Recognising & Celebrating Your Successes!

January 28, 2015

When recovering from an anxiety disorder, it can be difficult to identify 'small wins'. These are the tiny steps we take every day that eventually enable us to reach our personal goals. 


Depending on the type of anxiety you are experiencing, small wins may come in the form of: 


  • Getting out of bed

  • Having a shower

  • Making a new friend

  • Thinking and responding differently

  • Coming to a support group

  • Trying something new

  • Making a phone call or answering the phone

  • Leaving the house

  • Doing the shopping

  • Making small talk with someone

  • Surviving a change in medication

  • Getting back into something you love

  • Going to an appointment

  • Handing in an assignment without spending hours perfecting it

  • Speaking in a group

  • Finding time for exercise, meditation or relaxation in your day


The list goes on.  Small wins occur every day, however we often don't take the time to notice them. Perhaps you can think of some of your own successes over the course of the day, the past week or the past month?


The more obvious successes are likely to be recognised when we consider our progress in retrospect.  We might do this by asking ourselves; 'Where was I this time last year?'; 'What can I do now that I couldn't do when I started this journey?'; 'If someone close to me could comment on my progress, what would they say?'.


Other ways of recognising success over time might be:


  • Keeping a journal of the recovery process 

  • Using a 'stepladder' to goal set and achieve gradually

  • Reflecting on your progress with a therapist or GP

  • Talking with a trusted friend about the changes that they see

  • Completing a K10 or other formal assessment at different points in recovery


As you identify your successes, take time to celebrate.  Celebrating a success, big or small, can be a great way to bring meaning and closure to an aspect of our life that has been challenging or painful.  It can also serve to reinforce the positive choices we have made and increase our sense of confidence and self-esteem. 


Everyone has their own way of celebrating success, however you may find the following appropriate:


  • Share the news with those who mean something to you

  • Write down your success and stick it up where you can see it every day

  • Have a rest

  • Thank everyone who supported you

  • Accept and enjoy the compliments! 

  • Watch a favourite TV show or movie

  • Support someone else to reach their recovery goals

  • Cross it off your list! You did it! 

  • Do something you enjoy but don't often have time to do

  • Take a day off from work and treat yourself to some well-deserved R & R

  • Go out for dinner with a friend

  • Write your 'success story' and share online or in The Panic Room SA Forum

  • Start a journal dedicated to writing about your wins

  • Buy yourself something new

  • Have a party! 


How do you celebrate your successes? 


Written by Kate Henderson @ The Panic Room SA


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