How to recognise and own your successes

Success can mean different things to different people – whether it’s achieving a goal, overcoming a challenge or finding happiness, we’re all striving for something.

To keep motivated, it’s really important to celebrate those successes when they come, no matter how big or small they seem. It can help us to keep sight of how far we’ve travelled, remind ourselves how awesome we are (yes, even you!) and inspire others when the going gets tough! But it isn’t always easy.

We asked Sophie, Jemmar, Isaac, Marshall and Saffiyah what success means to them and how they celebrate their triumphs.

Let’s recap.

What does success mean?

Success can mean different things to different people. Whether you’re proud of holding the Olympic torch, or you’re finally happy with the reflection staring back at you in the mirror, each one should be cherished and celebrated and recognised for how important it is to you.

For example, Jemmar has lots of successes under her belt: attending university, making her mum proud, winning a BAFTA, but her “biggest success”, she says, is:

"Loving myself and being comfortable and happy in myself."

Your definition of success is as unique as you are.

Celebrate the small stuff

Sometimes we’re so eager to reach our goals that we forget to celebrate the small steps we make to accomplish them and without those steps we wouldn't get there, so recognise how important they are! As Sophie reminds us:

Celebrate the small successes and don’t just concentrate on one main goal.

Appreciate the journey and the memories you make whilst achieving them. Live in the present and celebrate the many tiny successes you have along the way.

Don’t compare yourself

Your successes and achievements are your own. You decide what your goals are, no one else.

"There’s this idea," says Marshall, “that you’ve got to reach these milestones in your life. By 21 you’re supposed to have your life planned and I feel like that’s quite destructive really because not everyone is the same.”

It’s true. What seems small or insignificant to one person might actually be a huge achievement for someone else. Put things into perspective and remember that someone, somewhere, wishes they had achieved everything you have today.

How do you celebrate success?

For me it’s having the confidence to be proud of my successes.

Give yourself credit for the success you have had, and acknowledge what you’ve done because that gives you the ability to pursue other things and that also rubs off on other people, it continues to encourage you.

For me, it’s wanting to do more. It’s a weird celebration, but it’s like, if I can do that, I want to do more.

I strongly believe that without the people I’ve met throughout my journey I wouldn’t be here today, so appreciate everyone around us, especially ourselves.

Where to go for more support

There’s lots more advice and guidance on the Bitesize Support pages. Have a look at our mental health collection to get started.

You could also explore the advice on Young Minds, ChildLine and The Mix.

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