Whether you’re celebrating our nation’s birthday by hosting a backyard barbecue, watching fireworks, or spending the long weekend with family and friends, I think we should be celebrating “Independence Day” every day!
Don’t get me wrong. The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays, but I believe the idea of celebrating our independence and success should happen more than once a year.
Today, more than ever, women are inspiring leaders, ambitious entrepreneurs, and professional powerhouses, but we still struggle with celebrating our own successes and independence. We are guilty of committing the disastrous “Triple-D”…we Downplay, Dismiss, and Diminish our accomplishments and achievements.
In essence, we need to be tooting our own horn on a regular basis and not only once in a blue moon. If you only visit the gym or exercise once a year, will you have the body you want? If you only practice speaking a foreign language once a year, do you think you’ll be fluent? If you only date once a year, do you think you’ll meet the man/woman of your dreams?
Of course not! In order for anything to be successful you need to practice it on a regular basis. If you only talk about your accomplishments once a year, when it’s time for your performance review or time to ask for a raise, do you think you’ll be successful? Self-promotion should happen on a regular basis. Think of it like a muscle that needs to be conditioned and strengthened so it can always perform at its best.
I recently facilitated a leadership program for executive women who identified self-promotion as an “area of improvement”. No one had a great deal of confidence around self-promotion and everyone agreed that it made them uncomfortable.
Again, I go back to the idea that if you only do something once or twice a year, of course it’s going to feel uncomfortable. It’s going to feel unfamiliar, and your first instinct is avoid it like the plague. Nothing will kill a career faster than the inability and unwillingness to promote yourself.
Right out of the starting gate, I implemented the “Brag Board”. The women had to come to each session prepared with a recent accomplishment or achievement and write it on the board for all to see. If that wasn’t tough enough, I even had them discuss their success out loud in front of the class. Yes, the first few sessions seemed a little painful and uncomfortable for some, but by the end, not only did “tooting your own horn” get easier, many of the women started implementing the same strategy with their own teams.
They recognized the power of pausing and celebrating their successes rather than quickly glossing over them, downplaying them, or forgetting about them completely.
It is in this spirit of celebrating “Independence Day” every day that I proudly make this announcement…my new book, Woman UP! Overcome the 7 Deadly Sins that Sabotage Your Success was just released last week and is now available on Amazon (Kindle if you like) and Barnes and Noble (Nook, too!). Not only that, but it already hit Amazon’s “Top 100 Hot New Releases” in the Job Hunting, Careers, and Gift Idea sections.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this journey, and for all those who continue to help make Woman UP! a huge success. Happy 4th of July, and I hope all of your days are filled with fireworks and something to celebrate!