We’re such a goal-oriented culture. People get a thrill from achieving their goals – but are all too quickly straight onto the NEXT thing. As coaches we help people set goals – but part of our job is also to help people take stock and celebrate their achievements. And the crossover into a new year is a great place to help your client pause and celebrate their success – what they’ve achieved.
Why is it so important to celebrate success and applaud the hard work we’ve put in to achieve our goals and dreams? Well, it’s inspiring of course! And it helps us take ourselves more seriously and develop confidence and healthy pride – as well as give us proof that we are learning, growing and succeeding in life, even when our inner critics might be telling us otherwise.
Ben Renshaw in his mini-book, “The Secrets of Happiness” says that, “On average by the age of eighteen we will have been praised and encouraged 30,000 times – and most of this … by the time we are three. By contrast we will have been criticised and discouraged over 250,000 times.” It’s no wonder we’re so focused on what goes wrong!
As coaches we can help undo this trend – by taking the time to celebrate success with our clients. And as part of this process it’s also key that we help our clients redefine and reconsider what’s WORTH celebrating! Let’s expand from the ‘traditional’ successes like getting a pay-rise or running a marathon to include ANYthing they are proud of. If it has significance to them, it should be included.
“Celebrate what you want to see more of.” Thomas J. Peters
Here are 3 types of successes people rarely stop to recognize:
- Concrete steps taken towards larger goals (we’re often so focused on the end-goal, we don’t recognize the essential smaller achievements we’re making on the way there).
- Successes of PERSONAL value, but not necessarily recognized by others. These are things that a wider society might not applaud us for, but are nevertheless important to us – unique achievements of ANY size that are significant to us. (I learned to cook meringues this year. I love meringues and have always been afraid I won’t be able to do them. Well, not only did I learn how to make them, but I’ve made myself popular at dinner parties too!)
- Our failures AND mistakes. Overcoming failures and mistakes MUST be celebrated. If we have failed – it is because we risked and it is only by risking that we can make changes in our lives. When we reject our mistakes and failures we also reject a part of ourselves. (I launched “Bite-Sized Life Coaching” this year, realising afterwards that I really wanted an owl in the branding AND that I preferred the name “Life Coach on the Go”. I completely rebranded and relaunched the same website, just 2 months later. It would have been much better to launch the website later the way I really wanted it than do it twice… All because I had ignored the niggling voice. But I am also proud of myself that I had the courage, determination and self-belief to relaunch!)
Coaching Tip: Why not create a session to help your client celebrate their success – and honour themselves?
Ask your clients to make a list of everything they’ve achieved this year using these questions to help you:
- “What were your biggest achievements this year?”
- “What are you most proud of?”
- “What have you achieved that has surprised you?”
- “What ‘smaller’, less obvious things are you proud of achieving this year?”
- “What steps have you made towards larger goals, that you need to acknowledge yourself for?”
- “What did you fail at or make a mistake on that needs recognizing? What did you learn and what are you proud of in how you handled it?”
- Finally ask, “What will you do to celebrate, recognize and acknowledge your achievements?”
Tip: Use the 4 Ws. What, When, Where and Who you would like to celebrate with?
Suggestion: You can do this with them as an exercise, or discuss the concept and give it as homework.
How to Celebrate Success:
Do make sure that once they’ve done the list they actually celebrate their success. It could be a personal ritual, a dinner out with someone special, a hike up a mountain, buying themselves something special, a massage, a group event. So help them brainstorm celebration ideas and rituals and then commit to one. The more significance it has for them, the more uplifting and memorable it will be!
“People of our time are losing the power of celebration. Instead of celebrating we seek to be amused or entertained. Celebration is an active state, an act of expressing reverence or appreciation. To be entertained is a passive state – it is to receive pleasure afforded by an amusing act or a spectacle… Celebration is a confrontation, giving attention to the transcendent meaning of one’s actions.” Abraham Joshua Heschel
If you liked this article about how to celebrate success, you may also like:
- 10 Essential Questions to Help Your Client Identify Their Strengths!
- One Powerful Way to Wrap up a Coaching Session…
Like this post? Click LIKE or Share below!