No matter the season, we all have a tendency to go from one daily task or responsibility to another, checking off our lists and plowing through each week. But autumn, in particular, presents added reasons to shift into high gear. End-of-year business goals are looming, as are a stream of holidays and social demands, all of which require organization and planning.
And to that I say, whoa there friends, not so fast! Don’t get me wrong, I love this time of year, but it’s important to stop, take a breath, and reflect. To the Vida Aventura team, that means seriously celebrating and recognizing accomplishments.
Give Yourself Serious Props
In addition to a continued self-care practice, it’s important to stop and reflect on the past three months and acknowledge all your personal and professional accomplishments. This can help with being a more self-aware leader. Warning … it might sound easier said than done.
I regularly ask clients to describe three of their most recent significant accomplishments. Typically what I find is that, while some may reference surviving a divorce, running a marathon, or something related to their kids, nine times out of 10 they just look at me with a blank stare, as if to say, “What are you even talking about?”
It’s no wonder so many of us need improvement in acknowledging others for their contributions, because we often don’t acknowledge ourselves. I encourage you to sit down with pen and paper (or your electronic device, of course), list and describe at least three things you’ve accomplished this past summer. This is no time to be humble – include all the wonderful details.
Explore Personal Journey Mapping
Now, let’s take it a step further and do some personal journey mapping. You might be familiar with customer journey mapping – which is a common tool for developing strategies, marketing plans and goal-setting.
Personal journey mapping involves looking at a specific period of time and mapping things like professional and personal events, challenges and milestones.
I recently facilitated journey mapping with a corporate team, and then separately with a few individual team members. They were collectively feeling stressed and bummed out, struggling with confidence, and dealing with tremendous change; one of their well-loved and high-performing colleagues – who was part of “the glue” that held them together – left the team due to a significant promotion.
We identified all the projects they’d accomplished together, and then started mapping out a timeline of what they individually contributed to meet team goals. We also included all the challenges and difficulties they had faced. Through this process, they were able to recognize the significant amount of obstacles they’d weathered together, and realize that yes, they were rockin’ it and were going to get through this difficult time.
My challenge to you is to take that list of your three accomplishments and map out a timeline. Include the challenges you faced leading up to or in between them, and add in more milestones and achievements – no matter how small. Did you land a new account at work? Did you successfully navigate a difficult conversation with a colleague, a teenager, a friend? Start filling in all the blanks for the last three months, and I’m pretty sure you’re going to be surprised at just how awesome you really are.
It’s Time to Celebrate!
One of my mottos is to celebrate everything often. So, now that you can visualize just how much you’ve accomplished this summer, it’s time to celebrate. It doesn’t matter how big or small the cause for celebration is, as long as you honor and recognize them. Whether it’s with a simple toast before dinner, treating yourself to a special evening out, or organizing a celebration with your colleagues, make it official!
Look, we’ve all been through a lot over these past couple of years. We are all swimming in a vat full of emotions, and it’s easy to get caught up in the negative and forget that we’ve come a long way. It’s so important to pause and celebrate even the smallest of victories along the way.
Interested in Journey Mapping and Leadership Development?
Journey mapping is only one of dozens of effective tools in team development and training. If you would like to find out more about how you or your teams can thrive in the midst of challenges, contact us – we’re ready to help.
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