Self Improvement

How To Acknowledge Your Defining Moments and Celebrate Your Success

posted on July 31, 2019 | by Michele Lando

How To Acknowledge Your Defining Moments and Celebrate Your Success

We often hear about success in terms of financial stability, career growth, or maybe even self confidence; however success doesn’t have to be this big looming concept. Instead of focusing on the big picture of what success looks like for you, try digging deep and acknowledging defining moments that are small but impactful. Here are some specific ways on doing just that!

Instead of focusing on the future, look back at how far you’ve come

It’s easy to get down on yourself when focusing on the future. Maybe everything is going well but you’re still struggling to see how things will pan out for your future self or how you’ll meet your future goals (whether they’re personal, financial, educational, or all of the above). The easiest way to give yourself a little confidence boost is to look back at where you started to see how far you’ve come.

I work with about 200+ clients per year on all things resumes, cover letters, and career development, but when I started I was stoked to get one client here and there. I’ll never forget the first time someone called my old office when I still worked my corporate job asking for a resume writer. It happened to be the exact day I received confirmation that I passed the test and had become a certified professional resume writer.

I remember answering the phone, pausing for a moment to take a breath, and answering “Well yes, I’m a certified professional resume writer. How can I help you?” I was so scared and felt like I had no idea what I was doing, but this was the first of many happy clients. Taking on my very first client was a defining moment for me. It may not have given me immediate success, but it defined the start of my business and my journey as an entrepreneur.

Break down your various turning points thus far

I’m a planner and love to feel like I’m in control, so I often make lists (real talk: I write a lot of lists daily). Additionally, some people are more visual than others so it helps to see everything down on paper. When you’re trying to acknowledge your defining moments, map out the various turning points in your journey thus far.

For example, if I were to map out my defining moments I would order it something like this:

1. Graduated from college
2. Moved across the state
3. Left my career in retail
4. Started working in recruiting
5. Got my first client as a resume writer
6. Left my day job and started working for myself full time
7. Stared writing for various blogs/media outlets/websites (pitched these myself)
8. Gave my first workshop/seminar
9. Built a stronger client base
10. An old teacher hired me for my resume writing services
11. An old college professor of mine asked me to speak to his business strategy class
12. Got approached by various big websites to write for them (they pitched me!)

As I sit and write this article, typing out that list made me take a step back and look at what I’ve really accomplished! Note that this list is a big overview and is just meant to give you an idea of what I’m talking about when I say defining moments. It’s not meant to compare. We’re all different and are on different journeys. This task is meant to help you see all that you’ve accomplished.

Maybe your defining moments are more centered around your family or health. Whatever your defining moments are, this is your chance to acknowledge them. Two of the big moments on this list came from previous teachers. These events might seem trivial to some, but they made a big impact on me. I had a previous teacher reach out about my resume services and hire me to write a resume.

This easily could have been written off as one of the many clients I work with, but it was something so humbling. Someone who taught me as a child (I was in the single digits!) valued my work to the point that they would hire me as a professional. Additionally, I had a college professor of mine reach out and ask me to speak to his class about my business. Both of these events were (and are) huge defining moments for me. We often seek approval from authority figures or people who are older than us, and getting recognition from two previous teachers across varying levels of education definitely gave me a lot of confidence!


Okay, so you’ve mapped out your defining moments, now it’s time to celebrate what you’ve done! Sit back and really evaluate all that you’ve done. Chances are that you’ve had a lot more small victories than you even realize. The more you start writing and acknowledge these small moments as achievements, the more similar moments you’ll likely be able to recognize.

Even as I wrote out that list, I kept thinking of more and more tiny moments that mean a lot to me and signify a big accomplishment (in work, emotionally, physically, etc.). Think about the tiny things that get pushed aside and celebrate those!

Maybe you roasted your first chicken. (Funny story, the first time I roasted a whole chicken I panicked and started crying because I didn’t know that the neck was still attached when you purchase a whole raw chicken.) Maybe you opened your first savings account or bought your first house plant. Whatever it is that makes you feel like you’ve accomplished a small task, pay attention to it and be proud of yourself.

We often get so focused on the future, reaching goals, and working hard to be doers and achievers that we forget to celebrate the little accomplishments. Look at how far you’ve come and treat yourself to a little self indulgence!