When it comes to shouting about our successes, us Brits have a tendency to be bashful, dismissive and to be honest, fairly self-deprecating. But why? Because we feel like people will assume we’re arrogant if we say how proud we are of ourselves? Or because we’re scared of sounding full of ourselves if we’re confident in our talents and skills?
Yes. Yes to all of the above.
But it shouldn’t be like this.
Our American friends over the pond have never had an issue with giving themselves a pat on the back when they’ve achieved something. But say to a Brit you like something they’ve done, and you’ll more than often not here a reply along the lines of; “oh that, honestly it was nothing, it’s not that good, I just threw something together, sorry it’s not more helpful” – you catch my drift?
Personally, I’m a huge fan of shouting about my successes. If I’ve achieved something you better be sure I’m logging onto Facebook to let my friends and family know – OK, I could call them personally but I’m addicted to the likes. But in all seriousness, if I’ve worked damn hard to achieve something, then I’m celebrating that, in both a virtual and real life kind of way.
You shouldn’t feel shame or guilt about applauding yourself. It’s drilled into us at a young age to not show off and to always say thank you to a compliment, swiftly followed up with…”thank you, but…”. Stop the buts.
And it’s not just talking about ourselves in a more positive light. It’s about cutting those critical thoughts out of your head and believing your own self-worth. Would you say the things you say to yourself to a friend? I highly doubt it. I don’t want to this to turn into some preaching, affirmations-in-the-mirror kind of ramble because that’s not what I’m about, but I wish more people believed in themselves, stopped putting themselves down and stop playing down any sort of goal they may have reached.
It’s a hard change to make, especially if those critical voices in your head are as powerful in your head as they once were in mine. But you could start by saying “thank you” and finish at that when somebody pays you a compliment. No but.
You can celebrate your success in your own way. Tell a loved one about a great pitch you made at work, or a compliment that someone paid to you. Fire off a quick Facebook status about how proud you are of yourself for reaching your weight loss goal. Celebrate your successes big or small with a little treat from you to yourself. You’ll be surprised how many people are genuinely happy to celebrate alongside you. I’m one of the biggest cheerleaders of my friends. If they’ve got a talent, you best believe I’ll be shouting it from the roof tops.
I completely understand that being your own cheerleader is probably going against your humbled upbringing, but it’s not about bragging or boasting. It’s about honouring who you are as a person. If you don’t appreciate yourself, why would anyone else appreciate you?
Now go give yourself a pat on the back, and realise you’re bloody amazing. If you’re not ready to be your own cheerleader just yet, it’s cool. I got you…