Calling all busy people – stop, celebrate and build resilience

As we near the end of the financial year, it is customary to plan to celebrate the last financial year with colleagues, and for good reason. Celebrations enable you to take stock, acknowledge your contribution and it provides you with hope for the future. It shows appreciation and provides an opportunity for connection. If you thrive on busyness and struggle to stop to celebrate your own wins or your team’s wins, you’re missing out on a key resilience building activity.


Resilience is necessary for success. Resilience is your ability to recover in the face of failure and keep going and celebrations of progress are important contributors to the building blocks of resilience.


How celebrations contribute to resilience


1. Celebrations signal a completion. Completions provide you with an opportunity to close off an experience. It provides you with the opportunity to own your part in it and it provides closure. Without it, it makes harnessing forward momentum is hard.


2. Opportunity for Review. Celebrations enable you to review and decide to keep what is working, make changes where you need to and to discard what is not working. It helps you to build a catalogue of positive experiences and reminds you of your abilities which are often forgotten when negative thoughts arise. Grounded positivity is needed to counteract negative thoughts when they arise, and they contribute to your willingness to persevere and try other strategies to achieve success.


3. Opportunity to learn. Celebrations helps to highlight the positives and identify what has been learned or achieved, even when it feels like not much has been.

If you never learn from your mistakes, then facing the same challenge over and over is just an exercise in futility. Acknowledging your mistakes enable you to consider what you can do better next time to avoid them. Pretending you did everything right when you didn’t will never lead to success.


Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
Albert Einstein


4. Opportunity to be proud. Celebrations provide you with opportunities to be proud of your achievements, and where you focus, tends to expand. In the absence of a celebration, you provide opportunities for self-doubt to expand.

If you aren’t confident in yourself, then you will be your own greatest obstacle and celebrating successes no matter how small will be beneficial to you. If resilience is the ability to get back up after being knocked down, then confidence is key in finding the strength to face a challenge again and again.


5. Emotional nourishment. Celebrations provide emotional nourishment particularly if you are in the habit of harshly judging yourself and others. Over time the absence of emotional nourishment will lead to burnout as emotions are your source of energy, especially as you age. It is easy to think emotions don’t have a place at work and to stay focused on tasks minus emotions. But emotions absolutely do. Without an emotional connection to your work, you are making your tasks harder and more challenging. Staying positive and emotionally connected will help you to keep moving forward.


6. Spotlight skills. Celebrations are opportunities to showcase what you do well and receive feedback. If you fear feedback then it will be hard to gauge whether you are successful and how you can improve, if that is what you’d like to do.


Resilience is a skill that, with practice, can be strengthened over time and celebrations are one of those ways.


Celebration reflection

So, what do you take time out to celebrate at work? Do you celebrate at all or are you regularly looking for ways to celebrate? Perhaps it’s easier for you to celebrate outside of work? And why might that be, I wonder?


Think of the last five celebrations you had at work? What were they for and what did they have in common? How were they different?


What is a celebration?

Celebrations come in all shapes and sizes, and when it comes to celebrating, you can be as creative as you want to be. Your celebration can be a big gathering or a gathering of one. It can be a moment in time, where people clap or offer a symbolic gesture. A friend, who is a pediatrician, shared with me how her office celebrates tough stuff with a fist pump to their heart, directed at a colleague. This action says more than words can express, and it was particularly moving for her to receive from a colleague after having a consult with a family where she had to deliver unwanted news about a diagnosis.


You can set up a celebratory expectation ahead of time e.g., if I achieve this outcome, then I’ll celebrate this way; or you can be more spontaneous with it. You can spend as much as you choose, including absolutely nothing at all. There are so many ways to recognize, appreciate and celebrate your achievements. Start doing it now, while you have the chance.


If you are struggling to get into the spirit of celebrating, it could be an indication of the relationship you have with yourself. If you want to improve the relationship you have with yourself, then book in a confidential call with me and we can explore how you can start to acknowledge your achievements and showcase them in a non-big-noting way.   



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