How You Can Stoke Your Attitude Towards Positive Success

It’s all too easy to just put your successes behind you, but high performers I have studied all took the time to celebrate, appreciate and remember their successes.


It’s true of organisations and individuals: we tend to dismiss our successes. Oh, we may have a momentary celebration, even a party if it’s a big success, but all too often people forget the lessons of their best moments and then wallow in their current miseries and challenges.

But there’s a way that you can focus on your successes that builds confidence, enables strategy and creates further opportunity for achievement.

Individuals I studied in my doctoral work would keep visible records of their successes on display in their surroundings. It helped them to remember and served to help them appreciate that they had achieved something significant. These were not self-accolades and generally not empty things like trophies and medals (unless it has an absolutely outstanding quality or association to it, like an Olympic Gold Medal). They were instead mementos and metonyms for their successes: photos of individuals and teams, testimonials, parts of an important project or equipment they used to achieve an outstanding goal, book covers from their own works, letters from grateful clients or employees or other memorabilia that pointed to the success.

It wasn’t that these mementos simply bolstered their uneasiness about themselves (ameliorating that pervasive impostor syndrome), but rather served during difficult times to point to their past ability to overcome adversity or achieve at their best. Reflecting on these artefacts also helped them to reflect on processes that they had used in the past and how they might adapt or learn from them in the future.

Coaching For Success Orientation

When coaching individuals and organisations, one of the things that I do is to constantly look for the successes that they have achieved. When I have done this with clients, we go through and assess both how they achieved those successes, as well as the impact.

Invariably, so-called “high achievers” will often point to their failures and their lack of perfection. As people turn from low achievement to high achievement, they’ll also point the finger to negative outcomes. Think of people on the weight loss treadmill: they have some early achievement, but keep looking at and being depressed by the weight they still have, instead of being delighted the weight they’ve lost. And they despair and give up.

In my client work, I help them to be able to see our successes and (frankly, as I’m really good at it), they are surprised at how much they achieve in a very short period of time. We achieve dramatic results, which often even they don’t appreciate because they are looking for an idealised perfection, rather than realistic and holistic improvement. I point my clients to those successes and we keep building from there!

Don’t Just Have a Party

The next time you and/or your team achieve success, don’t just throw a little party and have a little cake. Do that, for sure, but go on to more…. Surround yourselves with the artefacts of your successes and keep learning from them and being motivated by what you have already demonstrated you can achieve.

You’ll be surprised at the results!

How do you celebrate your successes? Leave a comment on my blog or click here.

© 2016 Peter J. McLean. Web: ,  Blog:

If you want to work with me or discuss having me speak to your organisation or event, contact me here.

Celebrate Your Successes
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