I'm betting you do a lot and that you've accomplished more than you're giving yourself credit for. Social media creates mass imposter syndrome. We are set up to constantly compare ourselves to unrealistic expectations and unreal facades in nearly every area of our lives.
I know so many working moms who overlook their daily wins. I see survivors overlooking their recovery by focusing on catching up. I see ambitious entrepreneurs so motivated by their next goal, they've hardly taken a moment to acknowledge the powerhouse moves they just accomplished. I see students who are so overwhelmed by landing a job, they don't acknowledge the work it took just to reach the search.
I'm so guilty of this. Are you?
It's not your fault. Our fast paced, forward facing culture permeates our subconscious and tunes our egos to look for big shiny wins. It takes conscious effort to counteract it, to slow down and to savor each daily win. Even small consistencies are worth honoring, especially amidst a global pandemic, rapid social and ecological disaster.
Most of us make to-do lists and even to get lists regularly. Why don't we make "wins" lists or 'I am' lists or to-be lists?
If you're feeling lost in the sauce of overwhelm or comparison, I recommend you do exactly that. Listing out your accomplishments, your positive qualities or even just affirming traits you'd like to embody more can be a surprisingly powerful writing exercise. These lists can attune your subconscious to look for opportunities to be, become, and act in ways that align with your values rather than frenetic fear.
Do it. Bust out your journal right now.
Make a "wins" list and watch as it shifts you back into confidence and belief that you're doing amazing things. Take ten minutes to list out all of your accomplishments.
Start big: degrees, moves, career changes, raising children, etc. Those observable events that others would likely applaud are easy wins to acknowledge, even if you feel you only have a few. Give yourself some credit for all of those hard earned wins.
Now, keep going with less obvious acts of courage or consistency: being a great friend, committing to therapy, reading regularly, exercising consistently, creating a budget, meal planning... Maybe initially these things don't wow you, but these are wins. Honor them.
Now go deeper. Internal shifts and realizations are wins. Recognizing limiting beliefs, even before making external changes is how generational wounding begins to shift. Functioning through depression or anxiety? Healing from trauma? Recognizing unhelpful patterns? Wins. Write them down and honor the hell out of yourself for having the courage to do the work in the first place.
If you get real into stuff like this, like I do, you can divide your page into three columns: Big Wins, Daily Wins, Inner Wins.
Whenever you're feeling stuck in fear or scarcity, come back to this list. Add to it. Let it be proof of your success and the compound effect of small daily wins in designing the life and self that you dream of. Shoot, hang it somewhere you can see it everyday as fuel for tolerating the inevitable gestation of growth and the slow days that accompany them.
We can't be superhuman all day every day, but we're more likely to accomplish powerful things over time when we champion ourselves the way we would our best friend or our children. Our inner children need to be seen, heard, and appreciated for their effort. (Yes, I'm a proponent of participation ribbons when the participation takes solution seeking in the first place.)
Inspired by the growing realization that I'm not strong at owning or sharing my wins coupled with gratitude for a community of powerhouse women who make a habit of supporting and sharing more than their challenges... I'm writing for both of us.
Own your wins and today, let today's win be showing up for yourself with courage and compassion for ten minutes of reflection to fuel your continued evolution.