How do you celebrate done a job done well? Pint down the pub? New pair of shoes or absolutely nada? Here’s an exercise for you.
I was queen of blamming through my life, planning, working and beavering away on the next thing, whilst completing the project I was originally working on. This worked for me over the past 25 years, travelling up the greasy pole becoming a sustainable self-employed artist - or did it?
Do you, do we EVER take time out to really look at our achievements? I know I didn’t.
I read somewhere years ago that if we get a qualification, a foundation certificate in manicures, a degree in the arts, a scholarship in basket-weaving, or perhaps a letter from a super-happy client, we should frame it and have it sitting proud on our studio walls.
We are allowed to be proud of that thing we did a good job of. Proud? Hmmm
For me being proud enough to put my qualifications on my studio wall, is akin to being self-congratulatory, all sorts of uncomfortable feelings there.
Isn’t that interesting?
Right there in that sentence above is my block - being self congratulatory - allowing myself to feel proud of the achievements I’ve made in my work life.
I’m willing to bet that other solomakers and those that work alone are very much the same.
For us there are no promotions, chats with our line managers or quick pep-me-ups by the water cooler, only ourselves.
About a year or two ago, my business began to do well, really well. My husband and children were thrilled and we as a family enjoyed the return on investment for all my hard graft over the years. In my heart though, I felt not so much a pressure, more a knowledge that I am only really as good as my last job - and that it could all go in a flash, just as it had arrived.
But the flash continued and I began to relax into this new uplevelling of my business.
Two years on and I’m more confident than I have been in years.
I’ve had some career highlights in the past year or two that make my heart feel warm, am daring to suggest that warm feeling is self-congratulation and pride.
So I’m writing this for you as much as for me - it’s absolutely ok to look at what’s worked - as well as the usual what hasn’t. I think we need to be a little nicer to ourselves.
Here’s an exercise for you.
Write down 3 times that you have been proud of your work over the past 2 years.
They can be anything, any situation, of any or no monetry value - just write them down.
Once you’ve rid yourself of the icky-feeling that arises, just sit with them, let them be.
If you need to close your book and walk away - do something else just DON”T BIN THEM.
Return later and read. You did that, you clever old thing.
I’d love to know how you get on