3 Mindset Shifts To Help You “Blow Your Own Trumpet” Without Feeling Icky About It.
Over the years, I’ve been in many situations where I am apologetic for my achievements, strength, and assertiveness—downplaying them to avoid making others uncomfortable. Trying to stand out and be visible yet feeling apologetic for that same visibility is a tricky tightrope to walk and very tiring for women. The world’s expectations of women can be so contradictory that attempting to live your entire life by these standards will make your happiness elusive and attainable.
I can see why this monologue from the Barbie movie resonates so much with me and many other women who say they are tired of tying themselves up in knots so that people will like them.
You have to be thin but not too thin. And you can never say you want to be light. You have to say you want to be healthy, but also you have to be thin. You have to have money, but you can’t ask for money because that’s crass. You have to be a boss, but you can’t be mean. You have to lead but can’t squash other people’s ideas. You’re supposed to love being a mother, but don’t talk about your kids all the damn time. You have to be a career woman, but also always be looking out for other people. You have to answer for men’s bad behaviour, which is insane, but if you point that out, you’re accused of complaining. You’re supposed to stay pretty for men, but not so pretty that you tempt them too much or threaten other women because you’re supposed to be a part of the sisterhood. But always stand out and always be grateful. But always remember that the system is rigged. So, find a way to acknowledge that but also always be grateful. You have to never get old, never be rude, never show off, never be selfish, never fall down, never fail, never show fear, never get out of line. It’s too hard! It’s too contradictory, and nobody gives you a medal or says thank you! And it turns out that you are not only doing everything wrong, but also everything is your fault.
You can watch a video of this monologue on our LinkedIn page.
Many Forward Ladies Awards finalists have also told us they are not making the most of their nominations and shouting about it because “They are not good at blowing their own trumpet.” They also tell us they don’t want to take away from other people’s joy or seem too self-obsessed. I can relate to that feeling, too, but this is not the time for modesty – especially not when you’ve just been nominated and shortlisted for an award.
So take this email as permission to stop tying yourself up about how and why you should blow your trumpet. It would be best if you got comfortable blowing your trumpet because, let’s face it – no one else will be blowing it for you.
Here are three mindset shifts that will help you start blowing your trumpet without feeling icky about it.
- Change your perspective about blowing your trumpet. It’s not just about you. It’s also how what you share helps others envision the same for themselves. It is about giving information and even hope to others. When you share your successes, it makes them seem achievable to others. People want to hear these stories to inspire and validate their own experiences. It is not self-promotion or bragging if it is based on facts.
- Reframe it – If using words like “self-promotion” makes you uncomfortable, then it’s time to find different words to describe what you are doing when updating people about your progress. People genuinely want to know what you are up to. This includes current and previous team members and colleagues; giving them updates is simply an opportunity to help us keep up with each other’s lives and to be able to reach out if an update resonates with them.
- Acknowledge that societal bias towards women is at play in your mind, as we’ve all been brought up and told at some point in our lives what good women and people do – good women aren’t supposed to brag about themselves or flaunt what they have. So, we are afraid of being judged. The research shows that socially, women are identified as more ‘feminine’ if they are modest in their achievements. But we must change this and make it more culturally acceptable to own our success. It is not bragging about things you have done at work and with your career. It is about keeping people informed and keeping yourself relevant in this constantly changing volatile and uncertain world.
At forwardladies.com, we actively work to encourage all people to share their stories and their successes because, over the years, we’ve seen what a powerful ripple effect it can have throughout our community. That is why we share stories through our awards programme and have also published a book, Unstoppable Women: Female Entrepreneurs’ Stories to Inspire and Motivate, to share the stories of 26 of our inspiring awards alums. Being more confident and comfortable with promoting yourself will encourage others to do the same because we’re proud to have created a community where it is okay to be proud of ourselves and each other.
So, what have you accomplished this week? Comment below with what you have achieved. Every accomplishment, big or small, deserves a round of applause!
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