Things we celebrate: winning the game, getting the promotion, making the sale, ranking #1, ranking in the top 10, the achievement.
We hail the heroes that win the championship. In fact, we give them extra awards like MVP. Only once in the NBA Finals, the Super Bowl and in the World Series did the MVP come from the losing team. And it hasn’t happened in over 50 years.
It makes logical sense to celebrate the wins. Usually the thing we want is to win, get the award, hit the goal. We celebrate the achievement.
More specifically, we celebrate the results. The caveat is that we only celebrate the results we like.
Honestly, we should celebrate the wins. It feels good to win. We wanted to win, so celebrating that is great.
It’s not the only thing to celebrate. And it’s not the most important.
Actions are more important to celebrate than the win.
Results are the culmination of your prior action. Did you hit your goal? It was because you took enough of the right actions enough times. We’ll celebrate the goal achievement, yet rarely pat ourselves on the back for doing the work it took to get there.
The problem with the lack of celebrating the actions is that we become too fixated on the result. When we get too fixated on the result, it leads to mental anguish. Anxiety, worry are common when we focus too much on the result.
If the gap feels too far from our goal or we don’t think we’ll hit it, we can start to have self-doubt issues. You can see how this spiral can happen. Maybe it’s happened to you.
I was coaching a business owner who is crushing it from the outside. Their sales were the highest in the market. They even just landed some trophy sales that not only create some financial windfall but are also head-turning. However, their big goals are around creating scale and elevating themselves from a “salesperson” to a “leader.” We came on a call in the midst of this success and they dejectedly said to me “I’m just not a great leader.”
They are in the process of hiring & training staff, putting systems in place, training their team – all the while, leading clients to make buying & selling decisions. Truth is, they ARE a great leader, they are moving toward the goal yet are not yet there.
With the emphasis on the result, they felt dejected and ready to give in. In a word: unmotivated. When we rewound the tape to look at their actions, they are doing the right things and actually have mini-wins that they were not noticing. The result of that little shift and celebration, reenergized them to keep going, and more resources to see the changes to make.
Celebrating our actions ensures that we maintain our focus on what we have control over. We control what we think, feel and ultimately do. The reality is that we are not in control of our results. We influence our results through our actions, yet do not have full control.
Another client I coach recently shared that she’s climbed to the top of her office rankings. Of course, we took a moment to celebrate the achievement. After all, that’s a great accomplishment!
I then asked them if they were happy with the numbers the team posted to earn the ranking. They said “yes.” I asked if they would be any less enthusiastic about their success had the business they tied with had one more sale and beat them out. They would have been less enthusiastic about being 2nd. By focusing only on the result, we run the risk of not giving ourselves the credit we deserve.
I asked my client if they were proud of the effort they gave in achieving their top spot. It was an emphatic “YES.” They are proud that they led from a place of value, met the challenges with perspective & proactivity and are finding more happiness & fulfillment. “Then why would you feel any different if that one client that was on the fence decided not to move forward instead of buying?”
Sometimes, our inability to celebrate ourselves in the moment stems from not believing we deserve the celebration. It comes from a place of lack. That lacking feeling can sabotage your ability to get your goal in the first place. You’re more reluctant to go for it.
By celebrating the actions you take, it helps to rewire your mind. The celebration tells us that we are deserving of it. That is a belief that will carry you toward those results.
Celebrating your actions also keeps your focus on taking your best actions. When you plan to celebrate the action, you’re more likely to do the best thing for your goals.
That is the key! Wanting to take the best actions will give you the best chance to get the results that you want. You’re more resilient when the results don’t go your way; or when you lose the game. You come back better than ever!
And now, I’m celebrating me for completing this article.