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Perhaps you are a person who can celebrate their achievements easily, and have no problem recognizing and marking progress in whichever direction it is made?  Perhaps, on the other hand, you are the type of person for whom recognizing success and acknowledging it is a challenge?  Some people seem to be comfortable throwing their hands skyward in a celebratory gesture when they ‘pull something off’, whereas others might just have a half-hidden smile to themselves when it ‘goes right’.  Whichever person you feel you most closely resemble, I would argue that celebrating progress is an important part of maintaining healthy psychological wellbeing.


Sometimes, a reluctance to celebrate success can be a cultural phenomenon, and it could indeed be said that the understated ‘stiff upper lip’ that is traditionally associated with people here in Britain might make recognizing and ‘owning’ success more difficult.  Lots of us are happy to make a ‘to do’ list, and perhaps stick it on the fridge, but I wonder if it could be more healthy to sometimes make a ‘done’ list and stick that next to the shopping list instead?


When we are involved in making changes, it is often more advantageous to be looking forward, to what lies ahead, so that we can have the best possible chance of achieving our goals.  I would argue, however, that every now and again it is worth taking a glance backwards, to pause and see how far we’ve come.  When we constantly look forward, we can often fail to appreciate the obstacles that we’ve overcome just to get where we are now, and can slip into the mind-set of only valuing the next success.  Reviewing our performance – and sometimes opening a bottle of bubbly or our favourite non-alcoholic alternative to celebrate – can help us to take stock and to appreciate the fruit of our labour.  One practical benefit of this is that if our next venture does not go entirely as planned, mindful of past successes we can perhaps see this more as a setback, and not a catastrophe.


So, if you are tempted to only look at what comes next, what could you celebrate today, either with fireworks or just by going a little easier on yourself for a moment, in order to gain a better perspective on what’s to do versus what’s done?


Rob Oglesby MBACP (Accred) B.A. (Hons) BSc | Ashwood Therapy


Ashwood Therapy provides a discreet, confidential and professional online counselling service by encrypted video call, live instant messaging and secure email.  More details, including tips on wellbeing and information on current counselling session pricing, can be found at www.ashwoodtherapy.com


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Celebrating Progress

Celebrating Progress | Ashwood Therapy Blog