10 Ways to Recognize Success (& Stop Beating Yourself Up)

Have the inspiring words from your mission statement become buried deep beneath the profit and loss statement?

It’s easy for success to become shallow. When our compass points to the dollar sign, and life is all about the bottom line, we’re setting ourself up for disaster.

Recognizing success solely in the income statement is like driving a Ferrari solely in first gear—you’ll be as beat up as the engine, and empty as the tank.

Here are 10 successes that we forget to celebrate:

1. Your son’s birthday, on time.

To succeed in the workplace is impressive, to succeed in your family is essential. Having your company flourish but your family falling apart is tragic. If you’re able to make it to your business meetings, and also to your daughter’s piano recital, that’s a priceless success.

2. Better than yesterday.

The power of compounding interest is lost on many because it’s subtle. We chase milestones but forget the little moments—the incremental growth and change that makes up success. If you’ve ever played Jenga, every piece is as important as the next.

If you’ve done just one thing better than yesterday, you’ve contributed to your success, and that deserves to be acknowledged, even if the entire day wasn’t as great as you’d planned.

3. That one email.

As you sort through your mountain of emails: business proposals, meetings, finances, you come across that one message from someone who’s been deeply impacted by your work.

Never downplay the significance of influencing just one person’s life. As ambitious people, we’re on a mission to change to world, and that happens with changing people’s lives. The greatest profits happen in people. Even just one.

4. Falling flat on your face.

A paradoxical success in and of itself. There’s a lot that goes into failure, it means you’ve attempted something you haven’t mastered; you’ve stepped out of your comfort zone, and although it may have been a negative experience, it’s an experience that carries a valuable lesson. And the only failure is failing to see that lesson. There’s always a silver lining.

5. Taking a stand.

Whether you’re pro or anti, Amazon or Chick-fil-A, holding onto your convictions against the face of criticism is a success. In business and life, everyone faces decisions that challenge you to compromise your beliefs and style.

To “sell-out” may win you some more customers and fans, but exchanging financial profit for your personal convictions will only fill pockets as deep as it empties your soul. If expectations haven’t taken place of your authenticity, celebrate success.

6. You’re healthy. 

You haven’t found yourself in the fetal position, broken from a mid life crises; you’re office isn’t littered with red bull cans; and you’re diet includes more than protein bars.

Exercise is crucial for a healthy work-life balance, and will cut your medical bills. But carving time out requires discipline; if you’ve been consistent in that, trust that your success in one area of life will spill into others

7. The payroll privilege. 

Navigating through the payroll system typically brings stress, but having any employees is a great privilege. Knowing that your work is creating enough value to support others and their families is an honor.

Seeing a name simply as another number on your payroll budget is ignoring a great contribution on your part.

8. Wake up doing what you love.

Many have said, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Indeed money is important, but if taking a raise means being more stressed and unhappy, any sane person would pass on the raise.

Work is a monumental part of life—and statistics show far too many people are miserable in what they do. Money aside, If you’re able to wake up and do what you love, you should be celebrating.

9. Others believe in you.

Even if it’s just your mother, there are people who see your ability to succeed—especially when you don’t. Whether it’s the lizard brain or the Impostor Syndrome we’re really good at downplaying our abilities and treating our success like a lottery ticket.

Although you haven’t hit your goals, the fact that there are people a phone-call away who believe in you, is something to be grateful for. They know your success is inevitable, it’s just a matter of time.

10. Living the unexpected.

Successful people often make the remark that if someone told them 5-years ago they’d be doing what they’re doing, they’d call them crazy. Chances are you’re a different person from 5-years ago, doing something pleasantly unexpected; something new, something creative; being your own boss. And if you’re not there yet, trust that life’s positive twists and turns will take you where you need to be.

The wild ride should be something to smile about; and knowing that there’s much more to come.

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