Our culture places great value on modesty. Children are commonly told not to “toot your own horn” or “get a swelled head”. When singing your own praises, you may have been reproached: “What! Do you think you’re better than everyone else?”
When such attitudes are deeply ingrained, it may be difficult to acknowledge your strengths and accomplishments and to derive legitimate satisfaction from your successes. Yet honest pride in your achievements is an essential element of self confidence and self esteem.
Pride Is Not Arrogance
There is a crucial distinction between pride and arrogance. Arrogance uses your own successes to create superiority over others. If you boast about your achievement, it implies you are better than others by virtue of what you have done.
Honest pride in your strengths and achievements celebrates yourself, but not at the expense of others. That appreciation of excellence extends easily to those around you. Endorsing your excellence can actually be done in great humility when it is paired with a willingness to recognize and acknowledge excellence in others as well, whenever it occurs.
Endorse Both Your Achievements and Your Strengths
Endorsing your excellence means both acknowledging your achievements and appreciating your strengths, those character traits that have enabled you to succeed.
Being willing and able to endorse your excellence has a number of benefits. Here are some of them:
1. Familiarity with your own strengths provides awareness of the qualities that can help you to succeed.
When you set a goal for yourself it is important to know those characteristics which have helped you to succeed in the past. If you are aware of your strengths and willing to acknowledge them, you can consciously utilize them to enable you to achieve your goals in the present.
Your strengths may be diligence or enthusiasm or perseverance or any other character trait that has helped you to succeed in the past. Whatever they are, these strengths will always be available to you. You can draw on these same strengths to achieve your goals in the present, no matter how daunting it may seem.
If you would like to learn more about your own strengths, I highly recommend you visit the website www.authentichappiness.com. There you will find the VIA Signature Strengths Questionnaire which measures 24 character strengths. It takes only about 20 minutes to complete this questionnaire and it is free! You will have a list of your top strengths. Awareness of these strengths will help you answer the question, “How can I ever accomplish THIS???”
2. When you acknowledge your successes you become an expert in what you can do to achieve your goals.
When you recognize what you do that works, you can draw on your winning strategies to help you reach your goals. Pay attention to the choices you make that create success for you. Notice the effects these winning choices create in your life. Then when faced with a challenging situation, you can be aware of what you need to do in order to succeed.
Are you more effective when you take a brief break a couple of times a day? Then protect those breaks, especially when your work load increases. The improvements in your productivity will more than make up for the brief time you spend away from work.
Do people react better when you treat them with greater kindness? If you experience problems in your professional or personal relationships, take stock of what you may be doing differently. If you can identify ways you have gotten off track, you can determine what you could change that might improve the situation. There isn’t anything you can do to make another person change. However if you can modify the way you treat them, they may respond differently, leading to improvement in your relationship.
When you tune in to those behaviors that work best for you, you become keenly aware of the choices you can make that lead to success.
3. Honestly present your excellence to others.
There are certain situations, such as job interviews, where success depends on your being able to affirm your achievements. This is not bragging when done matter-of-factly. A simple acknowledgement of your strengths and accomplishments conveys necessary information and projects the self confidence every employer seeks in a potential hire.
Don’t be afraid to share your successes with your friends. Give your friends the opportunity to enjoy your wins, just as you relish theirs. The important thing here is to present your wins with a sensitivity that avoids putting anyone else down.
As you practice endorsing your excellence it will become easier to do. After all, it is natural to feel good about your achievements and the strengths and abilities that made them possible! Paying attention to what you do right will boost your self- confidence and appreciating what you do that makes your life good will empower you it to make it even better.