with my son. We went out and got smoothies, got gas, went grocery shopping. While I was working this morning he was playing on the xbox and was excitedly telling me about his game. I got laundry done, some of it even put away. I made Axel dinner. I did the dishes. Heck, I worked for 8 hours. I didn’t do nothing. It may not have been as productive of a day as I had expected (a bit unrealisticly, I may add), but I’m not a failure who did nothing. I did a lot.

But feeling like a failure, and living in the feeling, was my norm for a really long time.

So I get what that’s like. But now I can tell you, now that I no longer feel that way all the time, it’s an amazing feeling.

Open yourself up to the idea that you are freaking awesome and get a lot more done than you give yourself credit for.

So starting tonight, what are 5 victories you’ve had today?

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