Do Your Victory Dance!

At the risk of sounding un-American or something (especially during Super Bowl season) I will first say that I don’t really follow football.  As I write that, I can hear a collective “boo” from all of you…so I shall add that when I do watch a game, I enjoy some aspects of the whole experience; the enthusiasm of the crowd, the coaches’ temper tantrums, and the victory dances. I get a kick out of those big hulky players in their shoulder pads, letting their happy cleated feet demonstrate their joy and pride in making a touchdown.

I also like the happy little jigs performed by my grandchildren when they win a game or a race, order a double scoop ice cream sundae or learn that there is an early-release day from school. Even my dogs dance when they’ve scored a cookie!  It seems as if dancing is the natural result of a happy event and a worthy expression of celebration.

I think that as we grow up and older, it takes us longer to generate a victory dance. We seem to wait for something major to happen before we celebrate and we often overlook the small victories. We tend to focus on what we did not accomplish rather than to acknowledge what we did do.

A loving parent tries to encourage his/her child and nurture feelings of healthy self-esteem. Wouldn’t it be wise for each of us to nurture the inner child that lives deep within our hearts? Instead, we can be pretty tough on ourselves. We nag and criticize, and if that inner child ever feels like breaking into a happy-feet victory dance over something seemingly small, the grown-up self puts the brakes on it pretty quickly! And if someone else ever compliments us on an accomplishment, we often downplay it in the name of modesty.

I’d like to suggest that you try something that I’ve started doing…recording every little victory… every day. I’m talking ANYTHING that makes you feel even a tad triumphant. Last week, my list included cleaning out my kitchen junk drawer (including the removal of crumbs from an unknown origin), driving right past my favorite pastry shop; rather than stopping in and adding their muffins to my muffin top, remembering to take the keys out of the ignition before exiting my car and locking it, and making it through a particularly tough day and remaining vertical during most of it!  Apparently, small things make me happy. Your list might be a little more substantial!

Along with listing your small victories, try adding a little victory dance for each one. If you do it in public and people give you strange looks, don’t worry about it….they will either ask you what you’re doing, in which case you can tell them…or they’ll pretend they didn’t see you and leave you alone.

Celebrating small accomplishments does not diminish our celebration of the large ones. After all, is victory the achievement of large goals, or is victory a state of mind? Just remember that “triumph” just comes from a try with a little extra “umph!”

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