How do you think about your successes? Do you downplay them or are you proud of your results, no matter what they are?
Downplaying our achievements is a detriment to both ourselves and society. Recognizing your achievements is a good thing, and bringing success and wealth into the world provides other people with the opportunity and permission to do the same.
In this episode, I’m sharing why you being proud of yourself shows other people that it’s possible for them. I’m showing you how to be proud of yourself, give yourself permission to be confident, and how to create more connection and success by helping others do the same.
Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life Podcast where it’s all about designing your life on your terms and now your host, Natalie Bacon.
Welcome to the podcast. I have to say that I did not hook my future self-up last night. Steve and I started a movie at 9:00 p.m. We watched Man on Fire. I love that movie. I hadn’t seen it in gosh half a decade or more. It came out in 2004. I sat down and watched it. We watched it together. It was halfway through before we even realized that it was a little bit after 10:00. We said you know let’s just do it. Let’s just watch the whole movie. It’s a two-and-a-half-hour movie. So it didn’t end until 11:30.
I remember in that moment thinking this pleasure of watching the movie is so good right now. I know I am trading this short-term pleasure for the long-term discomfort that’s to come with being tired. Sure enough, today I am thinking, “Past self, why did you make that decision? You did not hook future self up.” I am tired. Oh my goodness. I haven’t been this tired in a while. So we went to bed around 11:30 or midnight and got up at the normal weekday time. You know 6:00/6:30-ish.
So I’m thinking about it and I’m thinking about you. I’m thinking about how there’s always little examples of how we do this for ourselves. We either indulge in the short-term pleasure for the long-term discomfort or we say no to the short-term pleasure for the long-term pleasure. So it would have been short term discomfort if we would have turned off that movie, but longer-term pleasure because I would have felt better and more rested.
So I get a lot of questions about this in Grow You about what does it mean to hook your future self up. It can be just as little of a thing like sleep. It’s really not a little thing, but a little example of a movie where you decide okay. In the short term, am I going to usually do the thing that’s a little bit harmful in the long term, which is the most pleasurable? It’s eating the candy, staying up later. It’s going to feel really good in the moment if you’re getting that external false pleasure, but it doesn’t serve you long term.
Of course, this is a very small example. We do this and we compound it over time. So just think about that. Think about it for you. I will not be staying up that late for a while because I will have the recent memory of how it felt during the day to be this tired. So that’s where I’m at today.
We are going to talk about how to talk about how to be proud of yourself. Totally different topic, but I had to share that with you. So being proud of yourself is something that I’ve been thinking a lot about because as a coach and as your teacher, I want to always encourage you to feel proud of yourself and to feel empowered. Something that I’ve noticed with my own life, with my own success, with my own choices is that not everyone likes it when you’re proud of yourself. So I wanted to give you some teachings that might help you navigate this a little bit more deliberately.
So I think generally one of the societal norms in our culture is don’t brag. Particularly I think as women it’s “don’t really enhance your accomplishments”. So if you’ve heard of the studies that talk about how generally speaking, men will apply for jobs and not meet the qualifications given for the job, but they have no reservations about that. Whereas women tend to more generally do the opposite. They want to make sure they’re overqualified before even applying for the position.
So it’s just something to notice. It doesn’t have to be that you have to fix that or solve that. You just want to notice it. So are you someone who downplays your accomplishments? Are you someone who isn’t comfortable thinking that you’re amazing and talking about being amazing?
I find it fascinating that there’s this sort of paradox that I’m noticing. That as a society, we all want to encourage each other to be successful with whatever that means to you. So it could be that you want to be a lawyer. Or it could be that you want to switch careers. You were a lawyer. It could be that you want to be a stay-at-home mom. It doesn’t necessarily mean a certain type of success. It’s just whatever you define success as. As a society, particularly in the U.S., we want to encourage you to pursue that.
But then, here’s where the paradox comes in. Once you are successful in that space—Again, it could be anything. It could be money, family, health. Once you have that, once you’ve created it, people aren’t as happy for you as you might have expected.
So I think this comes from our natural tendency to connect over problems but not so much over successes. Have you noticed this? We love to connect with others over similar problems. So if you have a problem with sister-in-law and I have a problem with sister-in-law, we connect over that. Or if you remember being single if you’re married now. When you’re single, you may have had a lot more single friends, and you connected over being single. You had the same sorts of problems in that area.
The same is true with working full time or maybe it’s money or your health. When you find another person or group of people and you’ve suffered similarly, there is this connection over the suffering. That’s not a bad thing. I actually think it can be really helpful if you’re going through a hard time.
But where it becomes a problem is when you start to do that to your own detriment. When you don’t see that that connection and that emphasis over the problem is the exact reason why you can’t create the solution. So if you’re so focused on being single, for example. Or you’re so focused on not being able to lose weight, that emphasis on the problem of not being able to lose weight is going to get in the way of you creating the result that you want, which is to actually lose weight.
So it’s that shift in identity from, “I’m just someone who’s overweight and struggles with losing weight,” to, “I’m someone who loves my body who’s lost the weight.” So most of us haven’t thought about what it’s like to not have our current problems and to feel how we want to feel.
If you’ve ever achieved something, which I know that you have. You may have found yourself not really indulging in the achievement of it or the success or accomplishment of it and sort of downplaying it. So it’s like, “Oh yes. I went to law school and I was a lawyer, but I’m not that smart or good at standardized tests.”
Like this is something I might have said in the past. I had to work really hard. And yes, I was at the top of my class before I transferred to that top tier law school, right. Huge accomplishment. I would never really talk about that. I would downplay it like oh well. It’s really hard, and I have to work really hard. So it’s sort of downplaying how amazing it is that I did this, right.
We can apply this to anything. It doesn’t have to be law school. It can be anything in your life that you have achieved and you’re downplaying it. You’re sort of undermining your abilities, your achievements, your results. I think that this is a huge detriment to not only yourself but also to society.
So, again, that paradox of we all want to promote success and health and wellbeing and prosperity. Yet when someone has it, we’re like, “Can you be quiet over there? Because there’s a lot of people suffering in the world.” Right? So just notice that if that’s you.
If someone posts something on social media or someone talks with you about their successes, what is your first reaction? What do you say? How do you feel? Are you so happy for them that they are bringing this prosperity and health and wealth and success into the world? Or do you go into a little bit of envy or jealousy? So it’s not something that I want you to use to beat yourself up, but I just want you to be aware of it.
I recently had this experience where I posted something online about my business success. Someone who I know, I’ll say he’s an acquaintance. Made a comment about how a lot of people are suffering, and that bragging might not be a good look in his opinion. I found that so fascinating because what it showed me was that his way of thinking about it is that until there is no suffering in the world, we shouldn’t be bragging about our own successes. That somehow my success means that other people can’t succeed.
Of course, that’s not true. In fact, the opposite is true. That by bringing more success and wealth into the world, that’s an opportunity for other people to do that as well. In fact, you know that was the only sort of negative comment. Everyone else was very inspired by it.
But I found it fascinating that a lot of times we think incorrectly that because there is suffering, we shouldn’t create the success or health or wellbeing or prosperity in the world. Of course the opposite is true. It’s not more suffering that creates more suffering. It’s the health, the wellbeing, the prosperity that is the cure for the suffering.
Now, this doesn’t mean that we want to be arrogant or think from this place of better than. That is not what I’m saying at all. So there is this balance that I don’t think we’ve really, really been taught before. So the balance is thinking that, “I’m amazing,” from a place of, “You’re amazing too. We’re both amazing. We are uniquely amazing, and we’re sort of a mess and get it wrong and make mistakes. Also, we’ve achieved so much. I have and you have. Let’s brag a little about it. Let’s talk about it. Let’s talk about how amazing it is that I’ve done this and that you’ve done that. And we’ve had failures along the way.”
But do you see how there’s that balance there versus, “Oh, let’s not talk about our successes or our achievements. Or “Oh yes I did that, but it was really hard.” Or “but this and this happened.” Sort of trying to downplay our success. I just think it’s such a shame. I think it’s not just a shame for you because it feels bad to sort of downplay yourself, but really societally I think it’s bad as well. It’s just not helpful.
When you do this from a place of love for yourself and others, you increase your connection. You want to give more. So the opposite would be doing it from a place of arrogance where you’re thinking, “Oh I did this so I’m better than this other person or this group of people.” So you decrease your connection, and you sort of put yourself on a pedestal which never ends well. Because what happens to stools? They can get knocked down. Of course, we see that all the time with people who are arrogant.
The difference isn’t necessarily in what you’re saying. It’s how you’re saying it. Meaning it’s how you feel. So what’s the emotion that you feel when you’re telling someone about your accomplishments? Are you feeling proud of yourself and confident in yourself? It feels amazing to be proud of yourself. Not falling into feeling arrogant or that extreme sense of pride where there’s this hierarchy of better than. That feels really bad.
When you have confidence in yourself and confidence in others, and you do it from a place of connection, you actually feel really good. Of course then you continue to do the thing you were doing, and you create more of that success.
Think about the results that you have in your life. It can be in any area. Typically we want to talk about health. So it can be with your weight, your body, your exercising, your physicality. It can be with relationships. So your marriage, your kids, your family, your dating life. It can be with money or career or your business. Those are some of the main sort of areas. What results have you created? What’s the best way you can tell that story?
So for example, if you made $10,000 last year in your business, how do you tell that story? Do you tell the story of that’s not enough? “I want to make more. I’m not good enough. I should have made more. This isn’t going to work. I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t know how to make more.” That’s one story.
Or you can tell the results story of, “I made $10,000. Two years before that, I didn’t know anything. I created that money by providing value to the world. I helped ten clients create results in their weight loss journey. Through that value, I created $10,000 of value that I never knew how to do. I became such a different person. I became a coach.” You know you’re telling the story of how amazing it is that you did this and how you can be so proud of that.
So I typically find that the reason people don’t want to do this is they think that it will stop them from seeing how to grow. So in this example if you made $10,000 and your goal is to make $100,000. If you’re really confident and bragging about the $10,000, you think, “Okay, well then I’m not looking for how to improve that.”
That’s the difference in growing and wanting from lack versus growing and wanting from abundance. When you want from lack, when you think losing the ten pounds isn’t enough, when you think making the 10K isn’t enough, when you think that your current results isn’t enough, you actually create more not enoughness. And it feels really bad.
So what happens is you’re going around thinking, “This isn’t enough. I’m not doing it right. This is so hard. I can’t do this.” It feels bad because those thoughts are creating emotions that feel really stuck. You end up self-sabotaging. So the action you take will be quitting, taking a break, slowing down. So you prove your thoughts true. You make it true that you’re not good enough because you quit. Of course that’s not true. That was just a story you are telling.
Now, conversely if you tell the story of how amazing it is that you made the 10K or you lost the ten pounds. And you say that this is an amazing start, and you say, “Now let’s double it.” That energy. That wanting from a place of abundance and wholeness drives you so much better because you feel better along the way, and you’re having fun. So you keep going and you figure it out.
So you absolutely can want to increase and improve your results from a place of feeling really good. From a place of being so proud of yourself. Like you are amazing. You have done so many amazing things in your life. So many amazing things. Even if you don’t have the sort of big end result that you want in a particular area. So if you want to lose 50 pounds and you don’t have that result yet, you still have done so many amazing things in your life with respect to food and wellness and your body and health.
I just want to encourage you to find those amazing things. Even if they’re really small. You get eight hours of sleep every night. You got to bed at nine. You drink water every day. You move your body. Whatever it is. Look for the results that you have and tell the most amazing story about them to yourself.
It doesn’t mean that you have to go around telling everyone, but certainly I don’t want you to feel like you shouldn’t do that either. Because, again, like I said in the beginning I do think that we’re sort of, generally speaking, taught not to share our successes. And what a shame that is because it’s not like if you’re successful, I can’t be successful. If you lose the weight, I can’t lose the weight. If you build the business, I can’t build the business. That’s not true at all. The opposite is true. If you’re successful and I see your success, you show me what’s possible as long as I’m open to that.
So you being proud of yourself shows other people that it’s possible for them. If they’re not ready for that, if they don’t like that, that’s okay. That’s their journey. It’s totally fine. It doesn’t mean that you need to feel bad about yourself or downplay or hide your accomplishments at all. If you do that, you show up small and you miss out. You miss out on your own greatness. You miss out on helping more people.
It does take some courage. Because the more sort of success in any area that you have, whether that’s relationships in your marriage or health or business and money and career. The more success you have, I think the more sort of polarity that you’re presented with publicly.
Even if that’s not publicly necessarily in the way of having a platform like in an online business like I have, but it could be publicly like with your peer group. With other attorneys, with other physicians, with other stay at home moms. Whatever your group is, there can be some polarity. Like people get a little bit uncomfortable with your success. That’s because they’re having a story about success. It has nothing to do with your actual success.
So if we go back to the example of a friend of mine who wrote that, he wrote that. So the exact same post I had ten comments, at least, about how inspiring that was. “Thank you for sharing. That gives me hope.” So same exact circumstance. Same exact caption that I wrote. Totally different interpretation based on what? Based on the person’s story.
So I don’t want you to miss out on helping ten people and hiding your own greatness and accomplishments and downplaying your success because of the one person who might not like it. That’s totally okay. So think about the results you have in your life. Think about how you think about them. Are they not enough? Do you downplay them? Do you hide? Or are you so proud of them? Are you so proud of your results no matter what they are?
Typically the story I hear with whatever results at whatever level is, this isn’t enough. So if you’ve lost ten pounds and your goal is 50 pounds, it’s, “This isn’t enough. I’ve tried everything, and it’s not going to work.”
What I want you to do is say, “This is amazing. I’ve tried so many methods, and I’m learning so much about what works with my body. And I’ve lost ten pounds. A very short time ago I was ten pounds heavier. You know what that tells me? It’s possible for me to lose weight. Is it hard? Yes. But I’ve got this. I did it. Did you know I lost ten pounds? I’m so excited about that. I wanted to tell you about that. Tell me about your accomplishments. Tell me what’s going on for you. I’d love to hear about it.”
So just notice that. Notice in conversations how tempting it is to connect over our problems and our suffering. And how you can flip that conversation and want to hear about people’s wins and accomplishments and success from a place of love and connection. Like tell me about your most recent accomplishment. Tell me about your wins. I want to hear. I want to tell you about mine. I’m so proud of myself that I did this. I’m so proud of you that you did that. Isn’t this amazing? Like we’re just so amazing.
That’s not from a place of we are amazing. Like me and this other hypothetical person. Therefore other people who are not us are not amazing. It’s not about putting people in this hierarchy. It’s like seeing every human as unique, half amazing, and half a mess. Like let’s amplify the amazing part of ourselves. Let’s be proud of ourselves. Let’s give ourselves permission to feel confident and to feel good and to brag a little bit.
If you loved this podcast, you’re going to love Grow You. Grow You is my virtual life coaching program where I take everything on the podcast to the next level. I invite you to join our amazing community of women and moms and deepen your own personal development. Head on over to nataliebacon.com/coaching to learn more.
That’s what I have for you today. Go tell someone how amazing you are. Then hit them back with how amazing they are. Have a good rest of the week.
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