It’s so easy to overlook the little wins that we go through on a daily basis. We’re so caught up on the big stuff.
And I get it, you don’t feel like you should give yourself credit until you’ve hit your goal…but what about all the little moments that lead up to the big achievement?
Those little moments build character. And they’re just as important as the big stuff. Since learning to acknowledge these small successes, I’ve started to respect myself more.
And I’m hoping by the end of this article, you’ll feel pride and respect for yourself too.
So, here are 10 things you should start giving yourself credit for:
1) Everyday resilience
Life can be stressful and overwhelming.
A normal day can quickly turn bad – your car breaks down on the side of the road, you miss an important meeting at work, and your boss is pissed.
In instances like this, you could bury your head in the sand and give up.
But you don’t. You plow on through. You get your work done, your car fixed, and you make peace with your boss.
How many of these instances do you go through on a weekly basis? And how often do you acknowledge your resilience? My guess is not often enough!
Be proud of all the times you chose to rise above the everyday ups and downs. It’s this resilience-building on a small scale that helps you tackle the bigger setbacks in life.
2) The times you’ve been there for others
We show up and give our support because we care. Because that’s what it means to be a good human being.
And because of that, we don’t congratulate or give ourselves credit for being strong for others. We see it as something “normal” that everyone should do.
But this is a huge thing when you think about it deeply.
You’ve drawn enough strength to put your own issues to one side and support someone else in improving their life.
It’s time to start recognizing that. Just this morning, I heard a doctor say, “People call me a hero but I’m really not, I’m just doing my job.”
Yes, saving lives is his job, but that doesn’t stop him being a hero too.
3) The toxic relationships you’ve left behind
It took me years to recognize how much strength and willpower I needed to leave an abusive relationship.
In fact, it wasn’t until I saw the red flags in another potential relationship that I thought… “Hang on, I’ve seen this behavior before. And I worked so damn hard to get away from it, I’m not putting myself back into that situation!”
That’s when it hit me, how much I went through, and how I’m still here today to tell the tale.
How brave I was when I left. How determined I was to avoid letting this nasty experience stop me from finding love again.
All that deserves to be celebrated.
If you’ve also walked away from toxic relationships, be it toxic friends, cruel family members, or romantic partners, give yourself a pat on the back.
You’re much stronger than you give yourself credit for…and now is the time to start acknowledging it!
4) The relationships you’ve maintained
On the flip side, you should also be proud of the relationships that are still going strong in your life.
To maintain them, you’ve probably overcome things like:
- Fallouts – every relationship has its ups and downs, disagreements and misunderstandings
- Distance – old friends that move away yet you still keep in touch with them
- Changes in circumstances – friendships you’ve kept strong even when they’ve (or you’ve) got married, had kids and moved into a different phase of life
To keep a friendship, or any relationship, platonic or romantic, you’ve had to practice patience and understanding.
You’ve had to make an effort even when you’re tired or not in the mood.
That’s a real indication of the type of person you are and something that should be celebrated.
5) Your personal growth
Another thing you should start giving yourself credit for is how much you’ve grown as a person.
Think back to two years ago – how much have you changed? How much have you matured?
It’s great to focus on the road ahead, but we can learn so much about ourselves by looking back on how far we’ve come.
If anything, giving yourself credit for all your hard work will serve as motivation to keep going.
6) All the times you’ve set boundaries
As a result of your personal growth, you’ve probably learned how to set better boundaries.
And that’s awesome! Seriously, boundaries aren’t easy to master. They take a ton of willpower. You inevitably lose people along the way.
But on the plus side, by sticking to your guns, you’re proving how much self-respect and love you have.
Don’t overlook this.
Be proud of how you’re treating your body and mind right now. You never know, by appreciating the boundaries you’ve set in your life, you might inspire someone else to do the same.
7) The things you’ve tried and failed at
You might be thinking, why should I give myself a pat on the back for failing?
Well, it all depends on how you look at it. I say you should congratulate yourself on trying, regardless of whether it was a success or not.
You see, so many people stay safe in their little comfort zones.
They never really test themselves or see how far their potential stretches. They don’t fail because they never put themselves in a position to.
But not you.
You tried something new. You took an opportunity. Even if it didn’t work out, you’re still brave for putting yourself out there.
Isn’t that something to celebrate?
8) Your accomplishments
But of course, it’s not just your failures you should give yourself credit for, but your accomplishments too.
I think I’ve been incredibly fortunate in life. And often, people have told me, “Oh, you’re so lucky.”
I used to agree with them. But now I politely correct them to say, “Thanks! Actually, I’ve worked really hard for the life I have.”
You see, luck might play a part in things, but only you know how much blood, sweat, and tears you’ve invested in your career, house, relationship, and lifestyle.
Only you know the struggles you went through to achieve what you have now.
So don’t downplay your efforts. Take some time every now and then to look back on all you’ve achieved and allow yourself to feel good about it.
9) The times you’ve stuck to your values
Throughout my college and university days, there were plenty of times people, friends even, approached and asked if I wanted to try drugs. And I’m not talking marijuana, but much heavier stuff.
I don’t know why, but I just never fell for it. I look back now and realize I was staying true to my values without even realizing it.
And guess what – I’m so proud of my younger self for doing that.
So, think about the situations when you could have gone against your internal moral compass and done something just to please the crowd.
If you stayed strong, you should definitely give yourself credit for it.
10) Bad habits you’ve outgrown
And finally – what crap have you left behind? Smoking? Gossiping? Spending your entire paycheck on the first day?
No matter how small or insignificant it seems, every bad habit you’ve outgrown is something worth celebrating.
It all adds up to the person who you are today.
For example, my best friend reeled in his out-of-control drinking a few years ago. When I recently brought up how happy I was for him and that he’s like a changed person from when we were growing up, he tried to brush it off.
“It’s not a big deal…Everyone grows up eventually…I couldn’t have done it without your support…” Excuses and more excuses.
I firmly told him that yes, he had great support, but the bulk of the hard work was done by him. And he should never overlook that.
Because ultimately, when you give yourself credit for the things you’ve done in life, you remind yourself of how far you’ve come.
And I firmly believe this can be used as a catalyst.
The next time you think you can’t face something, remember all the times you tackled your fears head-on.
Think about all the times you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone and came out stronger on the other side.
Use this to keep moving forward into becoming the person you want to be.