In the book “Finish”, the author speaks about sometimes “sucking” at one thing so that you can be excelling at another current goal or priority. Lately I have been sucking at my side hustle work, sucking at eating well, sucking at resting. Yet I’ve been doing an excellent job at keeping my home in order, ensuring my family is fed and clothed, and that they are able to come back to a space that is orderly and ready for them. I’m sure there will come a time when the script will flip and the opposite may be true.
But these “everyday” things are often not met with outside validation, likes, or heart emojis. Because of this, somehow they feel like lesser accomplishments when the intention, commitment, dedication and energy put towards them is arguably the same as if I were launching a new program or opening registration for a new training session, or working on a new project.
My Lightyear Leadership teacher, Susanne Conrad, has a practice of writing down a few things every night that no one else would acknowledge or thank her for, but that deserved some recognition. She thanks herself and pats herself on the back for these things. Because truly, the outside validation is fleeting and fickle. Sure, it's easier to measure and it feels good when it happens, but the deep knowing of one’s own self, and the ability to self-validate are far more impactful, and encourage far greater achievements (noticeable or not) than any outside recognition could yield.
I’m still testing this theory and learning to give self high-fives when I do something I am proud of - large or small. It takes practice to acknowledge and appreciate yourself. And it’s a skill I hope to master in this life.
At the MAVEN retreat I hosted last spring, I asked participants to write themselves a thank-you letter. For a group of women, many of whom were new moms, this was a very potent exercise. The point of this thank-you note is to acknowledge yourself and recognize all that you do, and give language and life to it. As a woman and a new mom myself, I feel like there are a lot of silent expectations on us. We are often the default for picking up the slack for our family responsibilities. We do a lot that may go unnoticed, or feel under-appreciated, so to toot our own damn horn for these things goes a long way in building gratitude for our own capabilities.
Perhaps there is something you do daily that goes unnoticed, but deserves some kudos. Or maybe you did a kind gesture for someone. Whatever it is, I encourage you to take the time this week to write yourself a thank you letter of your own. No edits, just free flow. Don't overthink it, just write. And notice what comes up. After all, everyday things can be done with excellence too.