Self Help, Why not Self Celebration?

Self-help, self-improvement, personal development has become the trend of the past decade. While it is a positive movement, that we are now focusing on not just the strength of our physical bodies but also our minds, I do have an issue that for many personal development comes from the concept that something is wrong with me, that something needs to be fixed.

Often, we spend most of our energy looking at what we are not good at and what we don’t have that  we often forget to appreciate our progress. For me, I would only celebrate the big accomplishments, getting a promotion, starting a relationship that I forgot to celebrate along the way.

Recently, I was in a bookstore with a friend and the sign “Self Help” over one of the sections immediately caught my eye. Why do we focus so much on Self Help yet so little on self celebration? Millennials, or the “Trophy Generation”, may have gotten a bad rep in my opinion. Not that I think you should be rewarded just for showing up, but I do think there is a middle ground from the overly critical parents of generations past that would be hard on you if you received a B+ on a test or missed the goal during a sports game. If we don’t celebrate going from a B- to a B+ and only celebrate when we get that A, we are programming our brains to be self critical and never feel like we are enough. 

I believe in celebrating the small milestones. When I wrote my book I celebrated every page. If I only celebrated after the final chapter, I would have given up and never completed the task. The act of rewarding myself for small progress made me feel proud and capable of being able to achieve more. Where in your life are you being hard on yourself? What can you do to celebrate the steps, no matter how small of your progress?

Suzanne Renee