Female Friendships: Moving From Venting to Celebrating

Roughly six months ago I had an epiphany around the text chain I have with my girlfriends. I realized we used it almost completely as an outlet to vent or complain. We’d discuss challenges at work, struggles we were having with our kids or partner, a complete lack in sleep and the never ending to-do lists that seem to never end to keep our families running smoothly. Creating a safe place to unload thoughts and emotions is extremely critical, but I thought we could do more with these important female friendships. I wanted to add a new dynamic to our text thread. Celebrating wins is an easy way to connect with and inspire your girlfriends. 
I spent some time thinking about how we could do this and I proposed an idea, Wednesday Wins! What does this mean and what does it look like? Each Wednesday each of us shares a weekly win story with the group. Everyone loved the idea and was immediately onboard.

Life flies by and we live in a “on-to-the-next” mindset. We rarely give ourselves time to pause, reflect, share and celebrate all that we accomplish each week.

Not to mention, as women so much of our lives are focused around others. Don’t we deserve some celebrating, too? Taking care of and celebrating ourselves allows us to be more present and capable of showing up for others. To read more on this topic check out the article, A Woman’s Identity: Who Are You Outside of Motherhood?
Our new tradition has very few ground rules:
1. Anything that made you feel good that week counts as a win
2. Our text thread is a no judgment zone, we celebrate each other and all of our wins
Our wins range from big to small, nothing is off limits. For example, “I took a yoga class alone” to “I closed a huge new contract with a client.” Furthermore, after each win, we celebrate each other. Often times our wins build off of previous accomplishments we’ve shared in other weeks. When we’re sharing a win that will progress over time, we’ve also started asking for help with accountability. This has allowed us to sustain our wins and in many ways turn them into habits.

One big thing we’ve been working on is building in time and space for all of us to individually tap into our creativity.

One of my friends has started creating a vision board. To ensure she stays on track, she’s asked our group to hold her accountable to the updates she’s committed to. Sharing the win out loud and building the accountability plan is helping her prioritize completing this project that she knows will bring her so much joy.
I’ve personally found that celebrating my wins has reinforced lessons learned and encourages me to do more of what I love. Another key point is that it’s changed the collective energy of our thread from venting (trust me we do still do this sometimes) to celebrating each other. Additionally it’s opened us up to all aspects of each others lives. We’re learning about projects, challenges and opportunities that face each of us during the week. This has built an even stronger bond and connection between our group.

Below are a few tactical things to think about if you want to start moving from venting to celebrating in your female friendships:

  1. Pick a consistent day of the week to celebrate wins
  2. Set a weekly alert in your phone that reminds you to share
  3. No win is too small, you’ll just want to pick something meaningful to you
  4. Even when you don’t think you’ve won at all that week, there’s always something worth celebrating. Surfacing this win will shift you into a frame of mind where you can find more wins!
Good luck celebrating, connecting and inspiring each other!