Sometimes I’m a bit slow to understand my reactions to events and personal accomplishments. There have been times when arrogance, and self-importance threatened to take over my thinking processes. Instead of boosting self-confidence, an achievement resulted in boorish, egotistical strutting. A friend or family member has had to take it upon themselves to pull me aside to point it out. Hopefully, I’ve learned to better reign in my egotism and simply enjoy personal victories for what they are.
Boorish behavior is tempting when we have reached a special milestone or significant goal. We have harnessed skills, strengths, and talents to arrive at or exceed the desired outcome. The over-reaction can be stronger if we’ve received public acclaim and acknowledgement. Strutting around like a barnyard rooster is off-putting and it’s embarrassing to realize we’ve been doing so. Praise might be warranted, but a pat on the back may be more appropriate.
While it’s good to successfully reach a goal and enjoy the kudos, it’s helpful to channel much of that positive glow towards further efforts and not rest on one’s laurels. While being joyful about the victory, it’s also wise to share credit with people who have been instrumental and did some heavy lifting along the way. The admiration feels more wholesome and authentic when the team is recognized, too.
There are times when a success is better kept low-key. It’s best to keep a win to oneself when rivals could become jealous and sabotage our further efforts. Making a big deal out of the win only eggs on the rival. Each victory is unique and can have positive and negative repercussions. Sometimes it’s OK to be over the top about a success and other times, humility should rule the day. Boastfulness tends to cloud one’s thinking.
Although the important milestone may have been surpassed, it’s important to remember that we haven’t yet arrived at the end of the journey. There will be more challenges further along the way. Focusing too much on the victory can mentally feel like we can relax our attention and effort. This is akin to resting on one’s laurels. It’s better to channel the joy into a happy celebration and jump-start the next step on life’s path.
Then there is the temptation to compare ourselves with others. We might try to seek approval and validation from peers, if that is not forthcoming or is less than expected we might be stripping our self-confidence and personal power. Instead of believing other people’s versions of success, it’s more helpful to ask what it means to us. How and why do our definitions of success seem different than the interpretations of others? We have different priorities and values, so our versions of success vary, too.
Feeling solid about our definitions about success helps us make more relevant decisions that are in agreement with our core values. This alignment further increases our overall independence and confidence. After all, working on something we believe in is a superpower that not everyone has the opportunity to do. Work that fulfills the inner self better enables us to build upon each successive success and solidify our “personal brand”.
Such confidence helps us weather inevitable future setbacks and difficulties. Such sustainability should not be underestimated. When we contemplate our wins and accomplishments, we remember that they happened by remaining focused. Sometimes just on the brink of success something discouraging happens. Failure seems ready to win the day. However, just a little more effort allows us to clinch the win.
Something I like to remember is that it’s great to appreciate and feel thankful for each achievement. This gratitude is a catalyst to help me do better the next time.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes President Franklin D. Roosevelt. “Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”