When is the last time you looked at yourself and really felt proud of yourself or truly celebrated all of your progress? When you accomplish something, are you looking inward and clapping for yourself, or waiting on someone else to clap for you? I have written a post before on being your own best cheerleader, but I think I am beginning to fully realize what it means to celebrate myself.
I remember sitting in therapy early on, and saying that I wanted to feel whole again, I wanted to do something bigger than myself, so I could fill the hole that had been created after no longer being a track athlete. I am far from being perfect at celebrating myself, but I am beginning to fully embody it. The recognition from others will always be nice, but it can never be a replacement for the feeling of accomplishment I have within me. And I can finally say, I am doing something bigger than myself, and I have been relentless on the pursuit of making my dream a reality. I am helping others and I am helping me.
After holding a very large and successful Mental Health Awareness Event in my hometown, I felt a sense of relief. Relief because the nights staying up until 2 am were becoming exhausting and relief because I had finally done something bigger than myself. In the past, I would have looked high and far for praise from others, and if I did not get it, I would feel bad about whatever it was that I accomplished and feel like a failure. That is often the vicious cycle you endure if you seek out perfection. But now on my journey of being a recovering perfectionist, I am recognizing the importance of celebrating my accomplishments and to be happy with where I am at. There is always going to be something else or something more that we want to accomplish, and if we focus on that, we miss the opportunity to celebrate what is in front of us. So right now, I am focusing on celebrating me.
So how can you celebrate yourself? You can celebrate yourself by recognizing the sheer volume of what you accomplished, no matter how big or how small. Maybe you never thought you would have gotten to this point in your life, celebrate that. Maybe you took a risk or you followed your dream when everyone told you to take the more cautious approach, celebrate that. Maybe you have worked for months and didn’t give up despite the naysayers and the doubters, celebrate that.
Start by recognizing what you have accomplished and take some time to really feel that accomplishment. If it makes you feel giddy inside, don’t hold back your excitement. If it makes you want to cry tears of joy or relief, let the tears flow. And once you have allowed yourself to feel that accomplishment, truly give yourself a pat on the back, take time to do something that you love that maybe you have neglected for some time. Tell people about your accomplishment, not because you need them to pat you on the back, but because you want to let everyone know how proud you are of yourself. Throw yourself a party, eat your favorite food, take a break and relax. Whatever it is that makes you feel good, do it, because you deserve it.
It isn’t a crime or bad to be proud of yourself and celebrate yourself. It isn’t cocky or conceited. It is simply doing for yourself what you so easily do for others, and you deserve recognition for all you have done. Too often, we wait for the cheering of others, but I have learned that some of the best cheering and validation comes from ourselves. Because if we can recognize how much we have accomplished in this world, then we can continue to move forward, bold, strong and powerful in our pursuits.
I am dedicated right now to celebrating me and all I have done, all the people I have helped. I am not putting a time limit on my celebration of me. I plan to dance in excitement, cry because I am so joyful, tell everyone about it, and be my own best cheerleader. I love the congratulations from others, but celebrating myself has been the sweetest gift. Because now I can look in the mirror and feel proud of who I have become, who I am and what I have done. And because I feel proud within of who I am, I know there is no task too big for me.
With positivity and faith in yourself, you are unstoppable. Stop and literally give yourself a pat on the back. You are doing an amazing job on this journey.