Ah, the joys of self-promotion. Some of us are happy to do it without thinking about it twice, and others feel significantly less comfortable doing so. In an era where self-promotion can sometimes be labelled “self-absorbed” or “self-obsessed,” it can be difficult to understand how to promote our achievements, what we are proud of having conquered, and the great things we have done without feeling like we are lacking humility. That being said, self-promotion is not synonymous with a lack of humility. Instead, it is a way for one to focus on one’s career development, to boost one’s career, and to recognize the great achievements one makes. After all, if you do great things, why do you need to hide them? If you are extraordinary, shine bright! Otherwise, someone else will step into the spotlight. Let’s have a look at how you can promote your achievements without sounding like you are bragging – this is for all those who haven’t felt comfortable doing so for this exact reason!
- Emphasize the hard work you have done
People value the hard work that has come behind an achievement. In other words, while we may all achieve certain things in life, the real recognition comes when this achievement is done by putting in a lot of hard work. For example, we have all heard of the person who was served everything on a silver platter – perhaps they inherited a job at the head of a company because their parents worked in a high-ranking position, or maybe someone got into college because their parents donated a library. While the achievements that come following this are remarkable, we rarely hear about them because there is a perception that no hard work was needed to reach them, and hence, no recognition is necessary. Therefore, focusing on the hard work you have done to reach this place, to enjoy this new position, or to arrive at this goal is going to help others empathize with your success – and celebrate it with you!
- Lift others up
When celebrating your achievements, it’s important that you focus on the positive. Picking up the example mentioned above, it would be unwise to write a post in which you belittle the work done and achievements celebrated by those who had it “easier” – instead, focusing on the positive aspects and avoiding belittle others make you seem more optimistic, proud, and authentic. Celebrate the success achieved by everyone, even if you feel like your success was more difficult to achieve. It sends a much more genuine message!
- Credit others for their work
There is nothing worse than seeing someone boast about the achievements they have made without proper recognition. While what we achieve as leaders is commendable, we must also credit others when credit is due. There is power in acknowledging that we have not done it all on our own! By outlining who has helped, how they have helped, and how appreciative you are of this help, you also project the image that you are capable of collaborating and pulling in other people’s strengths in order to commonly work on a shared objective. That’s a solid strength to have! Likewise, show gratitude for this help – why are you grateful? How have others helped? How did this contribute to the achievement? Don’t be too humble – share what others have done and celebrate your shared win.
- Focus on facts and figures
A great way to highlight your wins is to use facts and figures to support your statements. Rather than focusing solely on the emotional aspects of the achievements (pride, etc), highlight with facts and figures what was achieved. This works as a supportive argument in your statement, and shows others why you are celebrating, what you are celebrating, and why it is worth celebrating.
- Own your success!
While we tend to think that being very humble is seen positively, sometimes, it can work against us. If you constantly downplay your achievements, make them sound like they are not impressive, or try to act like they are not worth celebrating, you may instead be sending the message that you want others to continue complimenting you so you realize that it is indeed something worth celebrating. Instead, own your success. Avoid sounding like a narcissist by remaining humble with the tips noted above, but don’t downplay your achievements. If it’s something worth celebrating, then celebrate it!
How have you celebrated and promoted your achievements? Give your tips in the comments below!