Positive reflection is very important to me. Looking back at the goals we’ve set and revising them if needed is essential to our wellbeing and self-care: two of my most intrinsic values. Just as New Year is a time for us to reflect on our good intentions, so are the annual events that matter to us. They’re reminders to consider how far we’ve come and feel proud of what we’ve achieved.
As we look back on another year in business, we’re given an opportunity to address not only our successes but also our setbacks. This can be a hugely challenging task, which can make us feel uneasy. However, with both business growth and self-care in mind, we must reflect positively. We need to focus on the lessons that we’ve learnt that give us the motivation to move forward.
Birthdays, anniversaries and celebrating success
I celebrated my birthday in early February and Not Just an FD turned two at the end of the month, so February is really significant. I find both birthdays and anniversaries can be loaded with mixed emotions. Birthdays are sometimes seen as times we consider that we ‘should have’ achieved something new as another year passes us by: a pressure and pessimism that can be very damaging to our mental health.
Anniversaries, on the other hand, are generally celebrated, and usually so for a business. We’re encouraged to be proud, as I am of Not Just An FD, of what we’ve achieved: the clients we’ve helped, the progress we’ve made and the growth we’ve seen. We’re invited to make a toast to honour our success, as indeed we should.
I’m lucky that my two birthdays (personal and professional) have fallen in the same month, as it gives me two key perspectives that I feel are essential for us all. Firstly, balance: an understanding that both failures and successes should be marked as progress. I’ve had my share of ups and downs, both personally and professionally, over the last two years. At times, it has been incredibly stressful to have so much change happening in all areas of my life at once. What happens in one part of your life, whether positive or negative, can have a huge impact on the other. Secondly, motivation: acknowledging another year has passed and setting goals for the one to come. I am now in a much more positive place, with a clear idea of what I want from life and from business and how I can achieve success in both areas.
Mistakes and learning from them
Naturally, with birthdays and anniversaries we begin to reflect on our progress across the past year. Both personally and professionally, it’s likely we’ve had moments that haven’t been so successful. Chances are, we’ve made mistakes – and many of them – on a small scale. Perhaps we’ve made some bigger mistakes too, which have had a greater impact on our lives and businesses. It can be very difficult to get past these moments.
It’s essential that these setbacks are not things we dwell on but rather are lessons we learn from. Why did they happen? What could we do differently next time? What do we now do better as a result? Focussing on our mistakes negatively is hugely detrimental to our wellbeing and, indeed, to making progress. Instead, we must review them as challenges we’ve overcome and celebrate that.