During my career as a counselor, I met many individuals who felt useless or unfulfilled. They believed they lived their lives without making any significant mark in the world. They felt they hadn’t accomplished anything worthwhile. In fact, they felt they hadn’t mastered any skill. As we delved into their pasts, I helped them discover that this was faulty thinking. Initially, I defined the word “accomplishment” for them. After they realized that it meant having completed a goal (regardless how minuscule), they were opened to proceed with the process.
As they recalled past victories (after a bit of prompting), the light of recognition flickered. They started to name things such as learning to ride a bicycle, winning a math competition in the fourth grade, learning to tie shoes, reciting the words to poems, getting jobs, etc. Once they named several successes, I gave them the assignment to list one-hundred accomplishments they made throughout their lives. Most of the time, this was met with resistance, but after I convinced them that they could complete this assignment with flying colors, many came back to my office amazed.
Watching these individuals recite their accomplishments was fascinating. Many of them had forgotten some of the incredible things they had done throughout their lives. Once they shared their lists, we discussed their feelings about their lists (usually they were on an emotional high). While they were infused with energy, I reminded them that if they could accomplish past feats, they could accomplish future ones as well. Some took the challenge and went on to do more great things. These accomplishments may not have been great in the eyes of others, but I reminded them that “great” is in the eye of the beholder.
I challenge you to take a moment to reflect on your accomplishments. Remember, if you have mastered past feats, future feats are waiting for you to master them too.