As a member of the Gold Alliance, I have the privilege of attending periodic business strategy sessions with the group. In one of the last, facilitated by studio owner, business leader, and mentor, Stacey Morgan, members were tasked with discussing how we celebrate ourselves on a regular basis.
Celebrate myself? Me? Wait.
This proved to be a tougher assignment than I thought. I sat there for a while staring at the paper wondering why I would celebrate myself in the first place and what in the world I had done recently that was so great it required a celebration. Hmmm.I scribbled down a couple of little noteworthy things on the actual paper, and they were pretty cool things, I guess, but I was truly stumped. An exercise meant to realize and recognize my own accomplishments, whether big or small, then actually applaud myself for them uncovered the fact that I rarely, if ever, stop working and going and going and working long enough to itemize my achievements let alone rejoice in them. So I got busy thinking about how to do this better. Here’s what I came up with, and I hope it helps you realize and recognize your accomplishments and gets you clapping for yourself. You need this in your life, just like I did!
Make a list of the good stuff, even if – no especially if – it seems small.
Of course, include the Nutcracker storyline you wrote all by yourself. List the hefty profit you made from ticket sales. Note the community award your studio recently received. Jot down the awards your kids won at competition, the number of students on your roll, or whatever else is obviously noteworthy. However, keep in mind that your list should include anything you worked for, or that is a byproduct of your work, that makes you or someone else smile.
I now celebrate a 4 year old’s first shuffle or a second grader shouting out what “tendu” means. All the pictures of me on the bulletin board drawn to my “exact” likeness by a little hand are worthy of applause. The Facebook video of the 12 year old doing her Hip Hop dance in front of the Christmas tree…gold. The mom who mentions that her dancer has a whole showcase planned for Christmas morning complete with choreo already written down on paper with counts…priceless.
Remember that “celebrate” doesn’t mean you have to throw a party.
I can celebrate by sharing photos and videos of the “firsts” I capture, bubbling about classroom accomplishments to alobby full of parents, and roping twelve 8-year-olds into dancing a happy, little jig whenever someone does something awesome. I can rally at home with my husband and children who are always supportive, encouraging, and ready to hear about anything neat that happened at the studio. I can even pat myself on the back with a moment of quiet peace and a cup of coffee, a manicure, or a massage. A weekend getaway, fresh flowers on my desk, or cute, new boots? Yes! All forms of kudos in recognition of your listed achievements are perfectly acceptable.
Celebrating the good stuff will help you in ways you did not expect.
Simply quantifying the good stuff gave me perspective. I saw good more than I saw life’s annoyances, petty problems, and inconveniences. I was able to better appreciate how much my work actually means to me, to my dancers and their families, and to my community. It reminded me of the foundation on which my studio is built – the principles, the values, and the policies – and how I need to continue to share those. My successes mirrored them exactly! And it gave me a collection of real, tangible gems that should be highlighted in social media posts, can serve as the focal point of my marketing efforts, and may become lasting memories in my studio’s yearbook.[SIDE NOTE: It also got me back on track for banking my “80’s Moments”. I often joke that these are the moments I will burn into my mind and treasure when I’m in my 80’s.]
In the weeks to come, I encourage you to make mental notes of your accomplishments. Whether big, lucrative gains or small, fleeting moments of joy, capture them in your mind then take a moment to jot them down on paper. (Y’all, I’ve even started scrawling out a cool moment on my mirror with a dry erase marker so I don’t forget it. Plus, it makes people ask me about it, then I get to tell a fun story.)
After that, post about them. Tell anybody who happens to be close about your awesomeness. Share your good stuff on the IDEA Facebook group page, so we can cheer with you. Treat yourself to something you’ve been eyeing. Take time to relax in solitude guilt-free.
Celebrate yourself! You earned it.
Amanda Herring LOVES her job! Owner of Center Stage Dance in Hernando, MS, she is passionate about sharing the love of dance while inspiring and encouraging everyone who walks through her door. She loves BIG and has a heart for new dancers joining a class for the first time. She takes pride in offering stellar service to dance families and specializes in efficiency, organization, fair policies, and strong communication. Her shows are HUGE with plenty of lights, effects, and stagecraft. Amanda wants her students to feel like they are a part of something big, and it is always her goal to bring more to class and to the stage than her audience is expecting.