Earn the right to brag
It worked for me running marathons. Long after my rational brain and aching body were telling me to quit, my ego kept reminding me that I would lose all bragging rights, if I didn’t finish. I knew it was much more satisfying to work into the conversation, “Yup, the full twenty-six miles, 42.2 kilometers, and I wasn’t last. In New York there were even nine thousand runners finished behind me!” (No need to mention there were twenty-five thousand ahead of me. Just a humble telling of the facts that put you in the best light. Getting too boastful can lead to distressing put downs, like “Did you win?”)
Pride is a great motivator.
No need to deny it; earn it and use it. Don’t exaggerate and don’t take credit where it is not your accomplishment, but if it’s true, let the world know. Sometimes it’s not clear why we’re so proud, but if the feeling is there, share it. And if you are proud of your team, your family, your staff, or your associates, it’s worth sharing. Being recognized and appreciated is a great motivator for everyone.
What about the things we do we’re not so proud of? The question then is “Would you do that if anybody knew?” The opposite of pride is shame and it’s a good deterrent to bad behaviour if you imagine it being exposed. If you anticipate embarrassment, humiliation or loss of respect, then don’t do it.
Imagining an audience works both ways. Keep in mind that you may not be just imagining it. In today’s over-exposed world somebody will notice, whatever you do.
Your Uncle Ralph, Del Chatterson
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