Celebrate Your Success


150th Episode of This SHOW!

Thank you for being with me, and writing in and asking questions, sharing your stories.

It’s all about learning and growing together!

Learn How to Celebrate Your Successes- It’s a thing you can do, a habit you can start!

The thing I have seen over and over of things that have grown the most is they start with HABITSSimple practices that if we integrate just a few of them in our day we will see the change.
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Hey everybody. Welcome to today’s episode of the show. Today is a special day because it is the 150th episode of this show. And that doesn’t include bonus episodes and Ask The Shrinks and other things. That’s just full episodes that we’ve done. And that’s super exciting.

When I first started this, I had no idea how long I would do it, or how many people I would reach, I just wanted to share. I would have these sessions with clients that were life transforming for them. And for me, taking all those insights, and to see how people can shift. Maybe if they find a way to let something go, or to see themselves differently, or if they just acknowledged their strengths, or if they just let go of this one idea, their confidence in the situation skyrockets. Here’s how people can deal with this thing that used to plague me for ten years. And it’s one thing to shift in myself, that was life transforming, but then to be able to see how to help other people do it, it was so exciting and I wanted to share it. I didn’t want it to be just between me and this one other person, like a secret. I wanted to get it out there. Into the world in a bigger way, and that’s what I’ve been doing these last 3 years with this show and beyond, and the years that I’ve been doing the center for social confidence.

I’m super excited to be doing this, and to have you on this journey with me. Whether this is your 2nd episode, or your 30th episode, your 100th episode, or your 150th! Maybe you’ve been here the whole time. In any case, thank you for being with me and maybe even for writing in and asking me questions or sharing your story, your successes, your challenges, because that’s what this is all about. We’re here to help each other grow, and I grow a ton by doing this show, and by hearing what people are going through, and finding ways to help even more. So I’m super excited about that, and we want to use this celebration of our 150th episode as the focus for the show, which is about celebrating your successes to maximize your confidence.

It’s a super simple practice, habit, thing, that we can all do that brings more and more confidence. But it doesn’t if we don’t practice it. As I’ve been doing this more and more and seeing people that I’ve worked with, and people who go to my programs, or the weekends with the group programs or coaching with me, I get a chance to see more information about: “How does this work really on a mass scale?” And “Who really gets this quickly?”, and “Who gets a little more confident?”, and “Who doesn’t get really much anything at all?”

There’s many pieces but one that’s standing out more and more to me these days is that it’s just about habits. It’s about simple practices, simple habits, that if we integrate just a few of them in our day, our confidence starts to grow. Like a lot of habits, they might be uncomfortable. So one habit that builds confidence is asking for something that you want, or maybe speaking up when you want to share your opinion. If you do that on a daily or a couple times a week basis, your confidence will grow. As your assertiveness grows, your confidence grows, your power grows. But that might be hard. That might be difficult. You might have stories or beliefs in your head that prevent you from doing it at the rate that you like. And that’s where the interwork and the coaching stuff can help. Just the habit of working out, it can be difficult, it can be uncomfortable, but if you do it, you can get into excellent shape. If you do it, you can achieve extraordinary confidence.

Today’s focus is about celebrating your successes, that one is not that hard. This is like the principles for optimal health: drink a bunch of water. People say eight glasses or maybe even more, depending upon how active you are, and how big you are. That’s a really easy one. Whenever I see people that are struggling because they are not drinking enough water, I’m like, “Dude, come on! That’s not saying get up at 5 in the morning and go for a run, that’s just like, freaking drink some water during the day, that one’s easy.” And it’s the same case with this one, celebrating your successes is easy. It might be a little uncomfortable. There might be a little twinge of discomfort about doing it. We’re going to help you shift that and let that go during today’s episode. So you can start doing it more freely, more frequently, and then reaping the rewards of that simple confidence habit. And if you practice these habits, if you integrate this, if you make a simple discipline out of these confidence habits, your confidence will shift and your life will transform. So let’s talk more about celebrating your successes.

By the way, if you’re enjoying this, and you love this show, and you want to celebrate our 150th episode, go to iTunes, or the podcast app on your phone, or wherever you found me, and give the show a rating. That’s going to help me on my mission to reach more people and spread these ideas from my sessions out into the world. And if you want to join in the show and ask me questions, go to shrinkfortheshyguy.com and you can send me a message there.

The first thing I want to ask you, “Do you currently acknowledge your successes to yourself?” Let’s just start with you. Forget about what you say to other people, but in your own mind, do you notice your successes? Do you acknowledge them? Do you think about them? Do you focus on them? In fact, look back at the last couple weeks of your life. Just think about or reflect on it. What were you doing? Where did you go? Maybe you’re at work, maybe you’re on a vacation, maybe you’re with family, maybe you’re with friends. Think about the last two weeks of your life. What are three successes that you can think of from the last two weeks? Three successes from the last couple of weeks. Keep searching. Keep finding. Maybe you already got all three. Maybe not. Maybe you’re digging. You’re like, “Uhhh…. nothing. Nothing!” Or maybe you’re somewhere in-between. Give just another moment here to think about what are three successes you can think of from the last two weeks. In fact, keep thinking about that. We’re going to take a quick break, and when we come back, I want to reveal something about this question that is going to reveal a ton about you, and how you can use this practice more and more in your life, to build confidence

So, did you come up with three? Was that hard or was that easy? Personally, I spend much of my life not acknowledging successes because I was conditioned in such a way in my upbringing to be an achiever. And you might’ve been that way as well. You do well in school, you do well in sports, you do well at whatever you put your mind to, and you achieve. And my parents were extremely loving. They’re actually really amazing parents and they had some interesting philosophies about success and achievement. And a couple of them were: One, don’t acknowledge successes too much, or really at all. I even asked my mom about this many years later. I said, “How come you guys never really seemed to praise me or acknowledge my successes?” and she said, “Well, we know. We saw them, but we just didn’t want you to get a big head. We don’t want you to have a big ego.”

And the other part of the conditioning was, especially when it came to sports and other things, having a lot of pressure from my dad to win. To be competitive. To not only win but play really well, play better than others, which I often fell short of. And so, those two things conditioned me to strive harder, to work harder, because I wasn’t enough. I wasn’t fast enough, I wasn’t strong enough, I wasn’t smart enough, I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t trying hard enough. And I didn’t want to acknowledge when I was succeeding because I didn’t want to get a big head. I really took those things in. As a result, flash forward many years, high achieving really driven but not feeling like a success, feeling perpetually inadequate, not enough. You might relate to that. I know many people do. Do you feel that way? That you’re not enough. That you’re achieving, or working, or trying hard to achieve, or maybe you are already achieving a lot. Maybe, and this is the craziest part that I noticed in myself, you have a ton of success in your past under your belt. Maybe even just from the last couple of weeks that you’re reflecting on. But you don’t even see it. You have a scotoma, which is a blind spot. You have a blind spot where you can’t even see success because some part of you thinks if I really see it, if I really honor it, I’m going to have a big head, or I’m going to settle down, become complacent, no longer be driven and successful. Driven for success, which is an absurd philosophy that many of us were taught as well.

So here’s a couple of things. One is, look at: What about you? Can you acknowledge those? Was it easy for you to think of three things? Sometimes there’s different strategies for different people. I don’t know where you are but I’m going to throw out a couple of the main ones.

One: For a lot of people, you just don’t see them, you don’t give yourself any credit. So when you look back maybe you have a great health regimen. Maybe you eat really well most of the time. Maybe you work out. But you’ve just been doing that for so long, it’s just a part of who you are, and then you’re like, “Whatever. That’s not even a thing. I don’t even acknowledge that because that’s what I do.” But that’s success isn’t it? To be taking care of your body. Maybe you got a great job, or you do great at your job. But you’re like, “Yeah, that’s just how I show up. I’ve been doing that for years, so whatever.” No, not whatever. Not everyone does that. You have to start giving yourself credit for how good you already are, all the things that you already do, how amazing you already are, even it feels natural or normal.

Another thing I see is people say, “Well, I have to do that.” I remember I was talking to one guy and he was just an amazing dad. He was so good with his kids. He was loving. He was playful. And I really enjoyed watching him hang out with his kids because he was so loving with them. So creative, so expressive, so fun, and I told him that, “You are really great with your kids. You are so energetic, and expressive and fun.” He said, “Yeah, but what else would I do? I got to be that way.” He didn’t really see it as a strength because it came easy to him, perhaps, or it was natural and didn’t have to work at it. “What else would I do?” I see that a lot of times as well, if you’re good at something, and you succeeded at it, and was like “Well yeah, but what else would I do?” So we found tons of ways to discount our successes.

Another thing that might prevent you from acknowledging your success of these last couple weeks or maybe in your life in general, is too high a standard. In order for it to be a success, for it to be a win, it’s got to be fucking huge, and bigger than everyone else. It’s like, “I scored a goal.” “Yeah, but you didn’t score a hat trick, you didn’t score three.” Or, “Hey, I met some people last night. I got a woman’s number.” “Yeah, but you didn’t have sex with the woman in the bathroom!” Whatever crazy goal you’ve got, right? And that doesn’t actually sound that great. But, in any case, it’s like you put this weird, high standard. “Yeah, but you don’t have a girlfriend yet.” “Yeah, but the last woman that dated you dumped you.” “Yeah… but…” And you have these crazy high standards, and what can be helpful is to slow down and say, “What are my standards? What is a win? What is a success for me?” And look at the core areas of your life. In your dating life, your love-life, your relationship. Maybe you’re already married, maybe not. “What would need to happen, what would I need to do in order to have a win or success in this area?”

Coming home, let’s say you’re stressed out from work, and you’re just like, “Argh.” Pressure is building, and you have to get that thing done, and people emailing you, shit going on. It’s the end of the work day and you leave. You’re dealing with it all in your head. You come in through the door and you take a breath in and you give your attention to someone you love: your wife, your husband, your boyfriend, or girlfriend, a parent, one of your kids. You look at them and you say, “Whoa, how’s your day?” and they say, “I’ll tell you something.” I do this all the time with Zaim, my son. Because he loves to just tell me things at his age. He’s like, “Daddy!” He’s almost three— a couple of months under three. “Daddy… uh, uh, uh uh…” he’s so excited to tell me something he hasn’t formulated yet. “Umm, umm, umm…” He wants my attention. “Yes? Yes?” He’s like, “Um, um… went to the park today!” I’m like, “You guys went to the park today?” “Yeah!” And then we have this little conversation for a couple of minutes. I’m still feeling stuff but I’m attentive to him and loving with him. Guess what that is? That’s a fucking win man! I’m going to give myself credit. That’s a success! And that’s the same thing if you treat your friend that way, or a partner that way. You’ve got to give yourself credit for those. And you have to say: “Man, I’m a great dad.” “I’m an awesome boyfriend.” “I’m an awesome wife.” You got to give yourself credit for those. You got to lower those standards. And the same thing at work, your career. Maybe it’s like, “Yeah I earned this much but I didn’t earn that much”, and you can put any fucking number you want in there, it just keeps changing. As people earn more they just rise to a higher standard. Or “Yeah I achieved that title, but I didn’t get that title.” Or I did get that title, but I didn’t get it as quickly as that other person got it. Do you see how we can just strip away these successes by having excessively high standards? So those are what you have to drop. And if you see yourself doing that, if you catch yourself doing that, then you got to slowdown and say, “Okay, what are my standards? What could be wins? What could I allow myself to acknowledge as success?” Start by asking, “What are my current standards?” At work, in my relationship; the core areas of your life. The top 4 core areas, right? Your health, your work, your love-life, your friendships. And look at what those standards are. And if they’re too crazy high, then work on lowering them. You got to shift them. Let them go. There’s tons of resources for that. I would recommend reading both: The Art of Extraordinary Confidence could be extremely helpful for that, but so could The Solution of Social Anxiety. There’s tons of ways to do it. If you want to go into further depth you can. But you got to let go, you got to release those standards.

There’s another reason why you might not be acknowledging your successes. And we’re going to talk about that when we get back. More howto acknowledge, more tips, more tricks right after this.

One final reason that you might have a hard time acknowledging your successes, is (and this is a big one) you might be living too much in your comfort zone. You might be so deep in the center of that sucker, that there’s not much to acknowledge. I remember there is one client that I work with who was in my mastermind program, and we’ll just call him Henry. Henry had a hard time acknowledging his successes. He has a raging inner critic. You think it might be, “Hey, he’s got to lower his standards,” or, “He’s got to take it easier on himself,” but I had a very different angle when I was working with Henry.

In the group calls I work with people, we work as a group, and sometimes I work one on one with someone and the group listens, and then they give their feedback and he was saying, “I’m just not acknowledging my successes. It’s hard. I know I should. I tried but I don’t feel anything,” I said, “Maybe, I’m wondering, if it’s hard to acknowledge your successes because they don’t really feel like successes, and maybe they aren’t.” It was a little uncomfortable for me, because I want to take care of everybody. I have to keep working on that nice guy urge. “Oh, just lower your standards and love yourself and give yourself credit for little things you’re doing.” But I felt like something else was needed, like a more challenging kind of love that was needed, rather than like, “Everything is okay” love. “Hey you need to step the fuck up,” is basically what I wanted to communicate. I said maybe these things aren’t worth celebrating because there’s something else that you want to be doing instead. What would you need to do this week in order to feel like, “Whoa! That was a major success,” to be blown away by your progress and your successes in one week? That was a fun question. He sat with that one for a while and then he listed some great stuff. He talked about certain things he wanted to do in his dating life. He talked about how he wanted to reach out to specific people in his career. He wanted to have a difficult conversation with one of his supervisors. He had a ton of stuff! And then he was like, “Jeez. I don’t know, maybe I’ll do some of those.” And then we had this thing where I dove into about commitment, and you could hear in his voice he was not going to do it. So I challenged him playfully. We got the group involved, it was awesome, it was fun. He basically decided that he was going to do five things. Five things off the list. I talk more about this in an episode called Blitzkrieg, which will be coming out soon. He did five things, and everything shifted for him in that one week.

I came back the next week. He had tons of stories about all the crazy things that happened, and I said “Do you feel it was easy to acknowledge your successes this week?” and he laughed and said “Oh yeah”. I said, “Huh, imagine that.” So maybe it’s hard to acknowledge your successes because you’re not doing enough. You’re not getting outside. Maybe it’s not some number of things, by the way. It might be a level of boldness or risk that you might need to take. Because if you’re square in the center of your comfort zone, miles away from your edge of what’s uncomfortable, then it’s hard to feel like a success, because you’re not winning. You’re not stepping up into your life. And so maybe that’s what’s needed for you. But maybe you’re doing a ton already, and it’s about lowering your standards. So this is something for you to discover, for you. You will know what’s right for you. I’m sure in two different sides of the spectrum here. But we’re going to do something else that can help you, no matter what. This is a practice that I’ve used for a long time, I find it extremely valuable and in fact your action step for today.

Action Step

Your action step for today is to have a success journal. Just try it out for three days. I know that’s not enough to instill it as a habit, I know you’re probably not going to do a ton. But if I say, “Do this for 21 days,” You’re going to be like, “Oh god, that’s a lot of work. I’ll start that in… 21 days.” No! Just starting today. Do a success journal. Make it super simple, create a file in your phone, you don’t have to go buy a journal or whatever. Just super simple. And you’re just going to write out, it’s going to be called a success journal, and your going to write out at the end of each day, or once a day, it could be in the afternoon, 3 things from that day that you can acknowledge yourself for. And make them super small. Maybe you got up early for a run. Success in health. Maybe you spoke up in a meeting where normally you would stay silent. Success in assertiveness. So make them simple, make them small. Don’t make things that only happen once a month. The daily successes. Acknowledge it. Do that. It should literally take you 30-40 seconds, a minute at the end of the day. It’s not about time, it’s about focus. It’s about the habits. It’s about discipline. Do that success journal starting today for three days. And then if you like it, then maybe you want to keep going. I have periods in my life where I did this for months at a time, and it was extremely valuable, extremely life-changing, extremely self-esteem enhancing, will be the word I would use. Awesome.

Thank you so much for joining me today. You are awesome, I love you. I appreciate you for being here with me today, and for being on this journey with me. On this 150th episode. Until we speak again. May you have the courage to be who you are, and to know on a deep level that you’re awesome! Talk to you soon.

Music Credit

All music is licensed or royalty free.

DeepSound – Rain Clouds
(Licensed through Pond5.com)

Ask The Shrink:
Boccherini Minuet
(Licensed through Pond5.com)

Action Step:
Justin Crosby – Skrillit
(Licensed through Pond5.com)

Lokfield – Terra’s Theme Dubstep
(Creative Commons License)

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