You have the right not to remain silent about how cool you are. (Just wanted to make sure you really heard that.)
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.
She goes on to suggest that this is part of conditioning for women – and I agree. Her solution is fantastic – It’s a Bragging Journal where you document all of your awesomeness. You can then look through the journal whenever you need a boost of confidence – it serves as absolute proof that you can do it.
The Blue Bracelet
Then, I found out that another one of my faves, Jessica Smith, wrote a post called, A Call to Ambitious Women Entrepreneurs…Stop Apologizing. Jessica not only takes on the fact that we are apologizing for our success, she also takes major action. Check out her manifesto:
I,, hereby pledge to:
- Promote other women and celebrate their success with them.
- Not feel threatened when other women in my niche are reaching their goals…a success for one is a success for all.
- Collaborate with other ambitious women as much as I can, finding synergies and ways to work together.
- Respond with a simple “Thank You” when someone publicly compliments me rather than offering an apology, a retort, or a rationalization.
- Not consciously or subconsciously bring someone else down because they have something (success or otherwise) that they think I should have.
- Continue to embrace each day as a new opportunity with enthusiasm and a positive attitude (no matter what obstacles may stand in my way.)
- Surround myself with other like-minded entrepreneurs who wa nt to network with, support, and cross-promote one another.
- To reiterate. I will not apologize for my success, my celebration of it, or my determination to become even more successful. And I will applaud those women who do the same.
I could not love this more. And, she takes it a step further. She tied a blue bracelet around her wrist to remind herself of her pledge, and she’s inviting others to do the same. She’s started a photo wall where you can submit the picture of yourself with your bracelet, making your pledge public on her site.
I put my blue bracelet (wool knitting yarn) on immediately and took the pledge. And then I took action.
I created a Google Group. Then, I invited some women to join me. Why? Because I want to practice living my successes OUT LOUD. We’re emailing/posting our awesomeness to each other, full throttle, when it happens. No apologies, no comparisons, no jealousy. It’s celebratastic.
This isn’t just for women, though let’s not kid ourselves that social conditioning and a double standard don’t exist.
So, people – I ask you: what do you do with that feeling of triumph? When it’s yours? When it’s someone elses?
I think we should all be singing it from the rooftops…