Celebration: The key to sustainability in challenging times

Two years ago, at the start of the pandemic, I piloted a workshop on joy with a colleague. Admittedly, it felt like the strangest time to be talking about joy yet the workshop filled up quickly. Once again, as many of us continue to navigate burnout and depression, along with existential world anxiety, I’m here to talk about something undeniably positive: celebration.

Celebration: the action of marking one’s pleasure at an important event or occasion by engaging in enjoyable, typically social, activity.

Celebration has been on my mind for a couple of reasons.  First, this month I’m celebrating an equalizing moment professionally.  In March 2009 I left a successful career in financial technology after 13 years of establishing myself in that industry. This March 2022 marks 13 years of working as a Career and Leadership Coach and developing a reputation as such. I can’t believe how much has happened in that time, and I also can’t believe how quickly those years seem to have flown by.

Second, as we move forward with greater awareness of the uncertainty we face in the world, we are being called to evolve our relationship with life itself. We’re not going back to normal and we need to find ways to live with and manage uncertainty that are nonetheless sustainable over the long run.  While celebration may be the last thing on people’s minds, I’m finding that it’s also one of the most helpful activities to support sustainability.

At the end of my weekly team meetings with my colleagues, we ask each other: “What is one thing you are celebrating right now?” It takes a little time and thought yet each of us comes up with something, and it gives us some of the strength needed to carry on.

Simultaneously, with my coaching clients, I often invite them to consider what they’re proud of right now. Amidst overwhelm and exhaustion, they surprise themselves by reconnecting with what is supporting them most and what is inspiring others in a challenging time. The shift in their confidence as they reflect on their source of pride is almost visceral; you can feel it even in a virtual space.

It may seem inappropriate to celebrate when we don’t really feel like it and when so many people are suffering. Yet, if we are to go on and be there for those who need us, we need to take time to recognize what we’re doing well, especially now.

So, as I take time to celebrate a milestone in my journey, I invite you and your teams to reflect on your individual and collective celebrations amidst chaos and turmoil. It may just be the thing needed to help you keep going and contribute positive energy to a world that needs it.

For more on the power of celebration, check out these articles:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/power-celebration-why-its-better-motivator-than-pain-greg-mueller – an insightful post on how to celebrate and what gets in our way

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzIbbJed-ic – a nice 5 minute TEDxTalk by a young man who makes the case that celebrating the small things makes the distinction between feeling alive versus experiencing life as a chore.


Maggie DiStasi, PCC helps people develop their leadership skills and career opportunities through trauma-informed and mindfulness-based coaching and coach training. Please visit www.www.maggiecoultercoaching.com to learn more, or connect with her here to arrange a consultation.

About Me

Maggie Coulter Coaching was founded in 2009.  Specializing in career and leadership coaching for people who have experienced significant interpersonal trauma. Navigate stressful work situations and lead with confidence.

You can learn more about me here.

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