Record Your Successes
By Tamara Martfeld
Many times, the reason one might feel pessimistic instead of optimistic is a series of setbacks or failures of some type. Sometimes it just feels as if nothing is going right and that it will never go right again. During these times it is easy to forget that one has had a lot of successes in life.
To help prevent or remedy this negative thinking, start a record of your successes. If you are young, your successes might be passing a test or graduating to the next level in school. If you are out of school, your successes might be that you are employed, or better yet, employed at your dream job.
Successes do not have to be big to be recorded. Did you exercise today? Eat a healthy meal? Get out of bed on time? Get to work on time? Brush your teeth? If you really think about it, you have many successes each day. Most of them are overlooked because they are so small. However, when you are starting to feel pessimistic instead of optimistic, remembering the small successes can help bring you back to thinking optimistically. A full list of your successes for even one day can help you realize that “everything” is not going wrong. In most cases, by listing all your successes you will find that you have many more successes than teaching moments (also known by many as “failures”). When you can learn from something that did not go right, it can be a success instead of a failure because you now have the knowledge to prevent or minimize the impact of the action in the future or avoid the situation entirely.
There are many ways to keep a record of your successes. The simplest is a notebook where everything that goes well is recorded. This can be a simple list, or it can be separated into days or months. A similar method is to get a calendar with a page per day and then record the successes of each day. With any calendar method you will find yourself repeating some items every day, and that is OK. Do what you need to do in order to show yourself that more is going right than wrong in your life. You can categorize the successes by big, medium, and small successes instead of recording them by day. You can even keep a folder or binder of any success for which you have received a thank you or for which there is documentation such as a certificate for passing a class, an agenda for a successful meeting or event you held, or copies of the report or document you created. If you are creative with a computer, you might even be able to create pop-ups for yourself periodically to randomly remind you of your successes. Use your imagination to come up with the method best for you.
However you do it, keep a record of your successes to refer to whenever things are not going well for you or you start to feel down for some reason. Your success may not make you rich or powerful, but you are successful in many ways.
Record and remember your successes for a more optimistic life!