Fall has arrived, and here on the East Coast, the temperature ticks down pretty quickly. I’ve caught myself saying a few times, “that fall feeling is in the air.” (I LOVE it, fall is my fa-vor-ite!) Of course, it’s got me thinking ahead to the holidays, the months of gratitude and giving. But often I find those periods of time to be focused on giving and appreciating others, and I’m wondering, “When is the right time to turn inward and reflect?” It feels like there isn’t a lot of time to take stock. November and Thanksgiving will soon roll around, and we will force ourselves into full-on giving mode.
I’m not complaining, I love giving, and I love giving thanks! I’m just making a case for starting right now, with a focus on ourselves. So, what do you say we pause right now, and take a moment for self-appreciation? “Don’t have time,” you say? “Are you joking, Shoshanna?” I get it. We’re well into the September swing of things, and the pace is certainly speedy, isn’t it? I definitely feel it, and my clients are very much in go-go-go, do-do-do mode.
But here’s the thing that pretty constantly gets completely over-looked: Appreciating yourself, exactly as you are, right now. The September Sprint, with our hit-the-ground-running energy, certainly doesn’t encourage it. I’m advocating for a pause on this front, and right now.
Listen, if I had a nickel for all the ways — after summer has come and gone, year in, year out — people have told me they couldn’t believe how fast the summer went, and what happened to all the downtime, the rest, and the relaxation they meant to have and didn’t . . .well, I’d have a big pile of nickels. There really isn’t a natural break in our schedules, no time off from the pace and the doing, not without being incredibly intentional about it. Which is what I’m offering you now.
One of my favorite homework assignments is to give clients is to develop an Accomplishment Inventory. Generally, it’s difficult for my clients to internalize their accomplishments, it’s so much easier to focus on even tiny pieces of criticism. This keeps us in a cycle of craving more and more external praise and compliments in order to feel confident, worthy and uplifted.
Not sustainable. And frankly, not helpful.
Being able to provide yourself with your own confidence boost is necessary in order to manage even the most basic and normal rises and falls of life. The Accomplishment Inventory is a great way for you to help yourself get rooted in your wins. It’s simple to do:
- Make a running list of all your accomplishments. Old and new, these are compliments received, accolades, praise, awards, the many (I’m super confident there are many!) ways both big and teensy tiny you have felt uplifted. All the wins. It does not need to be strictly professional.
- Add to this list often. Every single time you receive a boost, something that feels like you’re adding something to the “W” (win) column. Add, add, add. This is meant to be a living document.
- Refer to this Inventory regularly. Make a date with yourself to review this and revel in your awesomeness. I suggest weekly to begin. Take five minutes to appreciate, thank, and respect yourself. This matters.