A Practice Accomplished Women Rarely Do That’s Worth Starting Today

Photo by Andrew Knechel on Unsplash

Efforts should be appreciated, not ignored.. ~ Unknown

I love that you clicked on this article.

Here’s why.

I called you “accomplished” and my guess is mostly you don’t refer to yourself this way.

Cognitively you may see your “successes” but perhaps, you don’t always feel successful.

In this article I offer a practice to acknowledge your accomplishments and successes. It’s a practice for you to feel — in your own authentic way — your efforts. This practice is designed to get us off the hamster wheel of doing great things without ever really appreciating them, and instead, pausing and starting to relate to the effort and accomplishment differently.

What this article is NOT about

This letter isn’t about reminding you to reward yourself after doing something that matters — like get a new purse or taking yourself out to the spa. And it’s also not about telling you NOT to do that.

There’s no right way / wrong way to self-acknowledge.

It’s just NOT okay (in my humble opinion) to continue NOT noticing that you’re up to good and important work.

Will you resist?

You might notice resistance to this practice.

Like an internal voice that says it’s selfish or weird to appreciate your success.

Resistance is normal.

And if that voice or feeling arises perhaps you can ask them to consider these curious questions:

“If you’ve spent most of your life not appreciating your efforts, could now be the time to start?”

— or —

“What new or amazing thing might happen if you made a practice of appreciating your efforts?”

— or —

“What is this worst case scenario I envision will happen because I recognize what I’m up to?”

You’re working on behalf of impact

My guess is you want to be up to work and a life that matters. And you deserve to feel that impact. Because feelings can be such a great source of fuel.

I’m going to suggest that it’s worth experiencing the success that comes from living an aligned life.

And if we just keep going on and on without noticing what we’re up to, it leaves our hearts and spirits void of an awareness of what we are doing.

This is the risk of NOT acknowledging — in an authentic to you kind of way — the work and impact you’re having: hearts, bodies and spirits disconnected and empty…

A Practice for Acknowledging your Accomplishments

I decided, with a recent raft of successes to not let them float on by…. I noticed these small accomplishments mattered to me and I felt sad that I couldn’t feel what I expected I should feel.

After all I’d put some energy to making them happen and goodness knows I always feel the energy I expend.

So, I started doing the following practice, and for me, personally it’s been nothing short of transformative.

Like all practices I encourage you to make this your own.

This five step practice is one, that over time you’ll be doing with ease. I promise.

Let’s get started!

Start with picking a recent success or accomplishment. It can be as simple as making it through the last week of school with unmotivated kids or as juicy as finishing a week of workouts, or as small as walking 10,000 steps today.

As an example I’ll weave in my recent accomplishment of getting my Enneagram Certification.

Step 1) Notice the effort that went into the accomplishment.

This first step is the work of the MIND. Scan back over and through time to see the effort that was invested on your part. Notice the completion, and also notice all the work involved from the beginning / middle/ end.

I remember signing up for the course, then the 10 day long course and assignments. I remember deferring other work, I see all that was involved doing the case study with a real client and our sessions. I remember prepping for these sessions, then writing up the case study.

Step 2) Connect to the feelings of this accomplishment.

You may feel proud of yourself and you also want to name the range of emotions that you felt along the way. It’s easy to forget the experience of your HEART, so consider putting your hand on my heart to activate greater connection.

I feel relieved that I’m done — the whole process took longer than expected with added back and forth to complete the case study. I feel grateful to be done and curious about new possibilities with this assessment tool.

Step 3) Notice your body’s experience.

In this third step, scan over your BODY to see how it took on or held you in this experience. Our bodies are the container for our minds, hearts and spirits and have a significant role in “holding” and supporting all we’ve been up to.

As I scan my body I notice it holding again, and I relax this effort. There are so may small places where I feel stress or tension from the effort and even just noticing them helps settle my body.

Step 4) Connect to you spirit.

In this step you remember why this work matters to you. You draw the line back to your purpose and greater intentions for the investment of your time. You see the impact you had. Whatever it means to acknowledge your SPIRIT is what you do here.

I feel how the Enneagram tool advances the work I do and allows my clients to know themselves more deeply.

Step 5) Appreciate support you received.

In this final step you look at the larger web of life to see who helped you along the way. You notice the others who played a part in your effort. You remind yourself that you are never alone.

I see my teachers — those who have gone before me to learn the Enneagram. And I see the woman who invested her time and energy to be my case study client. And I recognize there are people I’ll never know or meet who contribute to my accomplishment.

Tune in as you close off your practice

This is where you check to see if you’ve appreciated all that needs to be seen.

Maybe you want to have your own way of completing this practice — here are a few ideas:

  • Journal about your experience.
  • Tell someone who understands why this matters to you.
  • Light a candle, create a wee ceremony or completion rituals
  • Send a thank you note to one person who supported you and let them know how much their support helped.
  • What else?

Always, always, always tailor the practice to you.

This practice is as meaningful as it is meaningful to you.

That means — make this yours!

It might mean scaling it to notice just your heart’s experience. And next time noticing the experience of your body.

Or deciding you’ll do it once a week or once a month or once a quarter.

Perhaps it’s a journaling practice.

And maybe it’s a practice you do around the dinner table or with your team.

No matter what you choose you’ll be consciously acknowledging your sweet success and dear efforts. And this is the heart of this practice.

May you taste the sweetness of your success today.

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Susan Doerksen Castro

Susan Doerksen Castro

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Entrepreneur & Integral Master Coach™ helping accomplished women redefine success so they can realize a new, more fulfilling agenda for their lives.