BeneForza Blog

Reflecting on accomplishments
Woman standing at the top of a mountain looking over a valley.

Posted by: Sarah Cain - BeneForza

January 17, 2022

If you’re a follower of positive psychology, you’ll recall that accomplishment is a key part of our well-being and ability to flourish.  Reflecting on and celebrating our accomplishments in both life and business are key to our sense of self-efficacy and agency, which, according to Dr. Martin Seligman, can help us be more persistent, resilient, healthy, innovative, and creative. 

Since it’s important, let’s start with an exercise: make a list of 10 things you’re proud of in life. Go ahead, I’ll wait right here.

Well, how was it? What stands out for you?

I recently had a group I was coaching complete this same exercise and there were two main themes that seemed to emerge: 

  1. It’s difficult for many people to make a list of 10 things they’re proud of. Increase that goal to a list of 20 things and for some people it feels almost impossible. 
  2. Many of the items on our lists come from when we were younger — think high school, college, and early career.  It seems many of us have a lot fewer accomplishments to list from the more recent part of our lives. 

Do either of those themes resonate with you and your list?

I think there’s two things to reflect on as it relates to this exercise.  The first is that we have a negativity bias — we tend to dwell on our failures and move through our successes too quickly. It’s critical we are intentional about combatting that bias. A question to reflect on here is: “How can I better and more systematically celebrate and anchor my (and my team’s) successes?”

The second relates to our lack of recent accomplishments.  When I looked up the word “Accomplishment” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, I’m quickly routed to “Achievement,” and found it defined as “a result gained by effort.”  Accomplishments are generally the result of intentional effort we are putting forth in our lives. The second question to reflect on is: “Am I pushing myself out of my comfort zone enough to accomplish things that are important to me?” 

Remember, it’s what we do with the insights we gain from reflecting on questions like these that make a difference in our lives, our businesses, and the world, so make sure to also ask yourself: “What do I want to do with this new insight?” Then, commit to taking action.  I’d love to hear what your insights are and what you plan to do with them! 

Photo by Yukie Emiko on Unsplash

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