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You have the right NOT to remain silent about how cool you are.

You have the right not to remain silent about how cool you are. (Just wanted to make sure you really heard that.)

I was inspired to write this post by Bonnie Marcus, a business success coach who specializes in women’s executive coaching. She published a phenomenal post where she writes:

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, Jessica Smith, 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…

Join the discussion 18 Comments

  • Amy says:

    I definitely try to broadcast others because I feel very proud of them, but I quietly toot my own horn. I am working with a business coach (Charrise McCrorey at Emergence Biz) who has been encouraging me to go “full out” on people and share my accomplishments. My struggle with this right now is that the economy is so bad and people are in such a bad place that it feels inappropriate to be going full out on everyone ;) Instead, I share with my husband, my best friend, and my dad- three people who appreciate my accomplishments and can feel that success with me without hurt feelings. I think those three people make me feel safe and loved so it feels appropriate there. :) I definitely need to work on this!

  • Henie says:

    This is empowering! Thank you!

    On my way to find blue yarn…stand by for photo.

    Here’s to celebrating always!

  • Julie,
    Thank you for following up my post with this post. I agree that it is SO important to be able to brag for yourself and to help others to celebrate their accomplishments.
    I am starting a podcast series where women will have the opportunity to pitch their business and brag about their successes. My goal is to interview professional women and celebrate their success.
    Please let me know if you are interested in being interviewed and given the spotlight for your successes on a “BragCast”. Email me if you are interested!

  • Anita Kuno says:

    Just tied on my blue bracelet.

    Great post, great concept, great action.

    Thanks for the group, the energy and the opportunity to share and support.

    It’s all good.

  • Thank you for this, Julie! I’m clearly a well-conditioned product of my environment. When I get over being mad about it (give me 5 min.), I, too, will take action! Your group is Step One. Bravo!

  • oh amanda says:

    Great reminder! It’s so easy (especially online) to be self-depreciating b/c it can be humorous. But I’ve noticed the women who have a following do so because they put themselves out there as people who deserve to be followed!

    Thank you!

  • Rachel Gigliotti says:

    Fish!!! What a great post! Thank you for boosting my spirits and reminding me of how awesome I am!!! You are awesome too!

  • Sandra Foyt says:

    Fantastic! Julie, it’s awesome that you are empowering women to celebrate their total coolness! We try to do that with Girl Scouts, but it’s well worth doing at every age.

  • Anne Mayhew says:

    What a great post – can’t wait to check out the google group! Celebrate!

  • Hi Julie.
    This is all just so fabulous, if not a little physically painful to read. How telling is that? Lea Curtes-Swenson turned me onto your group and the blue bracelet movement. I think it’s fantastic. I’m getting chills!

  • Julie Roads says:

    To me, ‘getting chills’ is the biggest green flag ever! You are so headed in the right direction, Heather! WooHoo!!!!

  • I love it! I will begin the pledge today and do my part to spread the word.

    Is it possible to get into the Google group?

  • Heather says:

    What a great idea, I agree that this is so easily not a gender issue. I have a lot to toot about and this is just the kind of excerise I can really use right now. Thanks for putting it out there. Go People!

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