Here’s an entry from A Year of Daily Joy (my new guided journal that comes out December 30th). I thought I’d share my response with you. It’s a peek into my journal (with minor edits for spelling and a few details for clarification).
The prompt is Faith in Your Gifts.
Create a list of your most overlooked or downplayed accomplishments. You may need to ask family and friends. Self-acknowledgement leads to greater confidence but only if you take the time to lovingly witness your own story. Write your song of praise.
My Journal entry:
First thought upon reading that prompt? Everybody will skip it in the book because nobody feels comfortable writing about their accomplishments. Stupid entry. Oh, stop being mean to yourself, Jen. You wrote it because you know from reading all that stuff about changing your habits that celebration is super important if you want to actually change anything – being mean to yourself is not helpful. But remember in the Life Navigation course how you would ask everybody to share a win at the end of the Monday calls and at first it was just crickets? But it got better. People really, really got a lot out of that.
So what are my overlooked and downplayed accomplishments – how about for 2014? That gives it a little focus. The women I admire, they are comfortable claiming what they are good at. There is something important in that… How can I trust myself and my work and my voice if I don’t own what I do well? Okay here goes:
- I’m friendly to strangers. I’m the most welcoming person on a plane, check-out line, elevator. Oh, how I love to make people feel welcomed.
- Becoming a better writer. I’m working at my craft like never before. That’s cool.
- Praising people and acknowledging what they do well. I think the best of people.
- I’m a great supporter of my friends in the world. I love sharing what they do.
- I’ve done a ton of work this year forgiving my mom and loving her as is. That’s huge.
- I’ve written more this year (on the new book) than I have in years.
- Speaking of sticking with it, I’m friggin proud of myself for developing compassionate grit: staying with the hard stuff and not folding because it’s hard or not working. Growth mindset baby!! I really applaud that!
- I’m being more generous, giving more money away to good causes. It’s scary because I get that fear in the pit of my stomach and that story starts booming, “Who do you think you are? You think you are going to keep making enough? You better keep it in the friggin bank!” Wow, that fear feels very similar to this fear of seeing what I’m good at… interesting..
- Hey, that leads me to another thing I am proud of myself for this year which is getting away from the story that success means making more money. I started defining for myself what is enough and earning that, and giving the rest away. I never saw how much the internet bull of “Make six figures = success” was influencing me. Or just the culture’s story of more more more.
- I did a little better making friends with people this year, and dissolving my ancient story that nobody likes me. That makes me grin. Even when that woman so clearly gave me the cold shoulder.
- Also, I did less comparing myself to others. That was hard a couple of times this year when close friends had some amazing things happen for them, but I kept letting go and being grateful for them. That feels very, very good.
- I stayed very determined with my health stuff and (fingers crossed!!!) I made real progress. I’m in way less pain and my energy is so much better. That is something to really crow about. Cock-a-doodle-do. Seriously proud of myself. Determined!!
- I enjoyed our honeymoon instead of worrying about being away from work. I got better at trusting and savoring. That makes me cry. It’s all I want: to be here for this life, and I’m being here! I’m doing it!
- I moved more into my own voice on this blog – not sure how that happened; feels like it has something to do with aging and trusting myself, and not thinking I need answers. That I’m supposed to have answers.
- I have a little team now and we are actually planning stuff months in advance. That is giant!
- My meditation practice feels a bit deeper and I’ve been more consistent.
- I was way less drama queen and much more resilient.
- Overall, way better concentration and work flow – using my own tools!!!! Way more compassionate grit. Way more fun? Getting there.
You know, writing this feels really, really good. I notice, too, that my critical self keeps wanting to come in and point out what I didn’t accomplish, or to make a caveat, or mention what needs to happen next, or point out the weight I’ve gained since the summer. I’m proud of myself for telling them, “Later. You can make suggestions later. Right now we are noticing the good.”
I grew so much this year. I am moved by my hard work and my open heart. I am so proud of myself.
Notes on writing this:
It was hard at first, and then got easier, and finally, pretty emotional. I noticed how I wanted to shy away from fully claiming my accomplishments, that it made me nervous. Keeping my hand moving helped as did making it about 2014 – that gave me a good focus. I noticed when I finished, I felt energized and also worried. Would something bad happen now that I had “bragged”? I had to breath and reassure myself it’s okay to notice the good. Remind myself “that nothing can eat me.”
Would you be willing to share a few highlights of what you write in response to this post with your world? Imagine if we started a little wave of self-praise and self-benediction? What a nice way to celebrate the holidays. If you wish, link back to this post or this book page. That would be so cool!
Most of all, let me thank you for being with me here, and in my courses, for reading my books, for attending my retreats. I cherish your time and your willingness to grow and be a leader for change in this world that needs you so very much. I so look forward to what we will create together in 2015!!