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!
However, the students who are a part of the college admission scandal seems to align well with the buzz words and phrases often applied to a whole group of people.
If you’re in the U.S., you’ve probably heard news lately of the University of Southern California’s high-profile college admissions scandal. If you haven’t, here’s some information:
Fifty people have been charged in federal court for conspiracy to illicitly gain admission for high school students to top colleges and universities, including the University of Southern California. Some notable names tied up in this conspiracy include Lori Loughlin (left), who played Becky on Full House, and Felicity Huffman from Desperate Housewives.
Each of the 50 conspirators paid as much as $6.5 million to get their children into prestigious schools. This money may have been used to purchase a building on campus, donate to university advancement causes, or to bribe professors or administrators.
AN ONGOING PROBLEM
My immediate opinion is that, duh, this has been happening for years. I mean, just look at Hollywood. They’ve made a number of movies where the snobby rich kid’s parents donate to the college, and that makes them near untouchable. Did everyone think that was just a made-up movie antagonist? No, that happens in real life in colleges, universities, and prep schools around the globe.
THIS IS WHY IT ISN'T OK
One thing that really frustrated me was that some of these parents even bribed testing officials to look the other way while their child cheated on the SATs. That isn’t fair to someone from the projects who doesn’t have money but busted their butt in class and in the library to ace the test in hopes of attending Harvard.
This means that they are likely considered for and offered better jobs. Imagine Loughlin’s daughter becoming some CEO of a large company. She did absolutely nothing to get there, but she is now making decisions on things that could change the course of not only a company, but of the U.S. Many companies are tied up in politics, which is also largely influenced by campaign dollars.
WAYS THE RICH HAVE CHEATED THE SYSTEM
WHY IT FRUSTRATES MILLENNIALS
I will say that what adds to millennial frustration is the fact that these people who are our peers become CEOs, sometimes even becoming our bosses. For those of us who went to college, studied in a field that will actually make us money, and joined a career, it is frustrating to have a complete idiot as a boss. They don’t know what they’re doing, and it shows. This frustrates our generation to no end because we can’t move forward in our careers. I’m glad I don’t have this issue personally, but I know that a number of people suffer because of it.
But, it is crucial that you readers understand that these were top schools. They aren’t really wanting for money, they’re just being greedy.
In my opinion, we should do a sweep of all of the top schools and investigate for fraud. Charges should also be put against others who are found guilty of doing this. Students accused of fraud should be put on academic leave. If it were up to me, schools who accepted these funds should have to pay a penalty, as they were in the wrong as well.
The U.S. is sad. No promotions. No raises. No praises for a job well done. I think attacking this issue head on will help improve mental health and job security around the country. What’s your opinion? I want to know!
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