I have been noticing a trend on my friends’ pages and posts lately. I’m not sure if it’s because I have been more aware of this in my own life, or if it’s a bigger deal than usual for people. It doesn’t seem to be topic specific, I’ve watched this in action in many arenas. What is it? I’m not sure what the name would be… Maybe “I’m losing” …discouragement and self-criticism are big parts of it.
Does this sound familiar to any of you?
I didn’t go to the gym as much as I wanted to.
I didn’t write as many blog posts as I said I would.
I only worked on that project for 2 hours instead of 8.
I ate ____ that I shouldn’t have.
What always seems to follow is a general sense of and therefore, I am a terrible person. Or maybe it makes me a horrible writer/builder/exerciser/whatever. And then there’s the: why don’t I just give up now, I’m never going to get this. And again, the permutations of that are never ending tessellation’s of defeat. I’m losing. I’m a loser.
I don’t know about you. But, I am not so fond of living in that space. And, I’m refusing to do so any more.
A couple weeks ago, I was watching Bethel TV. Abi Stumvoll was speaking. She is such a joy and an encouragement. Out of the many wonderful things that she was saying, there was one thing that stuck with me. I’ve tried it, and it seems to be working very well.
She celebrates all of her victories. All of her successes. Even the small ones. She said that when ever she did something that she wanted to do, as opposed to not doing it, she was winning. So, if I go for a walk, I’m winning! If I only go twice this week, I’m winning! It’s more than I would have done if I hadn’t gone. (In actuality, I went four times this week, if I’m remembering right. This week felt like it was about 3 days long, so I’m not sure of anything at this point!)
Abi said that success was motivating, and I’m finding that to be true. I mean, seriously, does castigating yourself ever make you want to do better next time? It just makes me want to crawl into a hole and hide. Because why should I bother? I’m losing…
So, what does this look like for me?
I can get upset with myself because I didn’t finish any paintings this week, or that I didn’t paint for 2 days. Or, I can rejoice that I was in the studio for one day this week, and I made good progress on a few pieces. I’m winning!!!
I can get overwhelmed and discouraged that there is so much to do around my house and I didn’t complete any of those projects this week. Or, I can rejoice that I unpacked 6, no 7! boxes of dishes and have them washed. I’m winning! And, I cleaned out the closet so it’s ready for demolition. I’m winning!
You will notice that I did not say that I haven’t put the dishes away yet, or that I have the other closet to clean out, both of which are true. What I haven’t done, isn’t the point. The point is I have done something towards my goals. I’m winning!
And, as I rejoice in the small accomplishments, do you know what happens? They become bigger ones. I begin to look for the small steps that I can do, and do them, instead of getting discouraged. An example of that is Instagram and Twitter. I’ve had the accounts for quite a while, because a marketing blog recommended at least locking in your user names so they can be the same, or as close as possible, across platforms to make it easy for people to find you. So, I opened the accounts, but that was it. It just seemed so overwhelming to figure it all out. I know you veterans are laughing at me! It’s okay, I’m laughing at myself a bit as well. But, because I had been celebrating the small victories, I was prepared to celebrate the fact that I just looked into how to post something on Instagram. Once I did that, I discovered that it wasn’t as difficult as it seemed, so I’ve posted 6 photos! I’m winning! Then, I investigated #hashtags (although I must confess, I’m #notafan, #findthemirritating, #whatever). I tried to use a few. I’m winning! I cross posted to twitter. I’m winning! Do you see how fun this is?!
So, where are you winning? I would love to see and hear all of your wins! Comment here, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, everywhere! And I will rejoice to say: #YoureWinning!!!!!