Attagirl: Keeping track of your wins to rewrite your story

I have a client – let’s call her Jill - who is a successful partner at an AmLaw 100 firm.  She has a booming laugh, a happy marriage, and a thriving practice – as a service partner.  She lived in fear that the partners she served would start sending “her” work to junior, less expensive attorneys. 

Due to this fear, she was hoarding work – taking on more work than she could reasonably accomplish. 

Because she had too much, she was dropping balls.  Left + right. 

As a result, she felt like a failure.  She dragged her butt into work every.single.day bracing for the fire hose to turn on.  And, with it, the onslaught of criticism.  

She felt like she couldn’t do ANYTHING right.

From the outside looking in, it was clear that she was a victim of her own success. 

Instead, she needed to OWN her success. 

Jill is a capable, talented attorney – and has received countless pieces of feedback from clients, management, and peers that support that statement.  But, she didn’t focus on those, she only saw the negative comments. 

Our minds are velcro for criticism and teflon for compliments!

To start shifting her self-perception, I had Jill save ALL the complimentary emails that she received in an ATTAGIRL folder.  And, I had her keep track of ALL her wins on a running list.  Once she got going, she was SHOCKED to realize that she got compliments all the time.  AND, she recorded wins almost every week. 

These ATTAGIRLS created a snowball effect.  Soon, she had the confidence to say “no” to certain work that didn’t take her towards her goals, delegate work to junior attorneys, and effectively “sell” herself and her skill set to potential clients. 

By focusing on accurate feedback in written form, she gradually wrote a new story for herself – a story in which she is competent, admired, and successful.  Once she internalized this new story, she embodied it and authentically communicated it in everything she did.   By putting this new positive energy into the world, she started attracting the EXACT opportunities she wanted.

What might you attract if you kept an ATTAGIRL folder? 

To get started, make a folder entitled zATTAGIRL in your Outlook box <this way, it will automatically be your bottom folder>.  Keep every complimentary email, no matter how small.  And, send yourself an email with a few words about every WIN and what makes it a success.  Once you’ve saved a few ATTAGIRLS, read them every week or so to remind yourself what a ROCKSTAR you are.  This folder will also make your annual self-evaluation easy breezy!    

Remember, you have spent YEARS honing your craft by paying attention to and acting on the negative feedback you’ve received. 

What got you where you are won’t get you where you’re going. 

You need to OWN your success to take it to the next level.

Remember, anything or anyone who doesn’t light you up is too small for you,

Sarah-Nell Walsh 

Business Coach + Strategist