If there is one thing you need to know about me it’s that I am very critical of myself. As a perfectionist, I try to do everything just right so that things will always result in a success. I’m sure you can imagine that this philosophy has failed me once or twice before because let’s be honest, life isn’t perfect. No matter how hard you try life will throw you curve balls, but instead of thinking of them as opportunities to fail, you should see them as opportunities to succeed through adversity.
It took being a leadership consultant for me to learn that sometimes it’s not always about the bigger wins but rather the little ones. I realized that not every situation I am faced with will always be a success. Sometimes situations will be out my control, sometimes there will be failures, and sometimes I will not get everything I want no matter how perfect I was along the way to get it. I learned that if there were failures along the way it did not mean I was not good at my job or that I did not do enough but rather that sometimes failures need to happen for there to be success.
So if you’re like me and are always hard on yourself, just think about these three things:
- Celebrate the little wins: Maybe your chapter didn’t win the grand prize, but you placed. Celebrate that success and work on how you can get to the top next time. Maybe you didn’t get that big job, but you were selected to the final round – celebrate that! If we don’t take the time to reflect on our achievements then we will never know our strengths. Little wins are just as important as big ones, so give yourself some credit.
- Everything happens for a reason: I know this is cliché but you know it’s true. Life has a funny way of playing out and sometimes the things you think you want or deserve are not actually the right things. I can name countless times that I have wanted something so bad and thanks to the fact that I did not get it, I was able to receive even greater opportunities.
- Your failures do not define you: This took me a while to accept and understand, because I always felt that my failures would define me more than my successes. Here is a quote from one of my greatest role models, NFL Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi, “The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall.” I quickly learned that surviving through adversity speaks a lot more to your character.
So hopefully this helps you remember not to be so hard on yourself and to celebrate those little wins!