You have the right to brag, but does bragging about yourself seem right?
Hardly. We are all taught from a very early age NOT to brag and to be humble, however, women follow this lesson much more closely than their male counterparts.
This is not a male bashing post by any means, just a personal observation about women and how uncomfortable we are “bragging” or speaking positively about ourselves. It is certainly no issue for most of us to brag about our children, our significant others, and friends close to us, but when it comes to talking about our own accomplishments not only do we feel uncomfortable, we often don’t even recognize how great we really are and what wonderful things we do everyday.
Case in point: I ran a workshop yesterday for a group of professional women. There was an exercise in the session where I asked them to write about all their accomplishments. The group struggled with the assignment. Even though the assignment was to write down any success no matter how small, it was a difficult task. Now, when I followed that exercise with one that required them to write down their shortcomings, it was not only easier for the group to think of things, but they also recognized that they were more likely to think about their weaknesses and disappointments than their successes. They also acknowledged that they almost never acknowledge their accomplishments.
Why is all this important? Certainly it is important to recognize all the wonderful things we do everyday. That’s a necessary component to building self-esteem and is a practice that we should all follow.
How does this translate into the business world? I think it’s obvious that we should connect with our value and our talent so that we can feel more comfortable speaking about ourselves in a positive manner. Effective self-promotion is important to build a business or successful career.
Here’s an exercise to help us recognize and celebrate our achievements.
Start a journal. Let’s call it MY BRAGGING RITES.
Force yourself to make at least one entry everyday. Force yourself. Make it part of your daily routine and write something that you accomplished that day, no matter how small.
Maybe you finished a project before the deadline and amazed your boss. (Wow. You are organized!)
Maybe you made a presentation at a meeting that made a difference in the way your team thinks about an issue. (Great. You are creative and inspiring.)
Maybe you got an appointment with someone who has the potential to give you more business. (Yeah. Go Get ’em.)
You completed everything on your TO-DO list this week. (You are tenacious, organized, and motivated.)
You get the idea, right? Start to assemble your bragging rites. Review your accomplishments on a regular basis and celebrate your successes.
Now, when you need to promote yourself and have difficulty thinking of things to say, open up MY BRAGGING RITES and you will have all the material you need. Open up MY BRAGGING RITES and prepare for your interview, your sales meeting, your personnel review. Give yourself the ammunition you need. You have the right to brag.
How would you like to be interviewed for my Bragging Bunch podcasts? Email me if you are interested and I will give you 5 minutes to brag about yourself and your business!
Bonnie…I love this post. I’ve had a series of hugely incredible things happen to me and my business in the last several weeks – and there’s this constant internal battle – ‘how can I spread the news and not sound full of myself’ – I just wrote a ‘news’ post to fill folks in…but….I am so starting MY BRAGGING RIGHTS journal right now!!!
Maybe some of us gals can start an email group where we share with each other? Sorry, I mean BRAG with each other! Who’s game???
I am going to set up a Bragging Bunch podcast series. Let me know if you would like to have the opportunity to brag about your business on my podcast!
Because tooting our own horns was frowned on when we were little. (Though, considering what a big head I had anyway, I probably needed some discouragement that way. And my classmates were quick to make sure I didn’t puff myself up!) It’s a hard habit to get rid of, though … Although I will tell you that I am an awesome human being and a wonderful person …
… Just, don’t tell my Mom I said so, okay?
Why don’t you tell everyone how wonderful you are. Be a part of my Bragging Bunch and let me interview you on a minipodcast. Brag, brag all you want! it’s great.
I have just set up my Bragging Rites journal and am ready to fill it. Thanks for the rocket-powered boost!
I agree, it seems some women have a real issue with promoting their achievements and love to play them down. Then they feel all taken for granted and don’t seem to make the link. The ones that do are usually frowned upon and accussed of showing-off.
Funnily enough I was recently sharing some success stories with my Mum and she said “don’t blow your own trumpet,you should wait for others to do it.”
OMG! If you can’t brag to your Mom, who can you brag to? that’s precisely the mindset we grew up with that holds us back. However, we can learn to speak positively about ourselves with practice.
Very nice article and thanks for sharing this up.