(Missed Part 1 of our End the Year Strong series? Watch it here.)
If you’re on a path to end the year strong, here’s a secret.
You’ve succeeded more than you realize.
I know it doesn’t always feel like it. But it’s true.
In this exercise (taken from my End the Year Strong live workshop), I’ll read you a list of things you might have done—and maybe didn’t realize it. You’ll mark the ones that resonate with you and put them on your success list.
These are the things that, when you do them, lead to more success, more often. But they’re often overlooked. Until now!
It takes less than 6 minutes and will help you find the spots in your life at work where you deserve a “TA-DA!”
Uncover Hidden Markers of Success (6 minute sprint)
If you’d like to go deeper into these ideas, I talk about how to Pursue Progress (not perfection!) and to celebrate your TA-DAs in chapter 15 of my book, “Red Cape Rescue: Save Your Career Without Leaving Your Job.” Haven’t read it yet? Get it now on Amazon, Audible, or find your favorite online bookseller listed at RedCapeRescue.com.
If you’ve read it, I’d love a review from you. They all help others find the book, and when they find the book, they get the help they deserve to have the career they need.
Transcript (slightly edited for readability):
Now we want to uncover the hidden markers of success, of progress. So what do I mean by the hidden markers? Well, let me tell you a story.
Eight years ago, my dad and I had the opportunity to go to China. And we toured all over. But our last stop was in Shanghai. And in Shanghai, one of the things you do one does when in Shanghai is to go to the Chinese acrobats. And here’s the thing that, as I was watching, the show that I realized, is that every time the acrobats completed a trick, they would end with TA-DA, and even the ones that fell, that gave up, had a TA-DA.
And it really made me realize that most of us don’t get the chance to have a TA-DA., after everything that we do, right? Most of our work is does not end in TA-DA.But yet the stuff that we’re always focusing on for performance reviews for annual reviews for our self-assessments, is we’re looking for the TA-DA.
And what we’re going to do now is go and look into what I call the hidden markers of progress, which are not the end, the project was completed, or not the end state of something, but are important characteristics of your work. I want you to go through and see which ones resonate for you. Which are you doing; which have you done that you want to step up and take credit for?
It’s like a puzzle in many ways. It’s we’re looking at what’s underneath the work that gets the work to that cut-off stage. And so I think this will probably become more clear as we go through the elements in this sprint.
For each phrase, I want you to write down a number between one and five one being not at all, not something I’ve done, which is absolutely fine. Or five, absolutely, that happened to me this year. Okay, so you got the scale in your head. Again, we’re going to go fast. One to five, you know, so just each one. So I’m going to read each one j–just keep moving. And I’m going to read it. You’re right, you’re number one to five. Ready?
- I learned something I didn’t know or realize before. Write your number.
- I grew my confidence. Write your number. Don’t think about it.
- I got clear about where I can add value.
- I built a new relationship.
- I strengthened an old relationship. One through five. Don’t overthink it.
- I took on a challenge.
- I tried something new.
- I made myself uncomfortable. Oh, I know there’s a lot of fives out there on this right. You guys told me that ahead of time.
- I helped someone grow.
- I helped someone solve a problem.
- I learned something from failure or difficult situations. Yeah, I know the scale doesn’t go any higher than five. But I know there are a few of you who are saying like can I write 10 down for that? Go ahead. It’s yours.
- I showed commitment.
- I showed courage.
- I made difficult but right choices.
- I made wrong choices and admitted them.
- I initiated a tough conversation. One to five.
- I asked for what I needed.
- I reached out for help.
- I invested time in my own professional development.
- I invested money in my own professional development.
- Last one. I did something else that moved me forward this year.
Okay, so you should have anywhere between one and five on some of these, not all of them, because not all of them are going to apply. But these are hidden markers of progress, things that we don’t always recognize and pull out that the fact that we had to make tough decisions, fact that we had failures. Yes, a failure can be progress.
And by uncovering these we can pull out the stories that we want to share in the lessons we want to learn and be able to document how that moved us forward this year. Even if it was a failure.