I once had an internship where I had to grab quick quotes from fifty strangers. In one day. When I was scared of people. And I did it. I remember calling my mum on the phone, on the train, on the way home and saying, “It went really well!”
I remember walking to a job interview, later in life, talking to my dad who’d rung to wish me luck and who said, “You’ve done bigger things than this before!” and thinking yeah, yeah I have. I’ve got this.
Do you ever get swept up in the pursuit of your next big goal: your next travel adventure; your next promotion; your next personal fitness best? Challenges help us to feel alive and keep us motivated to achieve new things, but sometimes they can make us feel inadequate.
I think that honouring where you’ve come from is really important. Maybe you’ve seen that quote that floats around on Pinterest that says, “Never regret anything because at one time it was exactly what you wanted.” Or the Celine Dion lyric that’s apparently embedded into my subconscious that says, “There were things I’d never do again but then they’d always seemed right.”
When I review my personal highlights reel, when I remember the things I’ve done, it helps me remember who I am. The challenges that have been important to me, the goals that I’d achieved, the drama that beset me that I made it through. Here are three ways you can create your own Personal Highlights Reel.
Write a list of the things you’ve accomplished that you’re proud of. This is a list for you, not for LinkedIn or for anyone else to see. When you’re feeling low, and you can reach for something that says, “I survived a night in New Orleans” or “I met one of the Front Bottoms” I guarantee it’s not going to make things worse.
Scroll back through your Instagram account. I recently went through my feed and looked through all the photos I’ve taken over the last few years. Instagram is like a visual diary where I catalogue moments that feel important to me. Reliving these helped me to feel how far I’ve come: cryptic song lyrics from situations past; awesome haircuts; holidays; family; milestones. Traumatic times when I have survived, and glorious times when I have thrived.
Text a friend or two and ask for their favourite memory of you.
I just did this to two of my best friends: one said, “Definitely not when we hit the kangaroo! Haha” and the other said, “When you got kicked out of the pub dressed as Taylor Swift, WHEN Taylor Swift was playing!”
We always hear that life is filled with ups and downs – usually it’s when life has been kind of a downer for us. But remembering times when we have been up and down, and that we survived them, can help us feel more secure about the future. Or at least a little more forgiving when we take on our to-do lists. You are what you’ve done just as much as you are what you’re going to do. You’ve got soul, soldier.