People are more prone to be self-critical than to bestow self-praise. Being negative is the easy part. Working up positivism is hard work because praising ourselves doesn’t come easy. I am more likely to recall my failings then to remember my high points in life. In an effort to reverse this I developed a practice of listing my achievements for the year on the 31st of December every year. It serves as a reminder of what I am capable of and what I can build on as a new year starts. But today I will be reflecting on the decade gone as a new one begins. It was a decade full of tough moments that seemed to set in motion trends of negativity which I have had to fight against. Teaching yourself to be appreciative of your high points is a trait to be learned and cultivated. Far better to be hopeful than to feel hopeless.
Pointers on getting your thought process moving when making your list:
- Were you depressed and did you take steps to deal with it successfully? If so, you have found a pathway to resilience which you can build on by sharing your recovery path with others.
- Did you overcome a fear? I suffer from financial fear and, finally, dealt with it head on this year. Overcoming any form of fear requires confronting the causes of the fear. Don’t underestimate the tenacity required in dealing with it all and coming through the other side. This is an achievement that will help you build on the strengths which you have found within yourself.
- Did you nurse a loved one through a serious illness? I have done this three times in the course of the decade while bringing up a young child. There were times when I wondered if I was heading for a nervous breakdown from the stress and pressure that life unexpectedly threw at me but I got through it. The fact that I managed to keep my daughter going and to have seen her leave sixth form two years ago with a string of A and A*s was my sense of achievement. I combined being a mother with overcoming a number of adversarial life defining moments.
Do feel free to leave a comment below on what your achievements were. It leaves me to wish you a very Happy New Year.