Celebration. The word itself brings joy to mind -- evoking excitement, barely contained, it really requires the appropriate punctuation: Celebration! There, much better.
There are so many instances in day-to-day life we celebrate that it's almost an unconscious act; birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, even when our favourite sports teams win (all we did was watch) are causes for celebration. The (sad) irony comes when we look at the limitations surrounding celebrating ourselves and our accomplishments.
Sure, when someone at work gets a promotion, they're congratulated and celebrated for moving forward. Often, societal culture will lift a person up -- to a certain point; it's as though we are happy to see someone succeed, but can't let them get too far ahead. At this point, so many will turn the tables around and wish nothing but ill for that same person they celebrated not so long ago.
The situation plays out so much like a bully in school. Typically, those considered to be 'bullies' have incredibly high levels of insecurity. To mask this, or in an attempt to control something in their lives, they direct their will (physically or not) over others. Inwardly, they feel small or insignificant, and instead of pursuing a positive means to uplift themselves, they use negativity, fear, and violence to pull others down to how they feel.
The workplace example does not necessarily involve the same level of schoolyard depravity, but the mental aspect is similar: I haven't succeeded in moving forward as high/far/fast as I'd like to, but you have -- and I don't like it. The real kicker is that the person doesn't actually dislike how far their colleague has gotten, but rather, how little traction they've made towards their own goals. So many of us find it easier to turn our focus outward and metaphorically say, "Hey -- you shouldn't burn so bright!", instead of looking inward and asking, "Hey -- what can I do to burn brighter?"
This volatility breeds uncertainty and confusion about celebrating yourself and your accomplishments; it's also largely the reason why we understate our successes and overstate our perceived shortcomings. Taken to the extreme, any action can be detrimental -- and celebration is no different; however, we have to understand that it's not selfish or rude to celebrate ourselves. I'll try and put things as straightforward as possible: celebrate, damn it! -- because its importance cannot be overstated.
When we celebrate, it creates a chain reaction in our bodies. We associate the positive feelings from celebration around our success, and this encourages us to seek it out further. We reward ourselves for our focus, determination, motivation, and intent with the notion that we are worthy, and accomplishing something we set out to do deserves recognition -- especially if it's just from ourselves. We gain confidence in our abilities and realize that we can succeed -- we can burn brighter.
Put simply -- celebration may not be the first or easiest step to reach in the process of accomplishing your goals, but one that should never be skipped or overlooked.
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