Have you ever noticed how quick we are to talk about our failures, shortcomings, and misses, and how reluctant we are to share our successes, accomplishments, and wins? Why is that?
I haven’t done the research on this, but I do have a theory. Well, a few theories, actually.
- Imposter Syndrome: As soon as someone pays you a compliment or asks you to share a success, our mind races to thoughts of fraud and fakery. This happens because of our core belief system. If, at the root, we don’t believe in ourselves and think we’re just bluffing our way through life, we will react one of two ways: become a braggart, trying to compensate for our feelings of failure, or become overly critical of ourselves, believing we are always going to fall short. Honestly, most people struggle with imposter syndrome to one degree or another. I recommend you read a book that a friend of mine, Sheryl Anjanette, recently wrote, called The Imposter Lies Within.
- Cultural Norms: Most of us grew up in a culture where it is expected that one be understated about success. Sharing about talent, intelligence, and accomplishments may have brought chastisement, with words like “vain”, “conceited”, and so forth may have been tossed around. But it’s kind of a form of cognitive dissonance, right? I mean, we’re supposed to strive for success, but not talk about it. We’re supposed to push ourselves to accomplish big goals but brush it off if someone notices. Weird. Doesn’t make a lot of sense.
- It’s Uncomfortable: Why is it uncomfortable? See point 1 and 2. We don’t like feeling uncomfortable. If someone else talks about their success, we might experience feelings of envy, which leads us to judgments, like, “He/she doesn’t have to throw it in our faces like that”. “He/she probably inherited that money… or cheated… or was just lucky…” and that makes us not want to talk about our successes because we don’t want to be seen (judged) the way we’re seeing (judging) others. We can even start being prideful about our humility, which is just more cognitive dissonance. Whatever the reason and rationale behind it, we don’t like feeling uncomfortable, so we tend to avoid things that cause discomfort, and to further avoid checking in with ourselves as to why we’re feeling the discomfort and desire to avoid. Kind of a vicious cycle.
Maybe you can think of other reasons we avoid rewarding ourselves and sharing our successes. I’m interested to hear your thoughts, as always!
Getting Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
The entire point of this post is to get us to talk about step #4 in James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits: Reward. I’ve been sharing, over the last couple of weeks, the 4 steps to creating great habits: Cue (Make it Obvious), Craving (Make it Attractive), Responses (Make it Easy), and Reward (Make it Satisfying). Once we figure out why we don’t track – or even acknowledge – our wins, we can set about changing that so that we can develop a success mindset and establish habits that serve us and move us forward. Believe it or not, rewarding yourself by tracking your wins and celebrating – and yes, talking to others about them – is a critical piece of the process. Without the reward piece, the chances of you really cementing that habit in and making it a part of your lifestyle are very diminished. As with all things in life and business when you are working to advance and better yourself and reach your goals, things are not necessarily comfortable. Getting comfortable being uncomfortable will help.
A Winner’s Mindset – Thoughts Become Things
Frankly, the habit of tracking your wins, celebrating, and rewarding yourself, are habits in and of themselves. Can you win without seeing yourself as a winner? Sure, at least a few times. Can you consistently win without establishing a winning attitude and mindset? I submit that the answer is most likely “no”.
Developing discipline habits – no matter how uncomfortable – of tracking your wins, celebrating your successes and rewarding yourself consistently must be a fundamental component of your personal formula or system for reaching your goals and winning (and we’ll talk about having a formula or system for wining another time!).
Thoughts become things. We go in the direction of our thoughts. What we focus on is magnified in our lives. So, the discipline here is to:
- Create a system (even just a spreadsheet) to track your DAILY wins as well as your big wins.
- Set aside time at the end of each day to record your wins for the day.
- Once a week, tell someone else about your wins.
- Determine what rewards you will offer yourself for your wins and consistently follow through with those rewards.
- Notice when you are feeling uncomfortable with the process and challenge those imposter thoughts and the cultural conditioning with thoughts you want to have become things, rejecting thoughts that are going to bring you things you don’t want.
I don’t know why this is tough for us, but it is, so give yourself permission to make it a work in progress (because it makes no sense to beat yourself up for not being proud enough of yourself!).
If you want coaching support to help you make this and any other transitions needed to get you to the POINT of success you dream about, get in touch with me! You can book time to chat here: https://calendly.com/on-point-with-danielle/discovery-appointment
And, as always, Stay on Point!