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Never Forget Your Past Successes

Never Forget Your Past Successes

trophies awards past successes

    The first award I ever won in my life that I remember was a yellow second place ribbon for an egg and spoon race when I was in senior Kindergarten. I actually still have that ribbon among other similar little awards I received during my childhood years. They have been safely stored in a metal candy box all these years.

    Significant certificates, diplomas and even university degrees have also been placed in file folders in my home office as well. Work related awards like plaques I received for corporate sales performance were bundled together in a tote bag. Although I use to display them on my wall when I was still in corporate life, I no longer have them out since I decided to go for a more artistic home styling with real artwork instead.

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    Not Just Dust Collectors

    In my case, the bulk of my awards are in the form of a few hundred trophies of varying sizes from a few inches to a multilevel one that stands almost eight feet tall. These trophies plus many plaques and medals were won from my long career in martial arts competition that spanned over twenty years.

    When I use to live in smaller high rise condo apartments, I had no choice but to have these trophies lined up a few rows deep that took up an entire living room wall. I even had some of the plaques in my bathrooms. Needless to say, this sight overwhelmed a lot of my visitors especially when they came to my place for the first time.

    Although most of my guests were very impressed, I did receive some negative reactions, usually from girlfriends after a certain dating period. Once they were comfortable enough with me, a few of them actually told me that I should throw my trophies out since they were just taking up space and collecting dust.

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    These women were obviously thinking from a home decor point of view and in some ways, their point was valid. However, at the same time, they also completely missed out on something important. There is a reason why I, along with many other people in this world, have not thrown out the awards we have won. These awards are not simply just dust collectors.

    Reminders Of Past Successes

    Past awards and other mementos of our achievements serve as reminders of our past successes. Everybody goes through ups and downs in life. It is during those down periods when past successes become especially helpful.

    Instead of just sitting there sulking when we are down and challenged by whatever life throws at us, we should be remembering how we have conquered obstacles to become successful in the past. We should recall despite the challenges, how we were able to work through them and still achieve victory.

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    Physical reminders of past victories such as trophies or certificates act to trigger these events back into our minds. We will then feel a surge of confidence as we realize that if we were successful before, then we can become successful again.

    These reminders help us remember that although we might lose the odd battle, we can still win the overall war. Past successes do not have to be exactly related to current challenges either. My past successes in martial arts continue to help boost my confidence in many different challenges I face and many of these are not related to martial arts in any way whatsoever.

    So keep all the reminders of your achievements so that you never forget your past successes, especially during times when you can really use a boost.  Although you don’t necessarily have to display them in prominent locations around the house, at least have them somewhere where you can easily access them to rekindle the wonderful memories behind them.

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    I did not keep my trophies to impress anyone. I kept them for myself as reminders of past successes when I need them. The only thing different these days is that I have a bigger house and therefore do not have to have my awards in my living room and bathrooms anymore. I now have a separate trophy room in my basement. This should keep the girlfriends from complaining.

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    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

    We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

    We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

    So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

    Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

    What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

    Boundaries are limits

    —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

    Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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    Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

    Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

    Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

    How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

    Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

    1. Self-Awareness Comes First

    Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

    You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

    To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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    You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

    • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
    • When do you feel disrespected?
    • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
    • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
    • When do you want to be alone?
    • How much space do you need?

    You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

    2. Clear Communication Is Essential

    Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

    Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

    3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

    Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

    That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

    Sample language:

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    • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
    • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
    • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
    • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
    • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
    • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
    • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

    Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

    4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

    Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

    Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

    Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

    We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

    It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

    It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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    Final Thoughts

    Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

    Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

    Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

    The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

    Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

    Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

    They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

    Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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