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Why was today a good day?

As a young professional at the start of your career, you often focus on the things you don’t know. The level of expertise you don’t have yet. Or the projects you aren’t enrolled in already. This focus can be a driver to improve yourself and grow.

But. If you only listen to the negative voice in your head, it works demotivating. Too often we forget to celebrate our successes. There are successes everywhere on a daily basis. Big and small. Even if you are just starting and very aware of the things you don’t know.

In a training about personal leadership I asked a group of young professionals to write down two recent success moments. A lot of them said: success is too big a word. I don’t see my efforts as a success. I just do them. They had a hard time thinking about success moments. Moments that they contributed and added value. It took some time to come up with examples.

I can relate to that. For me, it was hard to celebrate success as well. When something went well, I always dedicated that to external factors. But almost never my own contribution to it. And the one comment that was negative, I took on. ‘That’s not fair,’ said my coach to me when we talked about it. ‘All the criticism goes to you. And you never deserve a bit of success.’ That was a good point.

Celebrating the smallest success moments is absolutely more motivating than fueling yourself with critique. When you note your successes, you feel more confident and calm. So I write down my successes way more often now.

Today was a good day. I felt tired. I wasn’t at my normal speed. But it was a success because I didn’t beat myself up about it. I accepted that today was a day with 60% energy instead of 100%. I didn’t give up, took a few more breaks and went on with the things I had to do. And at the end of the day I felt satisfied with what I had done.

So, why was your day a good day?

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