Photos by Kaye Ford.
Recently I’ve come to realise that I struggle to own my own successes. Perhaps it’s from being inherently British or perhaps it’s part and parcel of sitting firmly in the INTJ personality type, but if ever I’m complimented or somebody congratulates me on a success, I brush it off like it’s no big deal, even if I’d been working towards that goal or milestone for weeks, months or even years. So I’ve decided it’s about time I began taking charge of that and graciously receiving ‘congratulations!’ and celebrating successes. Sometimes it’s good to be your own (first) cheerleader.
The world seemingly moves faster every day and so it doesn’t come as a surprise that more and more of us feel the pressure to ‘succeed’ without even knowing what success can be defined as or measured by. Add to that the feeling that you shouldn’t impose yourself on others and you have overachieving, successful individuals that never celebrate milestones and, in turn, don’t appreciate their self-worth.
When I announced plans to add bespoke services to Tartle Copywriting, my friends were the first to know and the first to congratulate me on the successes of my business. (Thanks girls!) Despite the fact I hadn’t even hit ‘publish’ on the website page yet or even fine-tuned the ins-and-outs of it all, they made me feel like a total boss lady and I pre-emptively owned the success before my next client had even booked in. It felt so refreshing to feel like I’d earned something and I feel much more confident offering that segment of my business.
Practice saying ‘thank you’
As odd as this sounds, us Brits might as well be genetically engineered to brush off compliments.
It was not until I began actively engaging with online content, and thus with international girls, that I realised how odd this was. If somebody compliments you, say ‘thank you’ just as you would when replying to your Instagram comments. It’s a simple tip, but one that works and that’ll snowball. Replace all of those ‘oh, it’s nothing!’ and ‘it wasn’t too tough’ phrases with ‘thanks!’ and ‘I’m so glad you enjoyed it/noticed my work’. Own all of those hours (or minutes) of perseverance from your end.
Shout it from the rooftops
A lot of the time, not sharing a success is what stops us from completely owning it. I mean, you’ve worked incredibly hard for this so why not let everybody know? Perhaps you’re not really of the sharing sort in the first place or you’re nervous it’ll look like a humble brag. Stop. Candidly share how you feel now that you’ve reached your goal or found success.
A problem shared is a problem halved. Well, a success shared is a success doubled! Often I find that my successes aren’t celebrated because I personally see it as something I ‘should have achieved’ instead of something genuinely worth shouting about. But why shouldn’t something I’ve worked incredibly hard on, often alone, be spoken about amongst others?
It’s absolutely about time that we boss ladies (and, yes, you can be a boss lady/girl boss/etc. without owning your own business) began to take charge of just how valuable we are to the wider industries that we work within. So what if it isn’t ‘a thing’ to pat yourself on the back in your usual workplace? Text your mates, or your Mum, or your Granny and tell them all about how far you’ve come. I often find that talking openly about the steps I’ve taken to meet a goal as well as sharing when I succeed really helps me not only to remain motivated and focused, but retain a level-headed approach to work and all of that sort of thing.
Take time to reflect
Lastly, my final tip for owning your success is to take time to reflect. It’s likely that you’ve been grinding for this for a while now, whether that’s your degree, a job promotion, a new qualification or something else equally as awesome. It’s totally time to reflect on that and realise just how far you’ve come.