Last week I led a session at the Toronto Agile Conference, titled “Bullsh*t: Stop Telling me it’s impossible.” We spent an hour diving into fear, as it’s a recurring theme I see in myself and work on an almost daily basis.

When I lead sessions at conferences, my intention is to have an impact on participants. I want people going away asking themselves thought-provoking questions. Last week I certainly delivered on my intention, and the impact is to a level I don’t ever remember having on people.

The session went exceptionally well, the feedback I received in the room was overwhelming, and I’ve received about a dozen notes since the session thanking me, and sharing the impact I had on them.

So why am I telling you this? Does it feel like I’m bragging? Who likes a bragger, right? I’ve always approached my life in a very humble way. I didn’t want to upset others or have them feel bad because of my success. My humility is why you won’t often see me talking about my accomplishments. 

Bragging is sharing with the intention of trying to make myself bigger or better than another person. Bragging can be about trying to gain power, by either raising my status or lowering yours. 

In sharing my success at last week’s conference, I intend to claim a win for my accomplishment. Claiming a win is for my benefit, and not yours. My mentor Christopher Avery taught me a long time ago about the importance of claiming your wins. However, until now I don’t think I’ve fully understood why it’s so important to claim your wins.

To lead a conference session, I want to stretch myself and get out of my comfort zone, as I know I’ll grow as a result. If I don’t claim this win for myself, I won’t anchor the growth. So it becomes possible for me to shrink away from the growth. It’s entirely possible I’ll shrink back to my previous self to make it comfortable for others. The problem with this is, if I’m not growing I’m not fulfilling the basic human need to keep growing. If I’m not growing it often leaves me feeling stuck and unfulfilled, if not depressed. 

So I am claiming this win, and want to thank everyone who participated. Your willingness to confront your fears, and participate fully has been exciting to witness.

Thought of the week

What intentions did you set for yourself? They don’t have to be big things like leading a conference talk. Your intention might be to stop hitting the snooze button and get out of bed earlier. It might be spending more quality time with the family. Or perhaps it’s to do something you’ve always wanted to try.

No matter what size your intention is, once you’ve met your intention take a moment and claim the win.

The most impactful way to claim a win is to declare it to someone else. Don’t worry about what the other person will think of you, as it’s my experience people will want to help you celebrate. Not ready to do it publicly? Then claiming your win can be as simple as declaring it to yourself: “That’s a win!”  Or you might keep a journal of wins each week, which can be a great way to reflect back on everything you have accomplished. 

Why not start right now? What is something you intended to do recently and you did it? Anything counts … big, small or somewhere in between. Leave a reply to this post, or on social media and claim your win!

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