PROGRESS is something that we need to put into perspective nowadays. We are getting impatient with our own stories of ‘successes’ that we want them to materialize at a massive scale in a short time. Who could blame us? Being in our bubble detached and alone for quite some time has made us susceptible to unhealthy comparisons. This tempts us to measure ourselves against other’s speed of achieving milestone after milestone as they post in their FB, IG stories, Twitter, and Tiktok accounts. It seems that it’s easy to feel left behind when the world shifted online, a place that Marshall McLuhan, a communication scholar, described as a ‘global village’.
A sad reality is our natural tendency to quickly notice our blunders and dwell on them. We are not able to see the everyday tasks and activities that we were able to tick off from the list could qualify as progress. In others words, small milestones take a backseat and remain unnoticed. Jenny Marchal, a positive psychology blogger, confirmed this as she explained that it is natural for us to see the flaw and reprove of ourselves for a bad performance. I remembered the analogy of a clean wall. He explained that despite being 99.9 percent spotless, people could always notice that one small dot of stain. This kind of mindset usually drags us to a downward spiral that we decide to throw in the towel and walk away from reaching our goals.
Joyce Meyer, a popular Christian author, and speaker argued that our mind is a battlefield and that everything starts from there because transformation begins with the renewal of the mind as the Scriptures say. So if this is the case then the right perspective on progress could go a long way, right? So why do we need to celebrate small daily wins?
First, every small step leads you to our destination. People tend to forget that achieving goals starts with a single step—a zone where a person is about to cross the ‘chicken line’. Most of us are so intimidated to take the first step because we see the goal as one big chunk of an impossible task. As a working mother, I often find myself cringing in the middle of overwhelming priorities. I feel like I am falling short of everything that I needed to do. A research study conducted by Chandola et.al from the University of Manchester confirmed this as they revealed that “biomarkers for chronic stress are 40% higher in women bringing up two children while working full-time”. I could not imagine how this pandemic aggravated the situation but time and again, I would remind myself of what Lathur Badoy, a Christian pastor, used to encourage young parents, “As pressures of life abound, the grace of God also abounds. You will just be surprised of how you were able to overcome everything in the process”. I realized that there are times that we need just to decide to pop the ‘self-doubt bubble’ and put on that ‘game on’ face. Clifton Anderson, a renowned musician, encourages us with this adage, “every great accomplishment starts with a first step. No matter how big your goals are. Take that step today.” Never forget the power of that decision.
Second, it inspires us to go further. As we continue to remind ourselves of our little wins, appreciation comes in which is the game-changer. It lifts our spirits and consequently we begin to be our cheerleaders as we take on another set of tasks. When we begin to tread in this direction, we build our motivation and confidence. As Dr. Jim Taylor puts it, “Confidence is so important because you may have all of the ability in the world to perform well, but if you don’t believe you have that ability, then you won’t perform up to that ability.” We may not be aware of it but we have tanks that need to be filled up and one of them is our confidence tanks. When we celebrate little wins, we are filling in our ‘confidence tanks’ to keep us going to face the daily challenges.
Lastly, it makes us happy. When we celebrate small wins, we begin to appreciate ourselves and affirm our efforts which veer away our attention to negativity which we know paralyze our creativity and productivity. Dr. Timothy A. Pychyl explained the direct relationship between goal progress and happiness. He writes that “progress on our goals leads to more positive emotions and more satisfaction with life.”
As we are given another chance to have another waking day, let us begin to be our cheerleaders. We need to consciously affirm ourselves for our daily small wins. There’s a power in this adage that sums up everything, “your speed doesn’t matter, forward is forward.”shifted online, a place that Marshall McLuhan, a communication scholar, described as a ‘global village’.
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