The Power of Small Wins: Why Celebrating Your Progress is Important for Long-Term Success

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Rebecca had an affliction she couldn’t shake: losing. She’d been trying for years to make it as an Account Executive in the high-tech industry. From firm to firm, she shifted, trying to find that “good fit”. But none ever felt right because she was never producing what they needed.

They asked for $100k in business each month, she delivered $40k. And it wasn’t because she sucked at what she did (though she wasn’t a rock star), it was because she wasn’t learning. She wasn’t growing. Doubt crept in like Freddy Kruger.

She wasn’t winning and her confidence was evaporating quickly.

Rebecca had the personality to sell software, but she lacked the belief in herself that she needed to push harder than everyone else to get past her limitations. So, she continued to swim in the baby pool of self-doubt.

While it was frustrating, it wasn’t as harrowing as the realization that she was about to lose her 3rd job in two years, meaning no one was going to give her another chance. And as tactful as her boss tried to be, there really was no nice way to say, “Get it together or get out.”

“I hired you based on my gut feeling, Rebecca. You had the personality to sell me on your strengths, yet I haven’t seen any results from that faith. I knew you struggled in those other places, but I thought this time it would be different.

“There was just something about the confidence you had when I interviewed you. But it’s gone. I’m really sorry, Rebecca, but you’ve got this month to turn your game around or you’re out for good. And after me? No one in the industry will want you on their team,” Mr. Roberts looked down at his desk as he delivered his message.

Angry and ready to cry, Rebecca vented her frustration to her Facebook family, when an ad popped up in her newsfeed. “Sales Coach: Shift Your Career” tugged at her soul. “What if I COULD turn this around?” She thought to herself, “What if I can make the change from failing to power-winning?” Click. She was taken to the site for the ad.

What she found changed not only her career, but her life

Rebecca had not had the push to win because at her core she doubted herself. So when she worked with her new sales coach, they discussed the power of positive emotions like joy, hope and inspiration. He showed her what gratitude does to the brain while recognizing that progress was a win too. It was small victories that would eventually lead to the big ones.

The coach knew that to get Rebecca to where she needed to be, she needed to believe in herself and that she needed to first start small so she could become familiar again with winning.

Winning, like caffeine or cigarettes, is habit-forming. It’s as powerful as genetics or drugs on the brain. Once we begin to recognize and celebrate the little wins, it becomes contagious and the brain wants more of it. It will work consistently to win and desires winning as much as it does oxygen.

That’s what happened to Rebecca.

Winning was slowly becoming a habit wrapped up in a package of small daily wins. At the end of the month, when her boss was to let her go because she hadn’t pulled her weight, he was now praising and recognizing her as the comeback sales rep for the month.

It took her a couple more months of coaching but it stuck, and there was nothing left to stop her. She closed 10 deals over the next 180 days. Some small, some big but she was now winning and he had hope…

She was now confident that she could achieve whatever she set her mind to and what she set her mind to now, was winning.

Winning is addictive.

How many other Rebecca’s are out there right now?

Written by

Keynote Speaker | Mindfulness Maven | Happiness Muse | Author | Diversity & Inclusion Advocate |

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