Stop Puddle Jumping
How to Stop Trivializing Your Accomplishments and Start Giving Yourself the Credit You Deserve
Okay, real talk. Are you trivializing your accomplishments? It's a common tendency that so many of my coaching clients have and I want to help you break free from it.
You set a goal, dream, or project that looks like crossing an ocean. It's daunting, challenging, and full of unknowns. You can’t even see the other side. But you take the plunge, and somehow, some way, you succeed. You cross that ocean, and you feel a sense of pride and accomplishment.
However, almost immediately after stepping onto the other shore, you start to minimize and trivialize your achievement. You start thinking that it wasn't that big of a deal, that it was just like hopping over a puddle.
Stop that. Seriously, stop it.
I call this habit puddle jumping, and it’s a toxic habit that fuels your inner critic. Every time you belittle your accomplishments, you're telling yourself that you're incapable of greatness. You're robbing yourself of all the confidence you just earned. You're sabotaging your future successes.
Dramatic? Perhaps. But accurate.
So, let's break free from this obnoxious habit. Let's acknowledge our accomplishments and give ourselves the credit we deserve. Here's how:
Recognize the Habit of Puddle Jumping
The first step in breaking any habit is to catch yourself doing it. Take a moment to reflect on your accomplishments and how you've been describing them to others. Have you been minimizing them? Have you been trivializing them? Have you been turning them into puddles? If the answer to these questions is yes, it's time to raise your awareness so you squash this habit.
Now, it's important to recognize that puddle jumping is a habit that many of us have developed over time, often without even realizing it. We're so used to minimizing our accomplishments that it becomes an automatic response. We don't even think about it; we just do it. Because it has become such a natural part of our thought process (and it is socially acceptable), breaking free from it can be challenging.
That's why it's important to raise your awareness and recognize that this is something you do all the time. Pay attention to how you talk about your accomplishments, both to yourself and to others. Are you quick to downplay your achievements, to make them seem less significant than they really are? Do you tend to focus on what you didn't accomplish instead of what you actually did?
At least 50% of this problem will be solved just by noticing that you’re puddle jumping. From there, you can practice giving yourself credit for your achievements and celebrating them, rather than dismissing them as insignificant.
Why It Matters
Once you recognize the habit of puddle jumping, it's time to acknowledge the significance of the accomplishments you are giving yourself credit for. Remind yourself of the challenges you faced, the effort you put in, and the skills you developed. Note the impact your accomplishments have had on your life and the lives of others.
You didn't just step over a little puddle; you crossed a freaking ocean, yo! You did something that matters.
It's important to remember that accomplishments come in all shapes and sizes. They're not just the big, flashy moments that everyone sees and celebrates. Accomplishments can be the little things, too – the decisions you've made, the disappointments you've weathered, the failures you've survived, the commitments you've made, and even the commitments you've uncommitted to.
To really internalize all the confidence you've earned from your accomplishments, try listing out why this piece of credit matters TO YOU. Maybe you accomplished something that helped you grow as a person, or maybe it allowed you to help others in a significant way. Maybe it was something you've been working towards for a long time, or maybe it was a spontaneous decision that ended up paying off. Whatever the reason, take the time to acknowledge why this accomplishment matters to you personally.
By listing out the reasons why your accomplishment matters, you can strengthen your connection to it and really internalize the confidence it brings. You can remind yourself of your capabilities and your worth, and give yourself the boost you need to tackle your next big challenge.
Credit = Proof
Finally, use your accomplishments as motivation for future success. Your credit is proof of your brilliance, your skills, determination, and perseverance to do more of what matters. Use your past achievements as evidence that you're capable of greatness. When faced with a new challenge, remind yourself of all the times you've succeeded in the past. Use that knowledge and experience to propel yourself forward and to tackle new challenges with confidence and determination.
It's easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day struggles and forget all the astonishing things you've accomplished. But by taking the time to reflect on your achievements, acknowledge their significance, and celebrate your success, you can gain a renewed sense of motivation and inspiration. You can see how far you've come, and you can use that knowledge to drive yourself forward towards even greater success.
So, don't be afraid to use your accomplishments as motivation. Let them be a source of pride and inspiration, and let them propel you forward towards future success. Remember, you do indeed have what it takes to make things happen. You've already proven this to yourself time and time again.
Stop puddle jumping. Break free from the habit of trivializing your accomplishments. Recognize the significance of what you've achieved, celebrate your success, and use it as motivation for future greatness. You crossed that ocean, and you can do it again. You have the receipts!
So, what accomplishment are you trivializing? What have you been turning into a puddle? Share it in the comments below, and let's celebrate your greatness together.
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I do this and it’s the worst. I have been navigating a career transition over the past 2.5 years and it’s hard! But guess what? I’m also actually doing it. I think one falsehood I tell myself is that I don’t get to give myself credit until the transition is “complete.” But few things in life are as clear-cut as running across a finish line. So I’m going to say it here and keep practicing it- I said I was going to get out of my old job and do something else and I am figuring it out, while maintaining my income, taking care of my kids, and taking care of my body. I am not hiding, or procrastinating, and I am not just complaining about all the things that are wrong at work but doing nothing about it. Go me!