Success-induced ‘cold feet’ — How celebrating the little wins will give you your momentum back

Some common triggers of negativity which can interrupt success patterns, and 3 reasons celebrating your wins get’s you back on track.


It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell. ~Buddah

There are times in life when the powers that be seem to throw nothing but curve-balls at you, and there are times when it’s a streak of home runs! That’s the thing. Life is full of personal wins (positive experiences), and frustrating challenges (negative).

I’m sure you can relate.

I recently had a number of life changing events occur for me — of the positive kind. The thing is, upon learning of the news, I quickly found ways to turn these little wins into a negative spiral of ‘oh no, more effort’ thoughts. I was digging a hole.

I had success-induced ‘cold feet’ — I was making the actioning of my dreams — made possible through my hard work and little wins — seem impossible again.

Here’s how.

  • I felt overwhelmed — Action, action, action! After so long pushing for and awaiting an outcome, all I could recognise was that there was so much more work to do! Momentum was gaining, and it was now time to initiate the next phase. This meant work, and time.
  • I was depressed — Times were changing, mostly for the better, but what about all the hardship and sacrifice? I found myself surrounded by the disruptive feelings of regret — regret for the choices I made, the actions I took, the people I’d hurt. It was depressing.
  • There was anxiety too — Mental to do lists, fear of the unknown, pressure to perform, expectations to charge forward and action my dreams. I had so much expectation to perform, it fuelled toxic anxious feelings, disrupting my sleep and mental clarity.

This are just a few symptoms of success induced ‘cold feet’ that I experienced, all of which were powerful drivers of my (declining) emotional state.

The thing was, I had achieved a lot, and I was failing to recognise it because success was coming in the form of little wins — milestones I reached which led to incremental progress towards my dreams.

The solution seemed (and is) simple. It was time for me to celebrate.

Celebrating little wins — 3 reasons why it’s good to party

1. Increase your sense of control

You just kicked a goal. Great!

Celebrate the incremental steps that you’ve overcome to get there, not only the result. Why? It highlights to your subconscious that, for all your effort, planning, and persistence, you are the master of your domain.

Focus on what matters in your life, and how you are dominating that area through your everyday wins. When you focus on what you are achieving, no matter how small, you gain a sense of control and authority which is extremely empowering.

2. It gives you positivity and motivation to push forward

You’re running a marathon and you’ve passed the 21km mark (half way). It’s a huge physical and mental challenge, and at this point, you find yourself overwhelmed with thoughts of hardship, pain, and the road ahead. Theres two possible scenarios here. Do you decide to a) focus on what’s still to go; or b) celebrate the pavement you’ve just dominated?

Hint: the answer is b)!

You’ve just completed a half marathon you crazy cat! That’s something most people in the world would never dream of doing. And, you’re still going — you haven’t hit the dirt like that guy 2km back. Might as well finish the job!

Celebrate the small achievements along the road to you dreams.

There’s lots of distance to cover, and it will seem worthwhile and motivating if you take time to put achievements into perspective.

3. Celebrating will reinforce your self worth and nurture your ego

When did thinking negatively and focusing on challenges ahead make you feel like you were a better, stronger, or smarter person? Chances are, never.

It’s important to recognise the good times during your journey and add them to your arsenal of awesomeness. After all, you can do great, you can achieve, your only limit is what you believe.

This doesn’t mean you need to go overboard and let the whole world know (although, do that if it works for you!). Celebrate your efforts, your result, your achievement, for you. Doing this will build a better self image to those around you, and will reinforce positive thoughts and behaviours for yourself.

TIP: Affirmations can be a great way to actively reinforce your small wins.


If you find yourself in a similar situation in life — faced with success-induced ‘cold feet’ — remember to celebrate little wins that got you to where you are. Your resulting transformation will prove a force to be reckoned with.

Originally published at jasontownsend.com.au on June 6, 2014.

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