Toot your own horn! With grace.
Recently a friend of mine has worked really hard to get in shape. She has been training for a marathon, working full-time and is a single mother too. I’m still trying to figure out where she’s finding time to sleep! I saw her recently and noticed that she has lost a lot of weight and looks really great. So I said, “you really look great, how much weight have you lost?” Her reply was “60 pounds so far, but I still weigh . . . ” I couldn’t help feeling a little bit bad because she made a commitment to exercise and eat right and achieved something truly commendable and she still was unhappy with her weight.
I think that our society tends to make us insecure and shy when it comes to our own accomplishments. For a time, I thought that it was just women that felt that way, but when having lunch with a male friend recently he said that he has often felt this way too. I’ll admit readily that I fall victim to it just as much as anyone else. I will do something that truly is an accomplishment and someone will thank me or recognize a job well done and I will say “oh thanks, but it really wasn’t a big deal,” or something to that effect. Sometimes that is true, but sometimes it IS a big deal and I’ve had to move proverbial mountains to make things happen. I’ve decided to make a conscious effort to acknowledge that with grace and dignity.
I’m not advocating running around and bragging or sounding arrogant, but rather just taking a minute to say “thanks for recognizing that, I really appreciate it.” You can be sure of yourself and happy with what you’ve done, and share that with others. This goes for work, life and family. We need to stop feeling insecure and really look at all the great things that we do every day. They may not seem like big things at first, but when you put them all together through the course of the day, it can really be mind-boggling, how much we do!
Instead of being bogged down by the fact that you have so much laundry, and you have to get dinner on the table in the midst of a really busy time at work (or whatever “IT” is for you) take a minute and congratulate yourself for having a clean, well-fed family. When someone stops to say something nice to you, say thank you, mean it, and feel good about yourself the rest of the day! Recently an elderly lady stopped me in the library parking lot to tell me that I was doing a great job with my children and I thanked her and with a big smile and a laugh said that it was a refreshing change from the disapproving looks I get during meltdowns at the grocery store. I needed to hear that and you know what? It made me feel great!
By the same token, it doesn’t hurt to recognize the accomplishments of your friends and family. When they say “oh, it was nothing,” take a minute to say, “it really was something and you did it well.”Enjoy the little things and reward the big things with a few kind words. Trust me, you’ll make someone’s day (and it might be your own!).
Post via Liz Smith.