How Awesome I Am

awesome; self; love; acknowledgement; praise; celebrate; win Today I am writing about how awesome I am. Yes, that’s right, it’s a brag post.

Its last week’s brag post actually. I wrote it last week but did not post it because it makes me so uncomfortable to say nice things about myself. Today I’m stepping up fully to the promise I’ve made, to be nicer to little old me.

Celebrating our wins is important.

Here’s why.

We have these voices inside of us that tell us we aren’t good enough.  Call it inner critic, call it inner gremlin, call it superego - whatever the label, mine is chattering all the time, and I’m sick of it.

We live in a society that teaches us not to brag. To downplay achievements and deflect praise. To try not to not shine too bright. It’s awkward, we’re told.  Maybe you agree. I know a part of me definitely sees the world this way. No one likes the guy who’s full of himself, right? Besides, who am I to be acting all high and mighty?

But we also live in a society that tells us we need to accomplish a lot of things in order to be successful. So what about when we do achieve our goals? Is there room for celebration and reward? Is it possible to be proud of our accomplishments? Or is there only room for moving on to tackling the next thing that we haven’t yet completed?

I looked up the word “proud” in my thesaurus just for fun (thesauruses are fun, right?). This is the first group of synonyms that came up: “arrogant, conceited, superior, self-important, swollen with pride, pompous, self-righteous, overconfident, big-headed, and egotistical”. How many of you would be ashamed to be viewed in these ways? I’m guessing many of you. I know I would.

Antonyms were “humble and modest”. A little more palatable, I’d say.

There was another, shorter list of synonyms for “proud”, which comprised of “pleased, satisfied, full of pride, and fulfilled”. The antonym for this group was “ashamed”.

Funny, I thought, how I could be ashamed to be proud when ashamed was in one sense the opposite of proud.

I realized just how much I think this way yesterday (last Wednesday) when I submitted my weekly check in form to my coach, which included a request for what I would like coaching on in our session today (last Thursday). My request was essentially for some strategies to get me taking more action because I believe I’m not doing enough. I also requested some assistance in stepping up my game and taking more risks – making bold requests and promises.

What stuck with me as I sent the request off was the not doing enough bit. It was a familiar request, but this time it struck a different chord. Rather than seeing it as the truth I could hear a different voice. Quiet at first, and then louder. Why do you say you’re not doing enough? I’m actually doing a lot! Are you blind? I’ve been working my ass off to please you for years! Why can’t you be proud of what I’ve done? Why is it never enough?

The voice was angry. It would not fade into the background like it usually does. It would not give in to the “truth” that I simply wasn’t doing enough and that the criticism was justified. So I decided to listen. And here’s what I learned.

I have done amazing things in my life to date. I have been amazing places. I have created masterpieces. I have completed heroic tasks. I have accomplished desired goals. I have built incredible relationships. I have given selflessly. I have received many gifts.

It’s time to celebrate. It’s time to acknowledge myself for the things I am taking on, the things I have done, the stands I have taken, who I have been, and who I am being. There is nothing more or less I need to do or be. I am perfect as I am, and as I am not.

In service of this awareness I have spent some time listening to the voice that says I am enough. And although there is a part of me that says its not nice to brag, I am practicing some self-acknowledgement.

So here goes…

How awesome am I?

  1. Last Sunday I ran my first marathon ever (42K!!) in 4 hours and 6 minutes, in the rain and wind, despite shin splints and pinched nerve problems, 3 days after returning from a long vacation in Peru.
  2. This year I made a whole lot of bold promises to myself and committed to seeing them through (including taking a 3 ½ week vacation in Peru – which was AWESOME!)
  3. I am an equal partner in building a rock solid a relationship with an amazing guy.
  4. In February 2013 I took a stand for lawyers everywhere creating lives that they LOVE.
  5. Since February 2013 I have committed to that stand, and today, I continue to stand for lawyers everywhere creating lives that they LOVE.
  6. I drank my own Kool-Aid, and created a kick-ass life that I LOVE.
  7. In early 2013 I worked up the courage to take a risk and tell my boss that I was unhappy.
  8. I’ve built, and continue to build, an amazing mentorship relationship with my boss.
  9. I have recovered from an 8 year struggle with bulimia.
  10. In January 2013 I called deep on my courage and told my family, friends, colleagues, and the world, about my struggles with bulimia.
  11. In service of my stand for lawyers, I have developed principles, created materials, and put on workshops to help lawyers create lives that they LOVE
  12. I learned how to and did start my own blog where I share my story and the stories of other young lawyers and law firms who are creating lives that they LOVE. I have had one of my blog articles published by the CBA.
  13. In service of my stand for lawyers, I have learned how to cold call, and made hundreds of cold calls to law firms and law schools all across the country.
  14. I have a zero losses record in Court to date.
  15. I increased play in my life a million times. I laugh at work every day (possibly every hour).
  16. In service of my stand for lawyers and my love of writing, I am writing a book.
  17. In service of my stand for lawyers, in early 2013 I increased my knowledge of social media, created a brand that reflects my stand, and have maintained a consistent presence ever since.
  18. Last year I took on and completed a course on How to Connect with Anyone.
  19. This year I have taken on and am completing Accomplishment Coaching, an intense 12 month leadership and life coaching course. I declare the possibility of taking a stand for others and creating a space for their greatness as coach.
  20. I have learned how to be vulnerable, and continue to increase my capacity for vulnerability.
  21. I have made connections with inspiring people all across Canada and the U.S., and even some in South America and Europe.
  22. I trust more and have more compassion, with myself and others.
  23. A position of Wellness Officer was created in the executive of the CBA Young Lawyers Lower Mainland section and I have stepped into that role.
  24. I have, in that role, together with a Wellness Committee, taken on creating a Wellness Challenge for lawyers in B.C. which will take place in June 16 to June 27, 2014.
  25. I have learned how to be with myself more fully and to appreciate the gifts I bring.
  26. I have developed and continue to develop deep awareness of myself, others, and the world.
  27. I have increased my capacity to be with uncomfortable situations and feelings without trying to numb them.
  28. I have developed meaningful relationships with family, friends, and colleagues at a depth I did not know possible.
  29. I have taken back my power in so many ways and in so many areas of my life. I choose responsibility and freedom over victim more and more all the time. I choose to be the driver in my life. I choose choice.
  30. I have discovered passion, love and light within myself and am sharing my gifts with the world.

That is how awesome I am.

I acknowledge myself for all that I have been and done. I am proud of who I am.

As being proud is uncomfortable for me, I am taking on practicing it (even more). I am taking on a week of silencing my inner critic – starting now. That means no self deprecation. Each time I hear the voice that says I should be doing more, I will turn it off and instead look for the voice that is cheering me on and patting me on the back for my accomplishments.  I am also taking on daily self acknowledgment on my Accomplishment Coaching team blog until the end of May.

And this weekend to celebrate...I’m going dancing!

These are my promises to myself.

I request that you take on a little more self love this week as well. Praise yourself. Acknowledge yourself. Reward yourself. Celebrate. Brag a little. Notice if it makes you uncomfortable. Try it out anyways.

You are worthy.