2014 ended on a great note for us here at ECM headquarters, and we’re heading into a banner first quarter for 2015. There are some huge events coming up for me this year, including three speaking engagements in the next six weeks at very high profile events for women executives– more on those soon!
I’m admittedly awfully proud of the things we accomplished as individuals and as a team here at ECM over the past twelve months.
And you’ve probably noticed that I’m not one to be quiet about my successes, though it did take me a while to get to a place of comfort with celebrating them publicly.
Which brings me to the topic of today’s post: why you need to take pride in your accomplishments, publicly and privately, and what can happen if you don’t.
I work with quite a number of executives who, for whatever reason, were taught to play small in childhood. Some were told “not to brag.” Others were taught that telling others about your success could be perceived as “arrogant” or “uppity.” Still others got the subtle message that surpassing our parents’ achievements was something to be ashamed of.
And for those of us who are women, we more than likely got the message that our professional successes mattered less than the size of our future engagement rings, the earnings of our future partners, or even the brand of the handbag we’re carrying.
The real-life impact of these messages makes me really sad.
Because there’s one very important truth that I’d like you to take from today’s post:
If you don’t celebrate your successes, no one will.
And furthermore, failing to do so can have some detrimental effects on your career, your outlook, and your self-esteem.
A few examples:
Didn’t note on your annual review summary that you closed a multi-million dollar deal last year?
Chances are that one of your supervisors won’t remember that, and your bonus and even promotion possibilities will be affected.
Didn’t do anything to celebrate your graduation from law school with a 3.5 GPA?
Chances are good you’re not going to remember the significance of that major achievement five years from now when you’re looking for your next job, and that subtle shift might impact what you apply for, how you network, and even how you present in an interview.
Didn’t send a celebratory email to your colleagues about your latest career victory, with a big thank you to your team?
Chances are good that you’re sending a different message instead, namely that your victories don’t matter that much to you. And not only does that send a subtle message that your work isn’t of value, both to others and to yourself– and just think about what that does to your self-esteem!– but it also sends a message to your team that all their hard work also doesn’t deserve acknowledgement, no matter what the result.
Here’s another truth:
Celebrating our own victories benefits not only ourselves, but also everyone around us.
In other words, there is literally no victory in playing small.
When we celebrate our achievements, we tell ourselves, our colleagues, our partners and our friends that we value our successes, we want more of them, and we welcome their acknowledgement of all that’d we’ve accomplished. And just think about the effect of THAT.
Today, I challenge you to take to social media, or the comments below, and publicly announce one thing you accomplished in 2014 that you’re proud of. Allow others to celebrate you, even if it makes you uncomfortable, because trust me, the benefits now and in the future will far outweigh that discomfort.
When you allow yourself to shine, you give yourself the chance to rise. (tweet this.)
Here’s to a banner 2015 for all of us.
All the best,