Why acknowledging achievements is not bragging but building self confidence

Yes in deed, in the words of that hilariously funny TV show Miranda:

“What have you done today to make ya feel proud?”

Gets me every time I watch it.  So what have you done today to make ya feel proud?  Do you keep track?

And how does it feel to be proud?  Great, terrifying, embarrassing – it’s a little like showing off…………….isn’t it?

This year I’ve felt proud and felt ok about feeling proud

We do that so well don’t we?  We’re so busy focusing on what is wrong or what we haven’t achieved yet that we forget to acknowledge the good stuff.  We secretly hope somebody will notice on our behalf and congratulate us.  Cue mumbled thanks with blushing cheeks and embarrassment.  This could be a learned behaviour that comes from a life time of subliminal messages that say: ‘Dont’ show off, don’t boast, don’t make other people feel uncomfortable or rubbish.’

2012 has been my big year of change.  I’ve finally mastered areas of my life that have challenged me for over 38 years.  I’m proud to say that my health and fitness have hugely improved and my dream of successful self employment is becoming my reality.  The biggest change of all is that I’m blogging about my achievements as I want to acknowledge them and inspire other people like you (and your family) to do the same.  Go on, get out a piece of paper and scribble down all your achievements so far this year.

When does sharing good news become bragging?

I found that question quite difficult to answer and so I asked my good friend Google and this is what I found:

When you are happy and inspired by something, you talk about it and think and hope that whoever hears it becomes happy and inspired too. That is being proud and sharing information.

When you want to state for-the-record that you, or your child, or your dog or whatever it is that is connected to you is better than others– now that is bragging.

When I’m coaching kids, I teach them that confident people don’t look to others to validate their existence.  In fact, confident people are comfortable talking about their insecurities because they are not looking for other people’s approval.  It’s an inside job and the more they know that who they are and what they are doing is good enough, the more their confidence and sense of self grows.   Showing off or bragging is more a reaction to feeling insecure and a way of proving to your worth to others.

Why acknowledging your accomplishments is important

This is what give us inspiration and emotional fulfilment in our lives.  Without acknowledging our efforts and achievements life becomes dull and demotivating.  Have you noticed what happens when you work really hard on a project or a challenge and you don’t remark on your progress?  When you don’t recognise your steely determination and the fact that you are doing your very best?  I usually find after some time I feel drained and snappy.  Whereas if I take time out to look at how far I’ve come and all the little things I’ve done, I get a renewed energy to push on through.

How do you like to be acknowledged ?

Last week I ran my first 5k in Richmond Park and what an experience that was.  It took me 12 weeks to learn how to run.  My running coach  Jo Underhill (Personal Trainer and Font of all Health & Fitness knowledge) told me and my running buddy, Alizon Jones that we could do it.  I wasn’t sure.  I was rubbish at school and quite frankly I couldn’t run up a flight of stairs.

The feeling of finishing that race was awesome.  I cried my heart out – tears of joy or relief that I had finally done it!   The medal and looking up my time cemented my achievement.

It’s important to reward yourself for a job well done.  A new top and an afternoon off work was my treat 🙂  Some people will like to be praised, some will like to be rewarded.  Remember the article I recently wrote about your love language.  Perhaps that will give you a clue.

It’s the little things that make us feel good

No matter how small, every new thing we learn, attempt, accomplish, overcome or achieve builds on our confidence and self esteem.  I recently coached an 11 year old girl (let’s call her Lucy) to take an entrance exam to a secondary school.  One of the things that Lucy and I discovered together through our 5 sessions of coaching was that she had forgotten how clever she was.  To remind her, we had done a collage of all her past achievements and all the things she was good at (including being a magnificent big sister to her 2 brothers and a helpful daughter to her Mum). It’s stuck on the wardrobe at the end of Lucy’s bed and she said it reminds her every day.  I’m yet to find out what Lucy’s reward was for all her efforts and hard work.

Increase your child’s confidence and self belief

There are 3 simple things you can do to help increase your child’s confidence and self belief:

  1. Acknowledge your child’s achievements no matter how big or small.  Focus on personal qualities and good behaviour like: remembering to do something they’ve usually forgotten in the past or for playing nicely together, for being a good brother or sister or for being kind, patient or honest.
  2. Brag-proof your child.  Teach your child humility and how to be sensitive to the people around them.
  3. Reward your child with something you’ll know they’ll love.  How about:
    • a day off from doing their chores
    • 30 minutes or an hour of time with the parent who is busier. No interruptions!! Let your child pick whatever they want to do – have you read them a story, paint with them or play a game with them
    • Pick a restaurant to eat at
    • Get extra time to watch a TV show
    • Make his or her favourite snack or dish
    • Take them to the local attraction that they have been pestering you for
    • Take them to the shops and give them a budget to buy a book or toy of their choice
    • Give  them a “Free Clean Up” card. In the future, if there is a mess they feel too tired to clean up, they can use this card and ask you to do it for them.
    • Pick a movie for watching
    • Setup that playdate with a friend

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  1. It’s true Lisa, we do tend to ‘forget’ or ‘overlook’ things that we’ve accomplished. It’s funny how things that once seemed difficult or even impossible get brushed under the carpet and ignored. Keeping track and reviewing regularly is a great idea and helps keep those achievements in mind.
    Well done you on your 5K, shout about it as much as you like!
    Great inspirational blog too.!
    Sue x

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