Gael's Blog

Confidence Challenge April 2016: Celebration of the ordinary as a tonic for confidence

Sunday, April 24th, 2016


child love         old love

In my country this week we have been celebrating. It was our Queen’s 90th birthday, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare …… and, my own quite ordinary birthday! I love celebrations and I believe they are great confidence boosters.  I am not someone who enjoys big crowd events, so I watched the first two celebrations from the comfort of my home sofa.

Both the public events uplifted me and left me with a sense of pride and reinforced connection with my country.  The other event, my own non-big 0 birthday was by comparison, insignificant. But for me, it wasn’t –  it was indeed an achievement also worthy  of celebration. I have reached an age when health scares and challenges have become routine.  Even if happen I to feel fine, I am sure to hear of someone of my age or even younger whose life has ended, or is seriously threatened. My confidence then physically quakes. My legs wobble along with my concentration. Staying positive and keeping focused on goals for the future is hard.

Luckily, I learned long ago that personal celebrations of any kind of achievement are one of the best restorative tonics for confidence. The celebration can be as low-key as you want it to be. I chose a catch-up walk in a beautiful park with a friend; a lunch out and trip to the theatre with my husband; to offer an invitation to some friends to join us for a meal in Spain next week, and a present of new earrings from me to me.  Now my cup of confidence overfloweth!

So your confidence challenge this month is to choose some small, routine or ordinary achievements to celebrate in your own specially chosen way. You don’t have to wait for a noticeable wobble of confidence before you do this – just see it as good practise for your emotional well-being.

Here’s what I suggest you try doing:


  1.  Think back over the last month and recall what you have been engaged in both at home, at work or in your local community.
  2. Make a note of any achievements or milestones you have reached. Also ask yourself if you have made any special effort to achieve a goal that is still frustrating you.
  3. Ask yourself which of these achievements, milestones or laudable efforts have been recognized and celebrated, and which have not?
  4. For those (however routine or small) which were not celebrated, make a plan for an appropriate celebration. If you can’t think of a way of doing this, talk it over with a friend. It is common to have a block on how to congratulate ourselves, but rare for people to be stuck over ideas for celebrating others they care about.

Read these examples below which might jog some ideas:

  •  I managed to book our family holiday after much research and hours of hanging on to the phone while irritating music played in the background. I was on the point of giving up many times but I persisted.  My husband said well done but I haven’t celebrated.
  •  In spite of my year-long effort to persuade my company that we need our full quota of staff, I have been told that two people in my team now have to go. I feel a failure. Perhaps I should quietly celebrate the fact that we are only losing two people instead of the six redundancies that were originally discussed.
  •  My daughter has now been away from home for over 6 months and since Christmas has only rung twice. I feel as though I have lost a part of myself. Recently I have been making much more of an effort to stop looking at the phone to see if she has messaged me and also have been looking at part-time jobs and voluntary activities. Nothing has come up yet, but perhaps I could celebrate the fact that I have put one foot outside of that empty nest.

Good Luck and enjoy  your spring


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