How often do you confront the fact that you are stepping up and you are successful?
A co-worker asked me that in an email this week. I had just choked up while sharing some positive, client feedback with my team. It was the second time I had reacted that way in the presence of a compliment in less than a week.
Still, I shrugged off his question. I haven’t felt particularly successful in any of my many endeavors lately but, overall, I know how to celebrate the victories, big or small.
Or so I thought. Until yesterday.
Our nanny had called in sick and so, with no time to move meetings and reset deadlines, I faced a long day of conference calls and deliverables cohabiting with toddler needs and tantrums. (NOTE: this is not meant in any way to be disparaging to my nanny. She is wonderful and I understand that she is human and will get sick. It’s part of the deal).
And you know what, it went pretty well.
I managed to fit in all four conference calls and only relied on the TV for one of them (a grand total of 40 minutes of TV – not so bad).
I finished the deliverables that needed to be completed this week for my teams at work.
I squeezed in a lovely walk with Baby and treated her to a picnic lunch (that she is still talking about today).
In between bites of her soy butter sandwich, we played ring-around-the-roses and she laughed that belly laugh that is music to my ears for a good 20 minutes straight.
Back home, we finally managed to create the leaf mobile that I’ve been dying to do with her for weeks (inspiration here).
I did a load of laundry, in between meetings and while she napped, so that her jeans, muddy from our picnic, were ready to wear again when she woke up.
Not bad right? SuccessFUL overall.
Yet, when I found myself at the pharmacy that evening and realized, AFTER asking for a box of Sudafed, that I had not brought my wallet, I nearly melted into tears.
Because those successes had long since dissolved and disappeared from my memory. In their place, I could easily recall:
The tantrum Baby threw when, for our leaf mobile, I cut a gold ribbon into pieces. She begged me, through tears, to put it back together.
The four tantrums that followed throughout the night, for one reason or another, but that can all probably be traced back to that ribbon.
The two conference calls for which I felt woefully unprepared and which made me realize that I will have a TON of work to do on Monday.
The pizza that we had to order for dinner, even though my plan was to make one at home.
The milk Baby didn’t drink, the banana she didn’t finish, the remnants of her unfinished lunch that taunted me from the refrigerator.
As I drove home from the grocery store, Sudafed-less and tired, I realized that my co-worker had been right. I do not confront my successes. I, like so many Moms, see my failures and missteps. I focus on them. I dwell on them. They become larger than life. Even on a successful day.
And so today, I’m trying to lock in on the successes. Believe it or not, you’ve got at least one (probably many, many more than one) each day. Hold onto them. Don’t let the stumbles, however big, chase them away. It’s hard to get started. But I’m thinking it’s one of those things that is easy once you get going.
Confronting those successes, and acknowledging how amazing and important they are, is a whole different matter. But, one step at a time.
How do you confront the fact that you are successful? Do you?