“Tooting your own horn” comes naturally for some – which truth be told, I envy. While there is a time and a place for it...tooting your own horn is healthy.
As an extrovert and a conversational person, this may surprise some, but those who are close to me know that I love talking about others and typically hate talking about myself. That doesn’t mean I don’t share updates with friends and family members. But, these updates are kept strictly surface-level unless poked and prodded enough where I end up sharing an achievement or something deeper. Where this stems from I am unsure, but I have always been a friend-to-all-close-to-few type of person. Perhaps...it stems from the fact that I don’t seek out affirmation in what I am doing (which isn't healthy), or the fact that outside praise only gets me so far, and the only people I answer to are the man in the mirror and the man above.
Through the years, I have heard a great deal of success stories, shared with me by numerous people...and I found myself getting jealous. But not for the reason most people think. The jealousy surfaced from the fact they are able to deliver and actually share this news with their friends – and why shouldn’t they? Friends should feel willing and able to share accomplishments with each other and celebrate each other's successes. Life is about community. We should be open with others and feel excited for others, especially those we love.
The irony of it all? I actually get upset with friends who, like me, opt not to inform me of their achievements. These instances typically result in me proclaiming something to the tune of, “Dude! You should have told me! That’s so exciting! Congratulations, I'm jacked for you!” After which, the man in the mirror shakes his head, knowing how hypocritical that is.
So, for those of us who struggle with tooting (insert inappropriate chuckle here), how do we fill our lungs with the needed air?
For starters, I think it’s great that you are able to identify that you do in fact struggle with tooting your own horn. I think the next step is realizing that your beloved friends and family members WANT TO HEAR YOUR SUCCESSES. There is no reason to tip-toe or shy away from bragging about yourself every now and again (obviously, like all things, it must be done in moderation). With this realization in tow, select those specific individuals with whom you are close and feel comfortable. Then...boast a little bit! Tell them about the strides you've made personally, in your career, or any area of life that brings you feelings of pride and fulfillment. It may seem awkward at first, but power through! From there, it's a virtuous cycle...once you share, they will be happy for you and celebrate you, only encouraging you to open yourself up more frequently.
People want to hear from you. Be open; be your own advocate. It's good for the soul. Enjoy tooting!