Written by Paul Carey Jr.
You may think it’s a little early, but the time to start keeping a track record of your successes is NOW!
As your journey through life continues, there will be more and more situations where you will need to talk about yourself and your accomplishments. For many of us, talking about ourselves is not always the easiest thing to do, and bragging about what we have done doesn’t always come naturally or flow the way we anticipate. Nonetheless, we will be put into these situations, and at those moments we will need to have something to say — so why not start keeping a tally of your achievements now?
Most of us don’t keep track of our early successes because we’re unaware that doing so may come in handy in the future. While in high school, for example, who can predict that you’ll be asked one of these questions (in a serious context) down the road?
What are your greatest strengths? What is your greatest achievement? Do you consider yourself successful? Tell me about a time you demonstrated a leadership skill.
Even for those who do anticipate these questions, they may not know exactly how to respond. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a list to reference, where all of this information is tracked and documented in detail?
How do you go about creating this list? Start with roles you have held in any capacity, including extracurricular activities and volunteering positions. Take that time that you served as editor for the school yearbook, for example. What task were you given? How did you fare? What challenges arose and how did you handle them? Were there any conflicts? What did you learn?
All of these questions are important, and answering them while they are fresh in your mind is key; no one wants to spend hours thinking back about these questions years after the successes have occurred — so start now!
Not only should you track your successes, but you should also write down things you consider “failures.” More times than not, these “failures” teach us more about ourselves than successes, and these valuable lessons can be helpful to reference in job interviews, application essays, and more.
Specifically, jot down the steps you took to address these failures — what worked? What didn’t work? What did you learn for the future? Your answers to these questions will not only be great talking points in the future, but they will also allow you to see exactly how YOU deal with situations that don’t go as planned. They’ll also serve as reminders that you are able to overcome various challenges.
So, next time you have a role, task, or experience of any kind — big or small — consider tracking your progression through it. You never know how beneficial this will be in the future!