Go ahead: Brag a little

Aug 5, 2021

Bragging can feel uncomfortable, even terrifying, for many of us.  But during a recent HealthConnect Fellowship convening, Fellow Aubrey Alvarez, Executive Director of Eat Greater Des Moines, challenged us give it a try by creating our own brag book.

The deliberate practice of celebrating our wins is important for several reasons:

  • To recognize your growth and progress
  • To honor your accomplishments before pushing onto the next thing
  • To talk back against self-doubt and feelings of imposter syndrome
  • To have something to hold onto for when you need a reminder to keep going

“Really it’s a chance for you to remember how amazing you are and all the good work you’re doing,” said Alvarez. “And it’s about giving yourself space and time to do it.”

So, how do you do it?

Alvarez shared these ideas she gathered from a brag workshop at The Jane Club, a digital community for women led by Carmen Rios, a feminist writer, podcaster, and speaker:

1. Decide how you want to capture everything. You could create a digital file on your computer to save positive emails and examples of success; dust off an empty journal on your bookshelf and fill it with lists and notes; or put up a peg board in your office to hold cards and images of your achievements.

2. Make the time to work on it. Take a moment at the end of each week to capture what you did or hold a monthly slot on your calendar. Most important, intentionally prioritize the time until it becomes a habit.

3. Start capturing! Think about all areas of life –personal and professional – you can capture, including:

  • accomplishments big and small you’ve achieved
  • kind words you’ve received
  • opportunities you’ve been given
  • ways you’ve succeeded on the job, at home, or for yourself
  • aha moments when you’ve known you’re doing it right
  • personal growth opportunities, including caring for yourself

4. Keep going. The goal is to work on your brag book for at least 15 minutes at a time but work up to it if needed. Give it a test run and you’ll notice how impactful it can be.

Still hesitant about the idea of bragging? Alvarez framed it this way: “It’s a book of gratitude to yourself.”

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