I have a special message of love for your heart today.
As we journey through this time of deep adversity, I want to provide a shining light of encouragement.
Sometimes, the road feels so long. I imagine you may be feeling numb and uninspired and just asking, “when does this stop? When does it let up?”
Your heart may feel heavy, and really just want to contract in to keep you safe from any more disappointment.
But, I imagine there is also this small flame burning within you. It’s your vision. It’s what matters most to you and I imagine you would love to stoke that flame, but it may feel exhausting. So, today I want to offer you support, because we are stronger together. We get there together, and while I am not in your body, I understand deeply what it means to feel discouraged, and also have a simple tool to offer that will give you a boost of warm light to your being.
Celebrate small wins.
There’s a lot of toxic messaging out there that size matters, that you have to “go big or go home” and that it’s only those HUGE achievements that matter, like winning an Oscar, or becoming a NY Times Bestseller, having a big house, or the “perfect” relationship. What this does is places all the attention on the result, and not on the actual process. It places all of our worth on whether we can successfully achieve this outcome we have decided means everything, and creates a ton of anxiety and pressure.
Which, I think we can all agree, NONE of us need right now.
The beauty of small wins, is that they are the every day stepping stones to your vision. And they may be so simple, like doing the laundry, connecting with a friend who is in need, or writing an email.
And the most important thing to know about small wins, is that they make up the WHOLE. They are all the pieces and bits along your journey to what you most desire to create in your life and career. And it’s the small wins that actually feed and nourish your confidence. You can think of the small wins as your daily food and water. If you only ate once a week or once a month, you would probably feel terrible! But, taking that daily nourishment feeds your whole being.
And it’s the small wins that actually add up. You’ve been taking step by step, and then suddenly you find yourself there, at your vision come manifest. It didn’t happen overnight, you walked the path, and after winding roads, taking turns, you find yourself at the clear overlook, with wind gently kissing your skin.
I have a very special and personal example to share with you, and then some ways you can celebrate small wins starting today.
Yesterday was my three year wedding anniversary, and this weekend I am going away with my life partner to hike waterfalls and celebrate our vows and bond. This is a day of deep reflection for me, because I wanted this level of relationship with all my heart, but had so many days of doubt when I was single if I could ever actually have it. After a debilitating divorce, and losing so much of what I knew as safety in my life, I started a long journey of healing my heart. For a year and a half, I didn’t date. I was so terrified I would just marry another version of my ex, that I got into therapy and really began to question, “how did I get here?” During that time, I started to write down my small wins for each day. Some days, it really was a celebration that I got up and went to work. Or it was a celebration I opened my own bank account, or found a new apartment.
These were all wins along the way to the relationship I desired.
And when I started to date, I was a hot mess. I had never dated in my LIFE. I was in my late thirties and on dating apps for the first time ever just trying to figure out which way I was supposed to swipe. I felt self conscious, insecure, and embarrassed. I didn’t know how to talk to men on dates, and felt completely lost. I got married two weeks after graduating college, so this was all new.
And yet, through three and a half years of awkward dates, I would celebrate the small wins. The win of going on a first date that felt good. The win of laying a boundary when the guy was not my man. The win of having a three month relationship end that ultimately taught me what I really wanted. The win of opening my body to a man again after feeling so closed.
And then one day, after all those years, and after freaking out more times than I can count that time was ticking away, after panicking it would never happen, I walked up the steps of the subway stop outside the Brooklyn Museum of Art to this handsome man who had driven all the way from the Jersey Shore and was holding an umbrella as rain slowly began to fall.
In his presence I felt something I hadn’t felt with any of the men I had dated before. I felt relaxed. I celebrated that small win on the subway home after our first date, smiling about seeing him again. And then, after the third date, I deleted all my apps because I knew he was it. And we married the next year.
I knew in my heart, I could have never received his love if it wasn’t for the journey and all the growth and wisdom I had gained through every disappointment. Each man I dated, actually led me to him, led me to this life.
But, it’s really important to understand what kept the fire going, what kept me going back on the apps after heartbreak, what allowed me to rise from my bed after bawling my eyes out, was these small wins. There was something to celebrate each day, very small, but it stoked my fire and allowed me to continue when things felt impossible.
The small wins reminded me OF what was possible. Which is what I want to offer to you today.
Some ways you can celebrate small wins could be to create a journal just for them. At the end of each day, you can write down your wins. And be loving and generous to yourself. Some days, it IS a win you did laundry or got out of bed. Or some days, it’s a win that when you felt down, you allowed yourself to cry and feel your feelings.
Another way to celebrate small wins is with a partner in your life. This could be a close friend or a loved one, but someone who would love to collaborate on this with you and also recognizes they would love a little boost on a regular basis. You could do this through text, a quick voice message, or even a quick call. It can be a check in of support and if this person is someone you live with, having that 5 minutes together just celebrating yourself and each other can be so loving. When our wins are mirrored to us, it can feel like a warm rush of joy.
You are not alone.
You are not alone in your fatigue, and you are not alone in having a small fire still burning within your being. Celebrating small wins is how you reclaim your fire, lovingly tend to it, and reclaim your confidence.
So, take a moment today. Take a moment right now, and say out loud or write down one small win you want to celebrate.
Small and mighty, and know it is each small step that makes up your beautiful courageous journey.