It is easy to lose sight of what is actually going on. When we are busy working on a big project, when there is a major turn in our career path or when things in our personal life change. We just function, get things done and try to push ourselves. Rarely do we take a minute and see what we have actually accomplished.
I am guilty of this too. Over the past weeks and months, I have been working on multiple projects, I am also in a programme at university and also in my private life, there are quite some new things coming up. Add a pandemic on top of it and it is the perfect situation for shortsightedness. Looking back at 2020, I mostly worked and studied. This was basically the only thing I could do, with the exception of some small trips with my family. I was stuck in Austria and I thought I rather use the time than look back and see it as a complete waste.
I push myself really hard. When I have to hand in a paper, I want it to be perfect. I do not want the person having to grade it to think it is pathetic. When I work on Pelagona or on this website, I aim high. I want everything to look perfect and resonate with my readers and customers. In general, this attitude is a great asset. But the problem with it is that I sometimes set the bars so high that it is completely unrealistic to reach them in the time span I have set. I then overlook the small successes along the road and do not really see what I have achieved.
One example: I run a campaign for my business and achieve great results – views, clicks and sales. You can bet that when I look at the numbers, I immediately think: “Well, that’s OK, but you should have done better.” In 2020, I overcame major supply chain disruptions for Pelagona. Nevertheless, I exceeded all of my goals. Did I pat myself on the back? Of course not, I was busy telling myself I could have done even better.
Pushing myself to give the best, unfortunately, has also resulted in beating myself up in my head numerous times. I do not see what I have achieved and which challenges I have overcome. And it is not a surprise that a negative mindset is nothing you need as an entrepreneur. I have been aware of this for quite some time. But only last week did I actually sit down and write down small milestones which I have achieved. I started with three things which immediately came to my mind and soon, I was writing down more and more. After that exercise I looked at a very long list. I had forgotten about many of these milestones, because once I solved them, I was busy with day-to-day business. Therefore, I never really celebrated them.
I do not think it is necessary to celebrate every single milestones. But taking time and assessing what we have achieved and acknowledging it is important. It is crucial because it shows what we are able to do. I take many of my abilities and skills which I acquired over years for granted. But I should not. I should tell myself that I have come far and this will help me go even further.
Today, I will be rewarding myself with a nice dinner at the terrace, enjoying the late summer evening and watching the sun go down. Maybe I should make these dinners more regular – once a month to celebrate the past month’s milestones? Let’s see what I will come up with.
For now, I would like to remind you to do the same. Do not forget to celebrate your own milestones. You have come really far – because you worked hard, you earned it and you believe in yourself. The latter is the most important: Do not give up believing that you can. And a regular list of milestones will make it even more evident.