Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Have you impressed yourself lately? Been proud of an accomplishment?

No? Huh. Could it be that you just don't value what you do anymore?

According to many psychologists, if we are driven, ambitious people, we often lack the ability to appreciate and value our own successes. What a downer. The phenomenon, or maybe it's a syndrome, even has a name--idealization/devaluation. In other words, you idealize a certain measure of success when you see it in others, or when you are struggling to attain it, but once you reach it, well then, what's the big deal.

The first triathlon I ever did was in, I hesitate to say, 1993. Not that many women were doing them, and I didn't know anyone who could advise me on how to do the race. I was the rookiest kind of rookie you can be. My goggles got kicked off at the beginning of the swim. I had a full change of clothes for each sport (mind you this was a race that would take the winners less than hour, it was that short), and I wondered where I was supposed to do the changing. My mountain bike weighed 50 pounds. And I came in second to last. I felt like a rock star! Nowadays when I finish a triathlon, I pack my stuff up quickly in the organized way I've developed and wonder how I might have done better. I rarely take any time to relish the accomplishment. I hardly think of it as such.

I'll bet the same goes for lots of you in something--sports and other areas of your life.

Just because you can do something, does not mean it's easy. Every time we do something, it's good to remember the first time we did it. How did we feel? Like a rock star? Oh yeah--get that feeling back. You earn it, every time you do, whatever it is you do so well.