Wellbeing is a word which has the potential for many interpretations and can mean something different to all of us.

For me it’s the never-ending journey of trying to find a work /life balance; looking after all dimensions of my wellness and trying to find my own version of health and happiness.

We talk about the physical side frequently, but do we talk about the other dimensions enough? Our emotional, spiritual, environmental, social and intellectual wellbeing are just as important, but what do they mean to us and how do we achieve these abstract concepts of health? Let’s start by celebrating ourselves – celebrating our wins, our strengths and our success.

One of the greatest experiences I’ve had from becoming an educator is learning just as much from my students as I hope they are learning from me. I’ve had numerous personal growth experiences and genuine learning opportunities from listening to their knowledge and lived experiences.

One of these key learnings is around identifying and acknowledging our own strengths, something  many people struggle to do. This got me thinking; why are we so quick to shy away from highlighting and celebrating our success? It contributes to our health, happiness and wellbeing, so shouldn’t it be just as important as everything else?

I’m the first to admit I’m not great at owning my strengths and am quick to point out my own failures and flaws, but it’s something I’m actively working on improving. I thought this was unique to me, as it’s a defence mechanism I have developed over time, but it turns out it’s not. I have found “Tall Poppy Syndrome” and self-sabotage to be ingrained into society, which is why we need to flip the script and start looking at how to celebrate our strengths and success – not just our own, but those around us.

I want you to think when was the last time you took time out of your day to celebrate yourself? To acknowledge your strengths, to build yourself up and to say a positive I statement “I am great, I am ambitious, I am enough”.

Here’s what we need to do – we need to accept that it’s okay to be awesome. Don’t be afraid to showcase your talents. Many of us tend to hide in the shadows, which stops us from getting the metaphorical sunshine we need to develop, grow and shine. I still cringe when someone compliments me, when really, I should be acknowledging that someone has recognised a job well done, owning it and being proud.

“Know your strengths, own your success.”

So how do we go about feeling comfortable around identifying what we are good at, and learning to accept awesomeness into our daily lives? Here’s how you can start;

Compliment Others: Find it hard to tell yourself you’re fabulous? Start with those around you. Aim to look for positive traits in others, look at their strengths, their success, their wins and acknowledge them – take some time to tell the people around you how amazing and inspiring they are.

Positive Self-Talk: Once you actively try to build others up, do the same for yourself. Every morning when you wake up, tell yourself your worth. Tell yourself at least three things about yourself that you love, cherish and are going to celebrate today own your truth.

Reflective Practice: At the end of each day, concentrate on what went well, what you did to achieve greatness and what you’re proud of. Write these down in a journal, say them out loud – do whatever it takes to positively reflect on your day and reinforce yourself.

Goal recognition: Goals are so important in all aspects of our life. They give us drive and ambition to work towards something we want to achieve. Once you reach that goal, celebrate it – take time to acknowledge whatever it is you have achieved and be proud

Celebrate Success: Do you deserve recognition for something great you’ve done? Do those around you? Absolutely! No matter what realm of your life it’s in. don’t be afraid to step forward and own that success. Nominate yourself, nominate others for recognition, appreciation and awards.

I used to feel embarrassed, awkward and uncomfortable about celebrating my own success. I remember the first time I was nominated for the New Zealand Exercise Industry Awards. It took me so long to even tell people because I didn’t want them to think I was bragging. But I’ve now learned that you must celebrate your strengths, own your success and whether you win or not; be proud.

I’ve been blessed to be a winner at the New Zealand Exercise Industry Awards three years in a row, winning Student of the Year in 2016, Up and Coming Personal Trainer of the Year in 2017 and Community Excellence in 2018. This is recognition for my motivation, drive, dedication and determination. I worked extremely hard for my success, and I’m finally not afraid to show it.

Understand that when you acknowledge you are winning; you are improving your overall wellbeing. It’s quite simple – know your strengths, own your success.