In 2016 I had one of the biggest career shifting experiences…in which I vaguely remember.
It was my second time ever public speaking and this time was in front of a packed house at Creative South. I’m talking about 600–800 people.
Safe to say I blacked out for the majority of the 45-minute talk as my nerves were at an all-time high.
I brought a lot of energy, was really vulnerable and shared a part of me that many didn't know.
I can humbly say that when it was done, I got an unexpected standing ovation as the 9 am opening slot could be considered the hangover spot.
Sadly, to this day I can barely remember that moment. When I got home, I immediately went to work on the next project I had lined up.
It was a huge win in my life yet I was so focused on what was next that I failed to enjoy and reflect on the moment and it passed.
Honestly, it kind of haunts but it made me realize I’ve been horrible at celebrating wins in life—big or small.
Its been hard because I see people doing things at a much larger scale. In my mind, what I’m doing is just small potatoes compared to them so I rob myself of any credit.
To this day, I make it a point to celebrate even the smallest win as it:
I encourage you to see your small wins as milestones while grinding toward the trophy.
Keep your eyes on the prize but give yourself some credit along the way.
I can’t remember the wave of emotions that I felt as that should easily be one of the most recallable, happiest days of my life.
The only way I can slightly relive that moment at Creative South is due to my brother Terence Tang (Tinlun Studio) patching up some video and audio together.
When you take the time to celebrate even a small win, you create another moment to pair with that feeling. It allows you to remember that time stamp in life where you had a victory.
Small victories like selling a print online to something big like landing a huge freelance gig.
Find ways to celebrate like ordering pizza, buying that pair of shoes you’ve been eyeing or just giving yourself permission to binge on Netflix for the day.
Give yourself some credit and find a way to remember that moment.
When you string together a few small wins, it begins to build momentum and confidence.
Think about those teams that catch fire leading up to the playoffs. They rattle some wins off, find a groove and end up getting the trophy.
Even the smallest wins on your end deserve some type of celebration or pat on the back.
Don’t take the good moments and small victories in your life for granted—they are pointing you in the right direction and you can't rely on other people to notice it for you.
During those creative funks in your life when you feel invisible, it’s easy to forget how many great things you’ve accomplished large or small.
When you don’t allow yourself to celebrate and remember small wins, it’s easy to get caught up in the low moments.
Doing this creates a breeding ground for that inner critic to thrive. This critic makes you feel like you haven’t accomplished shit in your life.
However, the lows don’t seem so low when you can string some small wins together. Having some attainable small wins like updating your portfolio or Behance can help you snap out of that funk much quicker.
Being a creative isn’t easy as you’re quick to compare yourself to others who are making bigger waves than you.
However, you’ve done some pretty amazing things on your creative path—things you should be proud of.
I would hate for you to forget those moments because you didn’t think they mattered.
Celebrate all wins, especially if they are small.
Keep your eyes on the prize and give yourself some damn credit already.