Why Don’t We Celebrate Our Own Accomplishments?

“We don’t celebrate what we did, we punish ourselves for what we didn’t do.”

~Christina Castro


That one cuts deep.

I am definitely guilty of beating myself up over the littlest of imperfections, even in the face of real success.

It sucks, but I do it far too often

The Struggle with Impostor Syndrome

Impostor Syndrome

The ladies from the Ultra Ordinary Running podcast did an episode recently talking about Imposter Syndrome.

Impostor syndrome, in case you’re unfamiliar with that term, is basically the feelings of inadequacy even though the feelings may be completely unjustified.

Impostor syndrome manifests just about everywhere, from academia to business and just about everything in between. And in this case, in between definitely includes running.

And it’s something that I struggle with on an almost daily basis.

We Punish Ourselves Even When We Don’t Mean To

We Need to Celebrate More!

How many times have you said “only” or “just” when talking about an accomplishment in your running life?

It was “just” a 5k.

I “only” run a 10 minute mile.

If “only” I could run a half marathon without walking.


Just stop.

When you use the words “only” or “just” in that fashion, you are belittling yourself.

Seriously y’all, there are enough haters in this world that none of us need to make it worse by hating on ourselves!

Be Loud, Be Proud! Celebrate!

Stop being ashamed/embarrassed by your achievements and celebrate them instead!

I’ll start.

Here are some things that I’ve been struggling with when it comes to my running/coaching/podcasting/entrepreneurial endeavors and why I’m struggling with those issues.

  • My marathon PR is “only” 4:08:34. I feel like potential clients may struggle to take my knowledge and coaching ability seriously if I’m not faster than that.
  • My podcast “only” averages about 200-300 plays per day, while I am constantly hearing other podcasters (in a variety of different genres) talk about their days of 1000+ downloads. I’ve never had a 1000+ play day, so clearly I’m doing something wrong and I’m not as good at podcasting as they are.
  • I “just” have a handful of coaching clients at the moment between The Coterie and race specific training plans. A successful coach would have a lot more clients than that.

These are just a few of my struggles at the moment, but they are the ones that I honestly confront just about every day.

Yet within each of those struggles, there are reasons that I should be celebrating instead.

  • I may not be the fastest running coach ever, but I worked hard for that 4:08! Could I have potentially done better, certainly. But I learned from that experience and am a much better runner now than I was on the day I ran that race (2014).
  • I’m connecting with 200-300 runners EVERY DAY with my podcast! That’s frickin’ awesome! And along the way, I’ve built real friendships with many of the guests AND listeners of the show, which means that the show is definitely successful.
  • I’m helping people make progress towards their running goals. Whether I’m working with 50 runners or with 5, the goal for me is the same: help each runner be successful. Right now, I’m helping a handful of people find running success. If I add more clients, I’ll help more people. If I lose a client or two for whatever reason, I’ll help fewer people. Either way, I’m helping runners which is the whole reason I started coaching to begin with.

It’s not “hard” to find things to celebrate, we just have to be willing to stop punishing ourselves at the drop of the hat.

Easier said than done, I know.

But I just found 3 ways I can stop punishing myself and start celebrating instead.

How many ways can you find to do the same?

What is an Area Where You are Dealing with Impostor Syndrome? How Can You Celebrate That Area of Your Life (Running or Otherwise) Instead?

Stop comparing yourself to others & CELEBRATE your successes! Share on X

Adding this post to the Coaches Corner Link Up hosted by Running on HappySuzlyfeCrazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs!

7 replies
  1. Jill Corbett
    Jill Corbett says:

    Great post, Denny! I bet your marathon time now days would be way faster than that 4:08 back in 2014. If you use the race predictor information, which I know you hate, your 10k time at Lake to Lake this past year has you going 3:28:28. I know you can do that!

  2. Stephanie Wattenbarger
    Stephanie Wattenbarger says:

    REALLY needed to hear this today when the weekend I “should be” running the 100 miler starts tomorrow. I think it is the curse of (slight) perfectionists. Even with a “DNS” I have been encouraging several in my running group who are seeking a BQ when we run together this June at Grandma’s Marathon. Though returning to a fit level of running has been difficult after illness, my first 4 miles back I still had a pace of 8:24. Though I didn’t go on to Nurse Practitioner school like I wanted/planned, I still graduated with honors in both my Associates & Bachelor degree programs. So there’s my 3.
    BTW- I appreciate all you do and share your sites frequently with runners I come in contact with. Your podcasts are motivating and your posts keep me motivated.
    We’re all in this together for the love of running. After losing 2 friends to death recently, I have adopted the attitude that any run that I do is a great run because I have life in my body. I still have goals & dreams to pursue, but those are just the icing on the cake.
    Once again-about your marathon times and a BQ-you CAN & you WILL!

    • Denny
      Denny says:

      Thanks Stephanie! It’s always great to hear that something I write/say on the podcast is the exact message another person needed to hear that day!

  3. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    Spot on. I couldn’t agree more. I’m always doing the “just” or “if only” game with myself and you’re right, totally useless and no reason to belittle ourselves. Thanks for linking up!

  4. Sarah K
    Sarah K says:

    Great post Denny.

    Wish you could make the run this week up at the Clay Loop – we could have a grand chat.

    I wish I knew how to make people feel proud of their accomplishments – if they went to a race because they enjoy the atmosphere and they had fun – GOAL MET. If they went and they wanted to hit negative splits, and they do YAY. Every race doesn’t need to be about a PR – we really should celebrate that we run – whatever our ability is.


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