Whenever we millennials were young, we were always told to be humble. We were fed this idea that owning our success made us egotistical and full of ourselves. While I believe this can become true if we don't stay humble, I believe it is this life lesson that makes many in my generation feel like they aren't successful in life.
Let's talk about the four reasons we need to change our perceptions on owning our successes. I've added some photos highlighting some of my personal successes! I'm super blessed to have been given the gifts that I was given and growing up with a mom, brother, and grandparents who always encouraged and supported the cultivation of those gifts.
1. STRAIGHT UP, SUCCESS IS EARNED REGARDLESS OF
First female Drum Major at my college
Success is defined as "the accomplishment of an aim or purpose." If you set a goal for yourself at your job to complete a task and you completed it, you were successful!
Success by definition must be earned. It comes usually through hard work, passion, and determination.
There is a right and wrong way to celebrate your success. You can acknowledge your success without coming off in a conceited way. This could mean that you accept an award, reporting on your success, or you simply share your success while never forgetting those who helped you accomplish your successes. For me, that means acknowledging that I do all things through Christ. I'll talk more about this later.
Think of owning success as a type of currency. When you work a job, you expect to be paid for it. When you complete a job, you can take the pat on the back!
2. IT IS SERIOUSLY DAMAGING OUR PSYCHE
Recent studies show that the millennial generation is the most anxious generation yet. A big stereotype attached to the millennial generation is that we feel we should be rewarded for every little thing we do right. But, I have a counter to this opinion.
I feel that millennials actually aren't rewarded for even the big things we do right. Back in the day, if you worked hard at your job and took on more responsibility, management saw your commitment to the job and rewarded you with raises and promotions.
Member of the Millennial Commission for the City of Fayetteville, N.C.
Forbes Magazine even dedicated an entire article to the topic "Why Are Millennial Salaries Disproportionately Low?" They found that millennials have a large unemployment rate, not necessarily because of laziness, but because of the demand for experience in the work force.
Millennials are also saddled with an average of $37K in student loan debt after being told by the generation before us that college was needed for a better salary and benefits.
As a matter of example, I was making $11 and hour as a journalist with my degree right out of college. My husband has no college degree and makes about the same amount working in landscaping right now. I know this isn't everyone's story.
All of this was to simply say that we've taken losses in a lot of areas our parents didn't necessarily have to. We are anxious because of money and a lack of feeling successful, but we simply don't celebrate the successes we do have because we were told by society to be humble when we were younger!
With so much already stressing out our generation, we should lift ourselves up when we accomplish something great!
3. WE SHOULDN'T LET OTHERS CONTROL US
2015 Intercollegiate Broadcasting System's Best On-Air Personalities Finalist for our college radio show Gabbie and the Ghost!
The perception of others really shouldn't control us, anyway. Like, who cares if a relative you see once a year doesn't "like" your Facebook post about being selected for a new leadership position at your job?
Who cares if a toxic friend is upset that you posted about a recent success?
At the end of the day, remember this saying that I think I just made up: "You ain't a remote, so stop letting people control you." Be proud of yourself and let those who truly care about you be proud of you, too!
We all spend FAR too much time caring what other people think. At the end of the day, you have to live in your own body, and that means you need to be happy with yourself.
4. WE HAVE TO OWN OUR SUCCESS FIRST
If you lack self-confidence, it can be hard to recognize what you've accomplished. I'm still struggling with this personally. I am a Christian and there's a lot of stigma about success in this faith. However, I credit all my successes in life to Jesus first, but recognize that I was given talents and gifts in this life to help connect other people to the Lord and to themselves! If you don't believe in yourself and the ability to accomplish great things, it simply won't happen.
That's why it is so important that we recognize our own successes first.
2014 Miss Methodist (College Pageant) Miss Congeniality
In these cases, you can't simply write off your success because someone else didn't recognize you for it. Set goals for yourself. Accomplish things for yourself. It makes being recognized for those successes that much more fulfilling!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
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