Today’s top story is ME?! Ah, but I am an Australian….
I love being an Aussie but sometimes there are some national characteristics that make certain things in life really challenging…like self-promotion. The #HAWMC topic today is me and my achievements. When I read that my heart went out to all the Aussie health activists who are taking part in this writing challenge because it really is very un-Australian to ‘blow your own horn’.
It never strikes me any less hard each time this old fashioned Aussie idiosyncrasy rears its little head. We are happy to trumpet the cause of others or loudly cheer on and celebrate sporting team victories, but when it comes to selling ourselves…..its, Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, shhh, shhh, shhh. Nothing to see hear….move along people.
I’ve never really wished to be any other nationality other than true blue Aussie but sometimes I think we Aussies could really use a dose of the straight talkin’, trumpet blowin’, kick-ass U. S. of A. ability to sell ourselves. I’m not talking about overselling, just feeling really comfortable in being able to talk about our strengths and achievements; it’s really not that hard, surely! So why is it ingrained in our national character to be better at tearing strips off ourselves, with our truly awesome self-deprecating humour, than it is to speak up about what we have achieved?
I think it’s about time we Aussies took a leaf out of another playbook and accepted that it’s okay to love ourselves. It’s okay to talk about our own positive traits, our achievements, and our accomplishments.
The crucial element that most Aussies miss in their internal argument about whether it’s culturally acceptable to self-promote, is that as long as it comes from a place of honesty and authenticity….it can’t be wrong, or too much, or ‘blowing your own horn’. It just is. It’s the same as drawing a portrait of yourself….you’re just drawing it with words instead of paper and pencil.
So in honour of any of my fellow Australians, who have ever struggled with setting themselves free from this time-honoured national tradition, here are some of my proudest moments….in no particular order…
- I carried and gave birth naturally, drug-free, to three awesome daughters! (You’re feeling me sistas, aren’t you! I know I sure felt it….)
- I breastfed all three girls until they decided to wean themselves. (There is no judgement here on anyone else’s choices or circumstances….this was my choice and I’m grateful I was blessed with being able to make it.)
- I created and started my own business in collaboration with my husband. So that makes me one half of Team Awesome. (El – you’re the other half of the team babe x)
- I have been the lead singer of a range of blues, soul and folk-rock bands, duets and ensembles. I sing damn good!
- I started a blog (this one….) to raise awareness about diabetes and to help me through my own, and my husband’s diagnoses, and I think it’s pretty darn good.
- I have coached, mentored and trained teachers and leaders in international education, which has had a positive impact on the lives of children and young people around the world.
- I have contributed to improving other people’s lives through community programs, social learning, social entrepreneurship, social service and charitable giving….something really close to my heart.
- I have lived in seven different countries and I speak two languages. Yo soy bien buena!! 🙂
I could go on but I see an Australian with a large Little Miss Muffet style hook waiting in the wings ready to drag me kicking and screaming off stage….
Once you commit to the idea that it is okay to love yourself and it’s okay to share what you do well…making your own list will become a lot easier. Now, that’s not to say we Aussies won’t continue to find this trumpet blowing business confronting. The trick is to push past that feeling so it doesn’t stop you.
Writing my list, even after years of practicing self-love and being okay with self-promotion, was still challenging. I found it very easy to write about my professional achievements but much more confronting to write that I am a good singer. That one really challenged me….and I very nearly didn’t write it. What?!?
You know what though….it’s okay for our metamorphosis from a traditional Aussie self-deprecator, to a self-loving one, to be a process, a work in progress. The key is to start…
So, show me your list!