When Did You Last Celebrate Your Wins?

A man dancing to celebrate his wins

Do you remember the “You deserve a break today” ad campaign? While it may have been a marketing message designed to sell a candy bar, there’s truth to it.

The reality is that many people are hard on themselves, and rarely give themselves credit. How often have you heard someone downplay their skills with a shrug or an “anyone could do it?”

Maybe you’ve been that person.

Yet, psychologists say that taking a moment to recognize even small “wins” gives us a much-needed psychological “bump.”

Whether it’s landing a new assignment, getting great feedback on a project, or even pulling together a delicious dinner from pantry staples, it’s all worth a pat on the back.

It turns out, acknowledging yourself releases a tiny amount of dopamine. Dopamine, of course, is the brain’s “feel-good” chemical. And when you feel good, those positive feelings spill over into every aspect of your life.

You may find you have more patience. Feel more contented. Recognize that you’re making progress toward your goals.

Plus, those little dopamine releases build on one another and keep you motivated.

In the book, The Progress Principle, authors Theresa Amabile and Steven Kramer had 238 people answer a series of questions every day through the length of the study. What they found was the people who documented their progress reported feeling happier and motivated.

Even if your “wins” seem small, it’s enough to celebrate. As Lao Tzu said, “Every journey starts with a single step.”

Let’s celebrate all the wins!

Wondering What to Celebrate?

Societal expectations lead us to celebrate milestone events like a graduation or a new baby. It doesn’t train us to celebrate the fact that we mastered the tagging feature on WordPress or wrote 1,000 words today.

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Jen Phillips April

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